Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's taken awhile but I finally sat down and watched Dr. Dolittle: Hail to the Chief. The movie stars Kyla Pratt as Maya Dolittle, the daughter of Eddie Murphy's character in the Dr. Dolittle movies. (This direct-to-dvd movie is a sequel to a made-for-tv sequel to the original two theatrical releases, and if you think that's convoluted wait until you see the plot for this movie)

Maya is hoping to follow in her father's footsteps and become a veterinarian, since she shares his gift of being able to talk to animals. Unfortunately her grades are not great and she's not going to get in to Veterinarian's school based on her father's name alone. It looks like her plans will have to be changed when a session with some baby animals goes completely awry and leaves her future in jeopardy. It's gonna take a big recommendation to get Maya into school.

Luckily the President comes calling on her father, who happens to be in Antarctica, and Maya answers the call instead. (and here's where it gets complicated) The President's Dog Daisy is a symbol of his presidency and all it stands for, but recently she's start acting out and become a bad dog. You may ask "Why does this matter?" Well I'm glad you did ask, you see the President is trying to save a rain forest by getting the leader of an African nation to sign a treaty to save the rain forest and the animals that reside in it, but last time it was ruined by the President puking on the African leader. But he's finally convinced the leader to join him for a state's dinner in his honor, and the leader's bringing his daughter a huge Daisy fan. so of course if daisy is acting bad, she'll destroy an entire rain forest.

The story quickly moves to the President's ranch/wild life preserve where Maya can talk to dozens of new animals. The movie is clearly aimed at kids, although the love interest for Maya and the random last act introduction of a villain trying to keep the treaty from being signed do show that the creators were trying to get to the young teen audience as well, something I fear it doesn't do.

Let's be honest, this movie is not for adults, and was quite painful for me to get through. But it is something young kids, specifically those under the age of 8 or 9 could really enjoy. It's a good kids movie with good clean content, and only a few poop jokes so parents can rest easy letting the little ones watch it.

Special features include: Critter Casting Sessions” featurette, “Working With Actors Of A Different Breed” featurette, “Goin’ Wild at Mountain View” featurette, and “Learning About Endangered Animals” featurette.

Final Verdict: Something to leave for the babysitter to watch with the kids, so the parents don't have to suffer through it.


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