Anyone who loves animals is likely to love Dr. Doolittle. When I was little, I fell in love with Polynesia, the parrot who teaches him animal languages in the original story by Hugh Lofting, and wanted desperately to have a parrot like that of my own. I felt a real connection to Dr. John Doolittle in the very first chapter. His sister isn’t fond of all of the animals he keeps and points out that sick people are going to stop coming to him if he continues to have a “parlor full of hedgehogs and mice.” To which John replies, “But I like the animals better than the best people.”
Over the years I’ve seen a few of the Dr. Doolittle movies as well; the 1967 classic starring Rex Harrison and the more recent series of movies starting with the Dr. Doolittle 1 & 2, starring Eddie Murphy as Dr. Doolittle with Raven Symone (who plays his daughter, Charisse) and Kyla Pratt (who plays his daughter, Maya).
In Dr. Doolittle 3 (2006) Kyla Pratt takes the lead role (although wasn’t it Charisse, Raven Symone’s character, who had inherited her father’s abilities in the last movie?)… Either way, the story follows Maya Doolittle’s trip to save a dude ranch. While I didn’t like the movie nearly as much as the first two, it was a decent way to spend an evening and the kids seemed to enjoy it.
Dr. Doolittle: Tail to the Chief was released last year on DVD, which follows Maya and Lucky on a special assignment from the President, followed up by this year’s DVD release of the latest in the series . . .
Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts
We were glad to see Kyla Pratt back as Maya Doolittle, and really glad to see Lucky. I think it was the Hollywood glam that got my daughter more interested in this latest story. This time Maya’s off to college when a Hollywood starlet named Tiffany Monaco (played by Tegan Moss) seeks out her canine counsel to help with her depressed Chihuahua. It turns out out Princess isn’t too fond of her tiara but Maya is dazzled by the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.
Maya decides to put her plans for a vet degree on hold since the prospect of seven years in college doesn’t hold a candle to the prospect of immediately helping animals via hosting an animal talk show with Tiffany.
But Tinseltown soon looses its glitter and Maya founds herself trapped in a world where nothing is what it seems to be. Eventually Lucky and the other animals save the day and Maya gets back on track.
Worth watching? Yes.
Particularly if you and your kids or grandkids have enjoyed watching the other movies in the series. I think we’ll plan to have a Dr. Doolittle movie marathon one day this summer, starting with the very first 1998 Eddie Murphy movie and ending with Kyla Pratt in Million Dollar Mutt.
Want to find the movies or the classic story book?
Dr. Doolittle on Amazon