Something Wild
Dr. Dolittle 2
Review by Ross Anthony

A bit stale in the startup, you won't crack a smile until daughter Dolittle Charisse opens her birthday gift ... a chameleon who quips, "This isn't Puerto Vallarta!" The lizard is every bit as charming minus the "bud" advertisement.

But before the real fun begins, a rather overt one-sided piece of environmentalist propaganda slaps across the screen. Basically, the rodent Mafia summons Dr. D. to save their forest from evil loggers. Granted, saving forests and habitats is all well and fine AND the story IS told from the animals' point of view; it's just that loggers are a species too.

In order to accomplish this task, DR. D. must find a mate for the only existing Pacific Western bear in the forest. That mate turns out to be a song and dance man (err, bear) voiced marvelously by Steve Zahn. He's endlessly lovable and pathetically appealing. Further, Lisa Kudrow gives Ava (the wild bear) a sweet, yet, bluntly delightful personality. This is where the fun really begins. Archie (the spoiled city bear) must learn to thrive in the wilderness or Ava will be unimpressed with his less-than-manly demeanor. In one wonderful scene, Dr. D. explains the finer points of being ferocious as Archie baths himself in a porcelain tub.

Dr. D., "How are you going to eat fish, if you can't catch any?"
Archie, "Red Lobster."

Dr. D., "You sleep all winter in the cave, it's called hibernation."
Archie, "Sounds more like depression."

Archie tries to roar, "Grrrr! Bears say 'grrrrr.' Right?"

Eddie, Raven -Symone (Charisse), and Tank (Archie) also give strong performances. Your kids will have a lot of fun and they'll learn a bit about bears too.

Fun Fact: Tank (Archie the circus bear's real name) responded well to positive reinforcement says director Steve Carr, "Tank would complete a take, then sit there, and there would be a choir of 'Good boy, good boy' [from the cast and crew] that would last fifteen minutes. If I had received that much positive reinforcement, I'd be president!" Carr also maintains that although some puppetry and animation was used, 90% of those you see on the screen are real animals.

  • Dr. Dolittle 2. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG.
  • Starring Eddie Murphy, Kristen Wilson, Raven -Symone, Kyla Pratt, Lil' Zane, Steve Zahn (as Archie), Lisa Kudrow (Ava), Jacob Vargas (Pepito), Mike Epps (Sonny), Michael Rapaport (Joey) and Norm MacDonald as Lucky.
  • Directed by Steve Carr.
  • Written by Larry Levin.
  • Produced by John Davis at 20th Century Fox.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:13:27 PDT