Home Movie & TV Reviews Dolittle Parents Guide

Dolittle Parents Guide

by Andrea Updyke

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In our Dolittle parents guide to the movies, I’m sharing a spoiler-free review and parental guide for this magical adventure featuring Robert Downey Jr. 

I took my boys (ages 10 and 8) to a special screening of Dolittle and I’m so glad I did! We had a great time at the movies together and I came away with far more than I expected. 

Dolittle is a fresh new take on a beloved character and if you’re ready for a fun and silly popcorn movie, I think you will love it! 

Read on for my spoiler-free review and a special thanks to Universal Pictures for inviting us to this screening. 

Dolittle Poster

About Dolittle

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this movie. I knew of course, that Dr. Dolittle has the ability to talk to animals and past versions of this story were silly and entertaining. 

I also knew that I loved Robert Downey Jr. so for me it was more about seeing him again on the big screen and less about the story. But I loved the story! 

Not only was RDJ fantastic (I even loved his accent), but the supporting cast is full of incredible talent. My boys are big John Cena fans and we loved him as the voice of Yoshi.

Antonio Banderas made a totally fun eccentric collector and Michael Sheen was the perfectly campy nemesis for Dolittle. 

I could seriously say something fun about each and every character because they were all so entertaining I am still smiling. And there are SO many amazing actors in this film. I lost count!

Here’s the official synopsis: After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria’s England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers  wondrous creatures.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Buckley, John Cena, Harry Collett, Marion Cotillard, Frances de la Tour, Carmen Ejogo, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, Rami Malek, Kumail Nanjiani, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer and Emma Thompson

Directed by: Stephen Gaghan

Produced by: Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Susan Downey

Executive Producers: Robert Downey Jr., Sarah Bradshaw, Zachary Roth

Dolittle Parents Guide

For parents, I can tell you this movie really nails the epic adventure genre. My elementary and soon to be middle-school boys both loved it and I did too. 

Dolittle sits squarely between animated fairy tales and grown-up action movies in a way that I was ok with and my kids enjoyed. 

Don’t let the snooty critics ruin your good time. Dolittle is colorful and silly and entertaining and exactly what it needs to be.

There was a lot of humor, a little emotion and enough suspense to keep the story going without being too scary.

For the sensitive kiddos, there is a fire-breathing dragon at one point in the film that may provide a few of the more intense moments. And for the parents who don’t love potty humor, there is one rather large fart-joke in that same scene so it may not be a bad time to grab a popcorn refill.

I don’t remember the mild language that is claimed in the PG rating, but it’s certainly possible. 

Overall, Dolittle really made me smile and it was a lovely break from all the negativity out here in the real world. And really, isn’t that what the movies are all about?

Dolittle hits theaters on January 17th. Let me know what you think when you see it!

Watch the Dolittle Trailer

See all our movie and tv reviews here. 

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