Dr. Dolittle (1998 film)

Eddie Murphy was the undisputed king of comedy in the late ’90s. Most modern audiences have no clue who he is, and how huge his impact was on the comedy industry. The way he inspired Afro-American comics to take the stage and write their own destinies. The late 90s in particular were his most empowered time, this is when he was transforming from a Saturday Night Live legend into a bonafide movie star. Today, we’re setting our sights on Dr. Dolittle (1998), a quirky comedy that was part of Murphy’s comedy empire at the time.

How to Download Dr. Dolittle (1998 film)

The film was released on June 26, 1998. You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Additionally, check out our review of a more recent take on the story – Dolittle (2020).

The Movie Review

Key Facts

Fact Information
Movie Title Dr. Dolittle (1998)
Genre Comedy
Release Date June 26, 1998
Download and Streaming Available for download/streaming.
Additional Film Check out our review of a more recent take on the story – Dolittle (2020).
Main Characters John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy), various animals
Plot Dr. Dolittle, a physician with the ability to communicate with animals, embarks on adventures with his talking animal friends.
Humor and Heart The film balances humor with its heartwarming elements.
Entertainment Value Offers a wild and entertaining ride with Eddie Murphy’s comedic prowess.
Director Betty Thomas
Visual and Audio Aspects Impressive animal effects and a whimsical soundtrack.

The Plot and Humor

Dr. Dolittle is a comedy film that you can immediately tell is an Eddie Murphy film. It tells the tale of John Dolittle, a once-promising physician who discovers he has a unique ability to communicate with animals after a near-death experience.

As he rekindles this childhood gift, his life takes a wild turn, leading to adventures with chatty creatures, zoo mishaps, and even a quest to save a circus tiger. It’s a premise that’s pure escapism, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, so neither should you.

Murphy’s Comedic Prowess

While the plot might seem somewhat familiar, you know, the whole talking animal gig, it still manages to keep you chuckling. What really lifts Dr. Dolittle above the sea of animal-talking flicks is the dialogue. Eddie Murphy is a one-man show when it comes to bantering with the critters.

Seriously, he has mastered his comedic timing down to perfection, and his charisma is off the charts. Even though the screenplay is a bunch of conversations that are all sorts of crazy (imagine talking to a squirrel about, well, squirrel stuff), Murphy somehow makes it feel completely, and I mean completely, legit.

Direction and Entertainment Value

It’s a wild ride, but the director Betty Thomas knows just how to handle it. She lets the nuttiness of the idea shine without going overboard and drowning you in it. She walks a tightrope over a pool full of laughter, and honestly, the balance that she creates in the film is pretty much perfect. However, not everything is perfect in the film.

There is a huge hint of predictability in the film’s story, from the very first moment the movie starts to the end, almost everything is predetermined and you can tell. However, it’s still as entertaining as it can be.

Eddie Murphy’s Performance

Eddie Murphy is, without a doubt, the film’s heart and soul. He effortlessly embodies the charismatic yet bumbling Dr. Dolittle, making you believe in his peculiar ability. The supporting cast, including Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, and the voice talents behind the animals, add their own unique flavors to the mix.

The side stories are nothing exceptional because almost no other character has the same development as Dolittle. So, it’s Murphy who carries the film on his shoulders.

Visual and Audio Aspects

The animal effects, for the time, are impressive, and the seamless blend of live-action and CGI adds to the film’s appeal. However, it’s fair to note that by today’s standards, some of the CGI work may seem a tad dated. The cinematography on the other hand is as good as it can be with the film being a comedy, and almost every visual moment being predetermined to look ‘funny’ rather than any artistic approaches.

You could basically say the same for the soundtrack as well.


The soundtrack is a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s filled with fun, toe-tapping tunes, it lacks a truly standout original song in the score catalog. Still, the music adds a dose of whimsy to the proceedings and complements the film’s lighthearted tone. So I can’t really be mad about it.

Final Thoughts on Dr. Dolittle

The grand collection of Murphy’s ’90s laugh-fests pulls its weight. It’s the kind of movie you can gather the whole family around to enjoy. Why? Because it’s Eddie being Eddie – funny, charismatic, and the life of the party. Sure, the plot might follow a somewhat predictable course, but who cares when you’ve got Eddie having full-on conversations with a bunch of talkative critters?

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Dr. Dolittle.

There are a few speed bumps along the way. Some plot points might be as easy to predict, and the CGI looks very dated for modern audiences. Yet, it’s never bad enough for you to dislike it, gather everyone around you and watch this with the most people you can find. It’s worth it.

Dr. Dolittle (1998 film)
Dr. Dolittle is a 1998 comedy based on children stories by English American writer Hugh John Lofting (1886-1947). Download it now and enjoy Eddie Murphy in aciton.
6.5 Total Score
Dr. Dolittle (1998 film) Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • Eddie Murphy's hilarious animal conversations
  • Family-friendly entertainment
  • Playful direction by Betty Thomas
  • Nostalgic '90s comedy
  • Predictable plot
  • Outdated CGI
  • Bland cinematography and camerawork
  • Soundtrack doesn’t add much to the film
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)
20th Century Fox
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Zain Bhatti

Zain Bhatti

Zain is an aspiring filmmaker who has invested thousands of hours of his life into understanding films and the way they are made. He has a passion for films, a love for cinematography, and adores a film that breaks the rules to bring something refreshing to the table!

Apart from films he also has a love for video games with immersive worlds and adores any piece of consumable media that he can analyze for countless hours.