Plot: What’s it about?
As a small child, John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) had an unusual talent, he was able to communicate with animals. Yep, you heard me right, he could speak to the beasts. But after his father repeatedly pestered him about “imaginary” conversations, little John (not the Robin Hood guys) pushed his ability so deep inside himself, it disappeared. John grew up, and became a successful practicing doctor, and had a great life. Then, the animals started talking to him again. At first, he thought he was crazy, and sought professional help, which showed no problems. After a while, Dolittle accepts the fact that he can talk with animals, and tries to cope. But the trouble is, it’s not just a few animals that seek out our doctor, but almost every animal. Drunk monkeys, love troubled birds, even a wild hamster, they all want to speak with the doctor! After a series of mishaps, Dr. Dolittle’s world is all mixed up, but maybe he can straighten everything if he can just cure these darn animals…
This flick is basically an Eddie Murphy vehicle, so if you don’t like the dude, keep away. If you like his style of humor however, this is a good performance, and not his usual raw brand of comedy, so it’s family safe. While Murphy is the main star, there are many talented actors doing hilarious voice work in this movie. Chris Rock supplies the voice for our hamster buddy, and he is a laugh a second, always keeping the good doctor on his toes. Also funny is Norm MacDonald as a street wise canine (dog…to the layperson), who does an amazing trick with a thermometer that you won’t believe. Rounding out the voice work is Albert Brooks, Ellen Degeneres, Garry Shandling, and John Leguizamo. They all bring to life their characters, and add a lot of giggles to the film. The live action stars also shine, with Oliver Platt coming to mind. I love Platt’s work (Bulworth especially), and this performance is a great one. Ossie Davis plays Eddie Murphy’s father, and turns in his usual solid acting job. All things said, a nice cast for a slap-happy comedy flick.
Now, of course, this is a nice family comedy, so there is not much in the way of drama or sexual tension, so you gotta love to laugh to like this movie. The animals are hilarious, and Murphy heads up a great cast. This is not some kind of high brow comedy either, every member of your family should get all, or at least most of the jokes, in this picture. No brain rattling issues, just a good old fashioned good time comedy film. I think this should have a place in any comedy lover’s collection, as well as fans of Murphy himself. While you may not be adding a Hollywood classic to your DVD case, you will be adding hours of laughs, hi jinx, and tomfoolery!
Video: How does it look?
Overall a nice visual transfer. Widescreen is the only offered format, so tough bones for you full frame lovers out there. The colors are nice, with no bleeding or discolorment to be seen. A great transfer from Fox.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not many effects to be had in this one, so the audio focuses on the dialogue, which is good in this type of comedy. The soundtrack sounds great, not a great movie to show off your system with, but hey, it’s a comedy!
Supplements: What are the extras?
Wow! Fox loads this disc to the brim with extras! You get the original theatrical trailer, which is a great thing, plus interactive menus! I love those damn menus, what would we do without them! What next, Fox claiming that the case is an extra?