Entertaining fantasy musical based on the novels of Hugh Lofting, about the magnificent Victorian-era veterinary doctor who can talk to animals.
As a result of his treatment by his neighbours, which leads to his arrest, Doctor Dolittle decides to abandon his surgery for humans in favour of a practice that solely treats animals.
He learns nearly 500 animal dialects from his parrot, Polynesia, and becomes the proud possessor of a pushmi-pullyu. But his greatest ambition is to travel to the South Seas in search of the elusive great pink sea snail (pictured at right) and the Giant Lunar Moth.
The songs are forgettable – with the possible exception of the Oscar-winning Talk to the Animals – but the colour, locations and special effects are charming (the special effects also won an Academy Award).
Rex Harrison is in the title role with support from Anthony Newley, Samantha Eggar, Richard Attenborough (rather good as Mr Blossom), and Peter Bull . . . and lots and lots of animals, of course.
Doctor John Dolittle