In his newest adventure, Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) has been hidden away on his English animal sanctuary estate since the death of his explorer wife Lily some years ago. His faithful animals by his side, he no longer sees patients or even shaves and baths regularly. Then “the boy” Stubbins (Harry Collett) crawls through the hedge and with the help of Polly (Emma Thompson), the parrot finds his way to the front door with a wounded squirrel. Also, arriving by carriage at that moment is Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado), a young lady in the newly crowned Queen Victoria’s court.
The two are reluctantly admitted but Dolittle wants nothing to do with them until Polly intervenes. Lady Rose has been sent as Queen Victoria is seriously ill and will surely die if he doesn’t come to London. Dr. Blair Mudfly (Michael Sheen) has been bleeding the queen at the insistence of Lord Thomas Badgley (James Broadbent) and she is now in a coma. Dolittle is enraged, as Mudfly was a student with him years ago and is considered by him a quack. His attention then turns to Stubbins and the squirrel. After closer examination, he instructs his animal surgical team to the ready and they spring into action. The squirrel is saved, Lady Rose returns to London and Polly takes Dolittle to task. Polly reminds him that if the Queen dies, the Animal Sanctuary will go back to the Treasury and they will be put out and lose their home.
Arriving in London with the animals in a carriage and Dolittle riding an ostrich, they push their way into the Queen’s chamber. After she is sniffed by a bespectacled terrier and a conversation is had with a squid in an aquarium, Dolittle announces that the Queen has be poisoned and the antidote can only be found on the Eden Tree on the Hidden Island. It must be given to her by the next new moon in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, Badgley and Mudfly confer where Badgley wants to know, “How much longer can she last, that young girl can’t rule England!” “Soon , my Lord, soon”, is the reply. Dolittle and his animal crew set sail on their quest for the Eden Tree and the blossom that will save Queen Victoria’s life!
I was thrilled with this movie! Action, comedy, and adventure. Robert Downey Jr. steals the screen as Dolittle. The CGI animals are so lifelike and are played with a wonderful intelligent innocence that will mesmerize every child. Listen for the All-Star voices of Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, John Cena, Rami Malek and Tom Holland. Antonio Bandaras, as the pirate king, is almost unrecognizable, but the voice is unmistakable. The audience was 4 to 84! Family fun.
“Dolittle” is rated PG for some action, rude humor and brief language.