While this movie was just as cute and quirky at its origin, Dr. John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) becomes a Dr. DoGooder as the request of his furry and feathered patients. This movie has its silly, make you ROFL moments, but there are not quite as many as in the first one. The girls are a little older now, and Dolittle is so busy splitting his time as being both an M.D. and a veterinarian, that he does not even realise that his eldest, Charisse (Raven-Symoné) is dating regularly, let alone that her current boyfriend is Eric, the pizza delivery boy (Lil’ Zane). Maya (Kyla Pratt) is still as cute as ever as the animal and science-loving little nerd girl. There is a new strife cutting through Dolittle’s relationship with his wife, Lisa (Kristen Wilson), as he is spending less and less time with his family. Dolittle takes it upon himself to send the family on a spur of the moment vacation to bring everyone back together when a new chink in plans kicks in.
His forest friends find him in the middle of the night, and let him know that there is a habitat that will be destroyed by a developer, Joe Potter (Jeffrey Jones). The man is portrayed as a big ball of greed and big game hunter. All he sees is his bottom line, and nothing that is destroyed in the process to get it. After learning that the only way to stop the bulldozers from taking over the forest is to mate a wild Pacific Western bear, Ava (v.a.Lisa Kudrow) with one of her own kind, since they are so rare, he takes it on himself to make sure this happens. The only other Pacific Western bear in the region happens to be a circus bear, Archie (v.a.Steve Zahn). Archie knows nothing of the wild, and it is going to take Dolittle and his team of forest animals to make a real wild animal worthy of Ava’s affections.
So, the promised vacation becomes a working vacation in the forest for Dolittle as he tries to make a real bear of Archie before a deadline of one month is up. Archie is to not have any contact with the human world, except for Dolittle. The moment Archie screws up, the deal is off, and Potter can get the land he is wanting for his newest project.
There is a cute romantic aspect to this film, but it does not lie in with Dolittle and Lisa trying to rekindle a spark, or with Charisse and Eric finding new love, but with the bears, Ava and Archie. It was fresh to see this sort of thing used is this movie where even the animals have personalities. Archie even has a rival for Ava, Sonny, a Kodiak bear (v.a. Mike Epps). Ava really does not have near as much fun with Sonny as she does with Archie, so getting the two Pacific Western bears is not so much a problem as the sabotage Potter and his flunkies do to make sure that Archie is not able to make the connection.
This movie is still good family fare, but not the best out there. There is a wide range of well-known actors doing the voices of the animals, and making them larger than life, especially during the worldwide animals’ strike. They stand their ground on this environmental issue of loss of habitat, which makes some of wish that more of us could understand what they are telling us outside of a movie. Still, it is enjoyable, and there are points where the kids will be going through much silly giggling, which is always a good sign. They might even learn something about going green. Maybe we all will.
I give this film a Musing review of