As a kid, I knew two things about Doctor Dolittle: there was a movie and maybe a book about him, and he talked to animals. I had no clue what a fun book series it was, or how much it would appeal to my sense of humor. A few weeks ago I assigned Doctor Dolittle to the kids as a book and a movie for us to read and watch together, and I’m so incredibly glad I did (and this is one of those few times I’m sharing about it fairly recently after our reading the book).
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Doctor Dolittle summary
Doctor Dolittle* is about an English doctor who finds he loves the animals of his town more than the people and slowly learns how to speak the languages of the animals. Of course, a doctor who can speak to animals and is able to help them will slowly get more and more animal patients, and that is of course where the crazy hijinks ensue. A couple of books worth of hijinks (it is fun to type out the work hijinks to see all those dots above the letters).
All in all, the Doctor Dolittle book was a wild success with my daughter, and at least rather amusing to my boys.
This is technically at a third-grade reading level. In all honesty, I’d bump it up to 4th grade because of the writing style, but it makes an amazing read aloud for third grade.
Doctor Dolittle movie night snacks
We chose to watch the Rex Harrison version of Doctor Dolittle* because I thought it would stay a bit closer to the books, and I was mostly right. It was closer to the feel of the book, but didn’t follow the plot exactly (Princess complained about the added love interest in the movie, because you certainly can’t have a movie without a love interest, insert eye roll, but she said if she hadn’t read the books she would have loved it all).
We watched this while I was desperately trying to figure out how to organize a surprise family trip up to Iowa and Wisconsin over Thanksgiving break because of a funeral (the Iowa part was more because if we’re going to cross the Mason-Dixon line might as well stop by to see Tara). So I went for super simple snacks this time if I was able to open it up and call it the right snack I was happy. I kinda want to brainstorm some better ideas later, but this worked for now.
- snuff boxes- marshmallow cream cookies* (because the kids wanted them, I liked our Treasure Island snuff boxes better)
- stethescope- made using licorice whips* and double-stuffed Oreos* (the kids LOVED these)
- lenses for eyeglasses (because I couldn’t figure out how to literally make eye glasses)- ‘nilla wafers*, I wish I could have figured out how to make it into real glasses…..
- mouse food- sliced cheese
- horse food- apples (these were originally going to be boats like in Stuart Little, but I didn’t tell Batman before he had chopped them up into small slices), I was also going to get carrots, but forgot to get them out
- fish- because of the sea voyage and my kids wanted goldfish*
- dog food- salami, and the Scooby Snacks* I picked up because I like to eat them
- parrot food- crackers*
- rope- licorice*
- coconut milk- Fresca* (I got a 2 liter, but Amazon doesn’t have that, and I wanted to show what I got) because it amused all of us, if it had been a different time of year and I was better at getting raw coconut out of the shell I would totally have done that. I might have broken a butter knife attempting to get the “meat” out of the coconut…..
All in all our Doctor Dolittle movie night was a huge success and the kids wholeheartedly approved
Natalie PlanetSmarty says
I had an old edition of Dr Doolittle from the library book sale and it was definitely not “politically correct”. I heard that newer editions were…umm… corrected in that sense. Never watched a movie, but I can see it being fun!
I oddly like the not “politically correct” version because it lets us see how our viewpoint of people have changed. Back when the book was written, he probably thought he was treating them quite respectfully (or at least I know in the case of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, that was the thought, same with Jules Verne, you could see his love of the cultures he wrote about in his book, even if he felt they were not as civilized).
The movie really was quite a lot of fun, and at least the Rex Harrison version we watched felt true to the original intent of the book. The Eddie Murphy one looked like it was played all for laughs, which is a shame.