2020  101 MN

Dolittle on IMDb
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Stephen Gaghan

After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle, famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures.

 Release Date

January 1, 2020


1h41m (101 min)


$ 175,000,000


$ 223,343,452

 Top Billed Cast

 Robert Downey Jr.
 Dr. John Dolittle
 Antonio Banderas
 King Rassouli
 Michael Sheen
 Dr. Blair Müdfly
 Jim Broadbent
 Lord Thomas Badgley
 Jessie Buckley
 Queen Victoria
 Harry Collett
 Tommy Stubbins

 Written by

Stephen Gaghan Screenplay
Chris McKay Screenplay
Hugh Lofting Characters
David Allcock Storyboard
Thomas Shepherd Screenplay


He's just not a people person.



Robert Downey Jr.
  Dr. John Dolittle
Antonio Banderas
  King Rassouli
Michael Sheen
  Dr. Blair Müdfly
Jim Broadbent
  Lord Thomas Badgley
Jessie Buckley
  Queen Victoria
Harry Collett
  Tommy Stubbins
Emma Thompson
  Poly (voice)
Rami Malek
  Chee-Chee (voice)
John Cena
  Yoshi (voice)
Kumail Nanjiani
  Plimpton (voice)
Octavia Spencer
  Dab-Dab (voice)
Tom Holland
  Jip (voice)
Craig Robinson
  Kevin (voice)
Ralph Fiennes
  Barry (voice)
Selena Gomez
  Betsy (voice)
Marion Cotillard
  Tutu (voice)
Kasia Smutniak
  Lily Dolittle
Carmel Laniado
  Lady Rose
Frances de la Tour
  Dragon (voice)
Jason Mantzoukas
  James the Dragonfly (voice)
Ralph Ineson
  Arnall Stubbins
Joanna Page
  Bethan Stubbins
Sonny Ashbourne Serkis
  Arnall Stubbins Jr.
Oliver Chris
  Sir Gareth
Clive Francis
Elliot Barnes-Worrell
  Captain William Derrick
Mark Umbers
David Sheinkopf
  Don Carpenterino
Sid Sagar
  Jeff the Prisoner
Martin Pemberton
Tim Treloar
  Humphrey the Whale (voice)
Jim Carretta
  Beard Mouse and Leona (voice)
Matt King
Ranjani Brow
  Mouse (voice)
Kelly Stables
  Mouse (voice)
Scott Menville
  Army Ant (voice)
Gia Davis
  Baby Animal (voice)
Stewart Scudamore
Samson Kayo
John-Luke Roberts
  Pirate / Animal Performer
Joseph Balderrama
Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
Josh Jefferies
  On Set Chee-Chee / Animal Performer
Shaun McKee
  On Set Yoshi / Animal Performer


Sarah Bradshaw
  Associate Producer
Danny Elfman
Guillermo Navarro
  Director of Photography
Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
Nick Moore
Craig Alpert
William M. Connor
  First Assistant Director
Gary Tomkins
  Art Direction
Sandrine Loisy
  Crowd Assistant Director
Jenny Beavan
  Costume Design
Joe Roth
Lucy Bevan
Dominic Watkins
  Production Design
Jeff Kirschenbaum
Susan Downey
Julian Bucknall
  First Assistant Camera
Matthew Gray
  Supervising Art Director
Chris Munro
  Sound Mixer
Jon Mone
  Executive Producer
Simon Crane
  Second Unit Director
Chris McKay
Tom Whitehead
  Art Direction
Will Coubrough
  Art Direction
Jay Maidment
  Still Photographer
Peter Dorme
  Art Direction
Tom Weaving
  Art Direction
Zoe Tahir
Hugh Lofting
Hugh Lofting
  Character Designer
Emily Brockmann
  Casting Associate
Mark Layton
  Production Supervisor
Joseph Koniak
  Hair Setup
Frank Cuomo
  Production Manager
Simone Goodridge
  Unit Production Manager
Ross Grimshaw
  Lighting Technician
Chris Lyons
  Special Effects Makeup Artist
Tim Browning
  Conceptual Design
Joey Coughlin
  Second Assistant Director
David Allcock
Duncan Broadfoot
  Location Manager
Bryce Nielsen
  Visual Effects Producer
John Beckett
  Script Supervisor
Sebastian Lochmann
  Concept Artist
James Bomalick
Oliver Roberts
  Art Direction
Tom Rye
  Second Assistant Director
Teresa Orlando
  Third Assistant Director
Alison Clements
Darren Shearwood
  Special Effects
Martin Bell
  Art Department Assistant
Alex Bender
  Second Unit Director of Photography
Dew John
  Transportation Captain
Jimmy Rich
  Assistant Set Dresser
Thomas Shepherd
Daniel Phillips
  Makeup & Hair
Frank Cuomo
  Post Production Supervisor
Richard Ruck
  Unit Manager
Mark Johnstone
  Third Assistant Director
Marlon Beyer Rieger
  Third Assistant Director


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We have all watched the Dolittle movies starring Eddie Murphy. I'm not going to lie, I was never a fan of these films. Yes, they're purposefully dumb, innocent, and feature that basic level of comedy. They never annoyed me, but they also never did anything remarkably surprising. 2020's version of the known tale is the first post-MCU role of Robert Downey Jr., it boasts an A-list cast, and… it's one of the worst movies of the year, without a single doubt. A complete disaster in every area of filmmaking.

I don't even know where to start. Maybe with RDJ since he's the most significant negative surprise. I can't believe such a charismatic and now iconic actor like him could deliver a performance this awful. His Welsh (?) accent is not only a terrible choice character-wise, but I doubt that any children can understand what he's saying. RDJ acts like a baffling caricature of himself, not helping an already flawed film. The voice work from the remaining cast might be the only positive of the whole movie, but the CGI animals are way too unconvincing.

However, as always, the most impactful issues belong to the actual story. Instead of being an entertaining and fun adventure, it's an incredibly boring, nonsensical, structure-less journey into one of the most ridiculous third acts of cinema. Even placing myself in a child's mind, I don't think I would be able to enjoy this mess of a screenplay. Like I wrote above, not even the animals look great…

Certain characters possess these unknown relationships that the audience is supposed to care about, but no background is given to any of them. Tons of plot points lack a logical explanation. The entire narrative is void of any creativity or uniqueness whatsoever, looking simply like a lazy, unimaginative piece of work. The "young queen who falls gravely ill" is just a woman sleeping in bed, not looking ill at all, which proves that not even the makeup department was interested in making an effort.

But all of the issues above are nothing compared to the film's climax. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just write that I still can't believe what I witnessed. Around ninety minutes of build-up lead to the most shocking, hilarious, utterly absurd moment. The humor is a level below childish. Dozens of fart jokes (including one during the climax), over-the-top reactions, and I don't even know what else. Between Bloodshot, Fantasy Island, and The Grudge… Let the devil come and choose!

All in all, Dolittle is a massive fail at all levels. It was meant to be one of the worst movies of the year, and it undoubtedly accomplished this goal. From the surprisingly awful performance from Robert Downey Jr. to one of the most shockingly terrible climaxes in the history of cinema, Stephen Gaghan delivers a structure-less screenplay, filled with nonsensical narrative decisions, and featuring an extremely dull adventure. The CGI animals are far from being remotely impressive, the characters lack personality (bringing an A-list actor doesn't guarantee anything), and the comedy is so astonishingly basic that I doubt kids will laugh at some of the jokes, and they laugh at everything. With a budget of 175M (!!!), it's not understandable how and why a studio would waste this much money on such an obvious flop. The voice work from the cast is good… and it genuinely could have been worse. This is the closest I can get to a positive.

Rating: D-


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