Making the Grades
In Dr. Dolittle 2, a substantially more restrained Eddie Murphy revives his role as the gifted physician who can talk to the animals. Called into service by the local wildlife when a nasty lumber company threatens to destroy their homes, Dr. John Dolittle figures the mating of two endangered Pacific Western bears may be the perfect prescription for the problem.
Given a one-month environmental reprieve from the loggers, Dolittle attempts to reintroduce a dancing circus bear named Archie (voice by Steve Zahn) into the wild, and turn him into an engaging and savvy suitor for Ava the woodland bear. Unfortunately, Ava (voiced by Lisa Kudrow) isn't charmed by the wimpy and whiney former performer.
Meanwhile, Dolittle's hectic medical schedule and preoccupation with the work-related romance is putting a crimp in his personal life. But packing the family up for a much-needed vacation in the Californian forest backfires when his daughter's (Raven-Symone) amorous boyfriend (rapper Lil' Zane) shows up for a visit. Keeping a tether on the teenaged couple while resuscitating his own matrimonial flame keeps this good doctor running between ailments.
Although Murphy keeps a relative check on the profanities and earns this film a PG rating, there are still scads of sexual innuendos regarding human and animal encounters alike, including plenty of animal discussion about virginity, mating practices, and interspecies relations. Known for his vulgar sense of comedy, most of the one-liners in this movie--aside from the sexual gags--reek of bathroom humor with one scene showing a distraught doctor stuck in a diner bathroom with a flatulent bear.
Murphy does give a surprisingly positive depiction of a caring, albeit over-worked, father and husband, and pulls off some witty quips with his human co-stars. But even that combined with lots of cute animals won't save this film from itself. Concerned parents will likely find Dr. Do is a don't.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dr. Dolittle 2.
In the beginning of the movie, Charisse is embarrassed by her father’s ability to talk to the animals but she develops a new respect for his talent. Does her appreciation help improve the father/daughter relationship? What worries her about her father’s ability?
Ava and Archie come from very different backgrounds. How important is it to have common interests and values in a long-term relationship? How did their differences enhance or hinder their relationship?