Mandatory Movie Battles: Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Dolittle’ vs. Eddie Murphy’s ‘Doctor Dolittle’

As one of the most unlikely franchises in Hollywood history, the Doctor Dolittle movies have somehow become a mainstay of the talking animal sub-genre. Though Doctor Doolittle was released all the way back in 1967 to middling reviews, it eventually became a cult classic. It wasn’t until the loose 1998 adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s source material, however, that the franchise really began to take off. While Dr. Dolittle didn’t have much luck with the critics, Eddie Murphy’s star power was able to make the movie a box office success. Even though that film got a theatrical and two direct-to-video sequels, the franchise has remained dormant in the time since. With the reboot of the franchise, simply titled Dolittle and starring Robert Downey Jr., finally arriving in theaters, how does it stack up to the 1998 film? Let’s find out!

Cover Photo: Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox

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Even for the average layman, there’s no doubt that Dolittle comes close to being an unmitigated disaster. With a production budget that rivals most summer blockbusters at $175 million, it’s honestly a miracle that anyone even greenlit the project to begin with. Considering that the same studio also produced the atrocity against humanity that is Cats, this also isn’t surprising. Regardless, Dolittle is the type of movie that is meant to appeal to children and adults alike. Unfortunately, it ends up appealing to neither of these demographics, ultimately making something that won’t really appeal to most people.

Overall Winner: Dr. Dolittle