Talking to animals seems to be a natural skill to list on the resume of a veterinarian. Dr. Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) uses it as his primary marketing strategy. Although he’s renowned for caring for animals, when his wife dies, he is thrown into a downward spiral.
When Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett) comes to him with an injured squirrel, the boy’s persistence and cheek help Dr. Dolittle get out of his funk. With the help of dozens of animal friends, Robert Downey Jr.’s character begins a quest with many adventures that are tied together by the dying Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) and the mystery of his wife’s death.
I didn’t really enjoy the movie very much. I don’t think that I was in the target demographic. The kids in the theater with me seemed to enjoy it. Looking on the-numbers.com, I see that the film is better than average on its staying power and is a financial success. It was a fun story, just one that I wasn’t drawn into.
A walking stick insect was a cute plot device. It reminded me of the plant that is a Fantastic Beasts that rescues Newt Scamander from some tight spots.
The film had several intersecting sub-plots. Each story had its own villain and conflict. They were set up to be short and entertaining. The movie doesn’t bog down with detailed character development.
What I liked most about the film was its humor and wit. Dr. Dolittle was quirky and always resourceful. The animals help him and his protégé to win the day.