Dolittle: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

Robert Downey Jr. sheds his superhero suit to don a doctor's coat in this animal-themed story! But did he do enough or 'do little'? Well, let's read on and find out from me, a teen!

By Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi  • 7 min read

Dolittle: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

Rating 2/5

Dolittle: Movie Review

Dr Dolittle, a retired eccentric adventurer, lives deep inside the woods in a mansion that he shares with his animals. Dolittle can talk to animals! Among others, a polar bear, a parrot, a gorilla, and an ostrich keep him company. One day, his solitude is disturbed when two teenagers coincidentally find their way into his mansion. One of them is Tommy Stubbins, an animal-lover during a time when animals were seen only as prey, and the other one is Lady Rose, who’s come to deliver a message. The Queen is ill, and Dr Dolittle is called to help her. Dolittle says the only cure can be found on Eden Tree Island, a mysterious island that cannot be found on a map. Dolittle and his animal sidekicks (plus Stubbins) go on an adventure. Will they be successful, or does fate have something worse in store?

Yay or Nay?

Although Dolittle has been a disappointment, it’s not the worst movie I’ve seen. It’s not a bad movie to watch on a lazy Sunday, but it’s certainly not a must-see. It brims with mediocrity; it’s not great, but it’s not terrible.

Dolittle was a lot of things, but comprehensible was not one of them. The movie felt like a fever dream where I was watching a bunch of vaguely-related clips strung together to form something resembling a movie. Considering that Dolittle is a kids’ movie, the plot is a bit hard to follow if you’re not hanging onto every word. A lot of things they do, seem to be very arbitrary and disconnected from the rest of the movie. Any scene focusing on Mudfly felt like that. The plot is messy, and yet, it lacks a lot of elements and ends up feeling like a Fantastic Beasts rip-off than anything else.

The worst part about the movie was that it didn’t feel genuine. It didn’t feel like a story worth listening to. I didn’t bond with the characters, I didn’t celebrate their victories, I didn’t cry about their losses. The movie did nothing to hook me in, to make me care about these characters. The entire movie felt very forced, manufactured, and fake. It was obvious that they deliberately squeezed in bad jokes, it was obvious that the actors were just, well, actors and not real people, it was obvious that this was just a movie made for easy money.

Adaptation of a book

Dolittle is based on a book-series, and I think that makes the ordeal a lot sadder. All the complaints I had with the movie would make perfect sense in a book. The book does an exponentially better job telling the story. A ten-minute skim-through of one of the books made me connect with the characters more than the two-hour movie did. The movie did a great disservice to the books. It was a blatant cash-grab and nothing more.

Things to look out for!

That being said, the movie isn’t bad if you go in with low expectations. It’s fun to see RDJ do animal impressions, it’s good to see the animals bond. I loved the dragonfly; Jason Mantzoukas stole the show with his trademark acting. 

There was also a dragon at the end, and dragons are always awesome. The colors and lights used for the dragon are also very cool, and satisfied the art-nerd side of me. If you look at the movie as a whole, you get a cute story about 2 humans and a bunch of animals going on an adventure across the sea, and that’s not bad. If the movie was less artificial (and RDJ didn’t have that terrible, terrible accent), I would’ve really enjoyed it.

Dolittle is quite underwhelming, but it does have some good bits. I wouldn’t recommend watching the movie, but as the resident nerd, I’m obliged to tell you to read the books instead. I give it two stars out of five, and most of the credit goes to the visuals (and Jason Mantzoukas).

My takeaways from Dolittle:

1. It’s okay to feel what you feel, showing emotion doesn’t make you weak.

2. Teamwork makes the dream work.

3. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to act in the presence of fear.

4. Compassion is key.

5. Friendship can be magical. 

Watch the trailer of Dolittle below:

Also Read: Frozen 2: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

About the author:

Written by Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi on 18 January 2020.

The author is a writer/blogger who blogs at

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