An interesting follow-up to the film's Eddie Murphy reinvigorated.
I would have liked a featurette exclusively focusing on John Amos.
Maya Dolittle (Kyla Pratt) is a young girl who just wants to fit in. Sadly, she has inherited her father's ability to communicate with animals. After getting into some trouble, her mom sends her off to the Durango dude ranch which she hopes will teach Kyla to be more responsible. The big problem is that Maya talks to animals, people see her talk to animals and automatically they label her as a freak. After a slow start at the Durango, Kyla eventually begins to get her wings under her (no pun intended), but when it becomes clear that the Durango is in some financial trouble, Kyla uses her gift of gab with the animals in the best possible way.
Overall, Doctor Dolittle 3 is a pretty enjoyable movie. While decidedly much lower budget than the films starring Eddie Murphy, I really feel that they have done the franchise proud. Kyla Pratt is such a warm presence on screen and there is also something very genuine in her delivery. Also, she is bolstered by a top notch supporting cast including John Amos as Jud, Walker Howard as Bo and the sassy Luciana Carro as Brooklyn.
Done at separate times and cut together (though we know right off that they aren't in the same room), these commentary tracks feature director Rich Thorne and Kyla Pratt. I really like the attitudes that both of these people have on here. They are serious but at the same time they are also having fun. Thorne will describe how a shot was pulled off and is very candid if he was shooting in a location he didn't like. Pratt takes a more personal approach as she seems to be examining her character while watching the movie at the same time.
Growing Up Dolittle
As Kyla Pratt played Maya Doolittle in all three of the Doctor Dolittle movies, it makes sense that there would be a featurette on this DVD in which she gets to discuss this role. She goes from film to film talking about her experiences on the sets, but even more interesting for me was hearing her talk about what it was like being a child actress. I mean, it isn't every kid who finishes class and then goes on auditions and does Eddie Murphy movies.
Making Dr. Dolittle 3
This is a pretty typical making of in which we hear from actors like Pratt, Howard and Amos as they discuss their characters and how they relate to the film. We also hear from director Rich Thorne who really seems to be trying to elevate this material from being just another sequel. Also, he seems to have gone out of his way to give all the characters moments on the screen where they can stand out.
This movie can be watched in either Widescreen Anamorphic - 1.78:1 or Full Screen - 1.33:1. I chose to watch it in Widescreen simply because I like seeing the whole picture. At times this film looked like a TV show and truthfully, the images on screen don't have the fullness of the other movies. There really isn't anything about this film that stands out as far as shot composition or lighting. It is just a solidly put together movie that doesn't ask a lot from it's audience.
English - 5.1 Dolby Surround. Spanish and French - Dolby Surround. Close Captioned. Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. Like the picture the audio is pretty much on par with that. I was able to hear what the characters were saying and for the most part it doesn't do anything to take the viewer out of the story they are watching.
Pratt stands smiling on the front cover with dogs, a monkey and two ducks (all characters from the film) surrounding her. On the back, Pratt seems to have posed for a publicity picture while we have a horse and monkey making faces. There is a description of what Doctor Dolittle 3 is about, some special features, a cast list and technical specs for both the widescreen and full screen versions of this film.
What I found the most interesting about this movie was how even though it is lower budget in scope, in some ways it seems more richer than the Eddie Murphy films. When the animals and Maya communicate, this looked just as good to me as it did in the Eddie Murphy movies. In fact, despite this film looking like a TV show at times, I really think that Doctor Dolittle 3 took the storyline in an interesting direction. After two films, I think the Eddie Murphy portion of this movie was played out. By focusing on his younger daughter who has the same power, I think that they have found a way to give new life to this franchise and maybe even get a few more movies out of it.
Doctor Dolittle 3 is a fine film for everyone.
Dr. Dolittle 3 was released April 25, 2006.