dolittleStudio: 20th Century Fox
Year: 2009
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Run time: 87 minutes
Rating: PG

Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD50
Region: A

An all-star cast of loveable animals highlights this fast and furry-ous adventure set in exciting Hollywood, where everyone’s favorite wise-acre mutt Lucky proves he’s worth millions in love and laughter! It’s Lucky to the rescue when his owner, Maya Dolittle (Kyla Pratt), finds herself in hot water – Hollywood-style! Dropping her dreams of becoming a vet, Maya (and Lucky) travel to L.A. where her talent for talking to animals lands her a job hosting an animal talk show with famous heiress Tiffany Monaco (Tegan Moss)! But just as Lucky starts falling in love with a pedigreed pooch, Maya falls out of love with Tiffany’s bird-brained ideas about how to help animals. And just when Maya thinks she’ll be trapped in Tinseltown forever and never become a vet, Lucky, his new girlfriend and a whole herd of their animal friends spring, trot, fly and slither into action to save the day!

Parents need to know that this straight-to-DVD film is entertaining and heartfelt family fare, reinforcing a healthy skepticism about celebrity and pushing education as a better long-term plan. The main character’s dad is out of the picture on a research trip, but she has a solid relationship with her mom, and only gets in trouble when she ignores her instincts. A dog gets sick but recovers.

Each iteration of the ‘Dr. Doolittle’ series has given the Maya Doolittle character a chance to mature, and in this movie she is truly a stellar role model for girls. She’s smart and — after learning from a few bad decisions — understands why education is a priority. She is polite to everyone she meets, human or animal, and consequently is liked by nearly everyone she encounters. She has a great relationship with her mom, and apologizes when she makes mistakes. And Pratt is a beautiful, healthy girl without being scarily thin — something that the down-to-earth love interest Brandon (Brandon Jay McClaren) seems to appreciate.

Families can talk about the difference between having talent and having training. Maya’s family gift — the ability to talk to animals — only gets her so far in her goal to help animals. Someone observes that Tiffany has photo opportunities, not friends.
Movie Content: 6/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Colors are vivid and bold looking. Flesh tones are natural and accurate. You can see strands of fur in the dog’s coats which provides for a sharp and detailed image. Black levels are strong.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix. his is more of a dialogue driven film, so it does not take advantage of the soundfield. During the moments that the soundfield is used, it’s for the soundtrack and the minor effects. Dialogue is clean through the center channel with no apparent hiccups.
Audio Quality: 8.5/10

Special Features

  • “Tiffany’s Tricked-Out Cell Phone”
  • “No Business Like Show Business”
  • “Star Tour: Dolittle Style”
  • Marley & Me Trailer
  • DVD Copy of the film

Special Features: 8/10

The Final Word

Within a year’s time we have had another ‘Dr. Dolittle’ film. I really enjoyed this series at the beginning with Eddie Murphy, but with each passing film they just becomes more watered down. This is a direct to video release, but on Blu-ray the film offers excellent video and audio + a DVD copy of the film.
Overall Rating: 8/10

Review by: George Theofanopoulos