Dolittle – Review

Only less than three weeks into the new year and there’s a new flick opening today celebrating the centennial of a much-beloved character of children’s literature. Yes, the medical man who could “talk to the animals” arrived on the printed page, with words and pictures by Hugh Lofting, way back in 1920. It would seem that such a fantastical creation would get scooped up by the fledgling cinema arts. And in 1928 he was the star of a silent animated short by the legendary Lotte Reiniger. Aside from an early thirties NBC radio show he stayed on the shelves of bookstores for over 30 years until the execs at Twentieth Century Fox, encouraged by the “boffo” box office numbers generated by Mary Poppins and The Sound Of Music, produced an epic “mega-musical” event. And though it earned two Oscars (for Best Song and Best Visual Effects) Doctor Dolittle almost bankrupted the studio.
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