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Movie Review

Dr. Dolittle 2

MPAA Rating: PG for language and crude humor

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
10 to Adult
1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
June 22, 2001
Relevant Issues
Featuring: Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wilson, Raven Symone, Kevin Pollak, Kyla Pratt
Director: Steve Carr
Producer: John Davis, Joseph M. Singer
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox

I have a confession to make. I had predetermined not to like “Dr. Dolittle 2” for I honestly wrestle with the concept of Eddie Murphy as a role model for families and children. All too many were disappointed and disgusted with the likes of “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.”

Eddie Murphy as Dr. Dolittle

This film does an average job of balancing cute and crude. Murphy once again reprises his role as the doctor who can talk to animals. This time he even includes a 12-step program for “strays”. As expected the plot is mildly obsessed with sex as we watch Dr. Dolittle fight for the “survival of the species.” This priority soon begins to interfere with his family life. Dr. Dolittle portrays how difficult it is to have a balanced home life. His wife (Kristen Wilson) demonstrates remarkable patience in the midst of all the chaos and in a home truly befitting the title of “a zoo”. But the demands soon take their greatest toll on Charisse (Raven-Symone) who has just turned 16 and is ready to date.

Kristen Wilson and Eddie Murphy in Dr. Dolittle 2 The doctor’s mission in “Dr. Dolittle 2” is to save a forest full of woodland creatures. A skunk invites Dolittle to have a meeting with “the beaver”, whose image as a “Godfather” trying to save his homeland from loggers was enjoyable and entertaining. The villains, attorney Jack Riley (Kevin Pollak) and greedy businessman Joseph Potter (Jeffery Jones), have logging plans which seem to be guaranteed until Dolittle tries to save a species of bears from extinction. Another attorney, the doc’s wife Mrs. Dolittle, gets involved in the case. Dr. Dolittle convinces the judge that he can successfully mate a Circus Bear with one in the wild.

There is some discussion of sex as an over obvious plot point. Most of the time the dialog is more in the arena of “flirting”, but sometimes it is mildly offensive. This is a Murphy-film, so there is plenty of flatulence, anatomical humor and jokes about digestion. Hollywood must be convinced that this is the only thing children will laugh at. All in all the bear theme is a heart-warming story of city-bear meets country-bear and the differences therein.

Murphy takes on the role of a “Rocky” type mentor and tries to get this bear into shape. Dolittle takes his family along on this adventure, planning to spend some quality time with them on the way. I liked the extra effort Dr. Dolittle put forth to give attention to his neglected wife and daughters.

My objections do include the frequent injection of profanities. But the over-all theme of “everyone needs a family” does steer the film. I would recommend the story behind this film. I still continue to express caution to the role models and some of the music in the film. Both can be suggestive and blur boundaries of judgment. Suggested viewing age would be 10 to adult. Yes, there is an obvious plot twist to suggest another Dolittle film. Why not? The first one grossed almost $300 million world wide.

Viewer Comments
While the animal animation was first rate, this film lacked in every way one can. It wasn’t very funny, and the jokes were very iffy for the PG rating (turtle sexuality among other things.) I would not want real young children seeing this film—it could provoke questions that parents don’t want answered this early in their life. I didn’t see the first Dr. DoLittle, and I have no desire to. The makers of this movie dwelt too much on the bear character. I often felt like I was watching an episode of a poor TV show—it even had a pathetic ending. I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone—see “Cat’s and Dogs” instead.
My Ratings: [Average / 1½]
—DMR, age 17
Dr. Dolittle2 was very funny. I went with my mom, brother, and sister. We all liked it. My dad couldn’t see it. He was busy. I liked the iguana, the dog, and bear. Oh ya don’t forget the pizza boy. (He was hilarious) The monkey was funny (There is a place in France were the naked ladies dance). For my last speech—Bring me a bone and a large order of flies SUPER SIZE! Yes, I’m Brendan Fraisers daughter.
My Ratings: [4½]
—Mckenzie Fraiser, age 10
Of the two animal movies I have seen this summer (Cats and Dogs, Dr.2), Dr. Dolittle 2 is well, good (Cats and Dogs is a better flick). There was some profanity that I found offensive and SOME mild references to sex, like some Eddie Murphy flicks (i.e. the 1st Dr. Dolittle flick and The Nutty Professor). I think this movie would be okay for kids ages 13 and up. The movie was kinda stupid and hokey, but not enough for me to walk out so I give it a 3 out of 5.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Shannon, age 20
I would have given this movie a zero. I was so extremely bored. The only humor was bathroom humor. The only thing worth saving, according to the movie, was animals and trees. Save the planet by saving your money on this one.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 1]
—Dan, age 46
Overall, I thought this was a good movie. I went to see it with a group of friends all around my age and we all enjoyed it. It was much funnier than the first but the humor was more adult oriented. I would say that it is worth seeing but some comments could have been left out.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Jess, age 19
…overall this was a really good movie. I went in with low expectations because I did not think that the first one was all that great. But this one is far better than the first one. I actually laughed out loud quite a few times. The things the animals say are funny and sometimes clever. One thing that I took exception too was the teenage daughter’s somewhat disrespectful attitude towards her parents. But overall, again, I thought the story was good, and the acting was good. I would say that yes, I do recommend this movie, and on a scale of A-F, I would give it a “B.”
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4½]
—Rena, age 35
“If I could talk to the animals, walk with the animals…” Dr. Doolittle—Original Version | There were three specific movies that, as a child, I anticipated watching on TV every year. The first was The Wizard of Oz, which was a flop when it was originally released. But the common man could not deny the brilliance of flying monkeys, red ruby slippers, and cowardly lions very long. The second was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Admit it. You know the “OOMpa Song” as well as anyone else. The last of this trio was Dr. Doolittle. This movie, like its predecessors, was childhood genius manifest. Who wouldn’t like to talk to the animals? It had adventure, giant snails, two-headed llamas (how did it go the bathroom?), and a slew of critters that talked to the good doc. The Eddie Murphy remake of Dr. Doolittle was mildly amusing (especially Chris Rock doing the voice of the guinea pig). But Dr. Doolittle 2 is quite possibly the worst movie I have seen this summer. From the instant you hear Norm MacDonald’s voice, as the talking dog narrator, you know you’re in for a snoozer. There is not a funny line to be heard. Mr. Murphy, who was a comic genius in Shrek, is a comic tragedy in Dr. Doolittle 2. The animals are irritating; the actors sub nominal; and the script asinine. The sets were so weak that they looked like painted backdrops, plastic rocks, and Teflon leaves. This movie does not make you want to talk to the animals. It makes you want to buy a hunting license. As the movie ended, there was a communal groan from the theatre. This is not even one of those movies that should have been instantly released to video. It is one of those movies that should have never been released. The only funny thing about the film is that the screenwriter, set creator, and director were paid. Do yourself a favor. Rent the original Dr. Doolittle and see a magical childhood film instead of this modern adult morphine trip.
My Ratings: [Good / 1]
—Rev. Shawn Small, age 33
…very good. It had less vulgarity in it than the first one. I was laughing throughout the whole movie. My friends and I went to see it and we all liked it. Some parts are not suitable for young children but I think it targets teens mostly anyways. I think it was a lot funnier than the first one. Having Steve Erwin in the movie made it comical. I would recommend this movie to all my friends.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3]
—S. Kriz, age 16
…a good family movie. Maybe this movie is not appropriate for children under 8 or 9, that is up to the parents to decide. There was some sexual humor, but not to an excessive degree. There was, I thought, a few too many swear words, but overall not to bad. As far as I’m concerned it is worth watching, again, if you kids are young you might want to watch it first and see what you think.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Adam DesJardin, age 16
…both clever and funny, but unnecessarily vulgar in places. I didn’t and wouldn’t bring children to see the movie. There was some new-age worldview advice about “discovering the bear within you” that could be misinterpreted by young ones. Overall: forgettable.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—James D. Albert, age 31
I expected so much more out of Dr. Dolittle 2, especially because Dr. Dolittle 1 was so good!! I was very surprised that it got a PG rating because it could have gotten a PG-13 rating easy! There was language and much crude humor. I have to say that it had its cute parts, and I laughed, but not as much as I would have expected. I’m just happy that it had Stever Erwin *The Crocodile Hunter* in it! That made the movie!
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Kaley, age 14
Movie Critics
…several uses of words such as “hell” and ’damn… instances of crude humor…
…9 mild profanities… religious exclamations…
…Murphy gives one of his better performances in recent years…
—Max Messier,
…Like most other talking-animal movies, it winds up talking down to its audience…
—Chicago Tribune