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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Doctor Dolittle [Blu-ray]


(Richard Fleischer, 1967)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Koch Media



Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:31:08.059

Disc Size: 21,637,536,480 bytes

Feature Size: 19,944,622,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.10 Mbps

Chapters: 17

Case: 12-page Digibook Blu-ray case

Release date: October 21st, 2011



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1809 kbps 4.0 / 48 kHz / 1809 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 4.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1084 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1084 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1078 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1078 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)



English, German, Italian, none



• Trailers






Description: So, they let both Rex Harrison and Anthony Newley sing. This 1968 family musical is classier than the 1998 Eddie Murphy remake, with all of its scatological humor. This won a couple of Oscars (Best Song, Best Effects) and was nominated for seven more, including Best Picture. At the time of release, however, this was a box-office dud. Based (in part) on the magical Hugh Lofting book, it begins in Puddleby-by-the-Marsh, England, from which the world-renowned veterinarian Dolittle (Harrison) begins his quest for a giant pink sea snail. Children should find this enjoyable for its exotic creatures, such as the Pushme-Pullyou. Most adults may not agree as readily, although some of us consider this a guilty pleasure.


Doctor Dolittle is a world-renowned veterinarian who speaks a wide array of animal languages. He sets off from his home... in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, England, in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail. In so doing, he and his friends meet such exotic creatures as the Pushme-Pullyu and the Giant Moon Moth.



The Film:

The extremely patient will love Rex Harrison's quirky comic work here, and the man reportedly went to outrageous lengths to complete the film -- including being frequently bitten and urinated on. The lush sets and presentation are a big disconnect with the silly story, but that ultimately turns out to be part of the joy of the movie. Too bad the second half, in which Dolittle goes on a sea voyage in search of a giant sea snail, is such a disconnect from the much more fun first half.

Excerpt from Christopher Null at located HERE

Those who have not encountered the bright-eyed, roly-poly little man within the pages of Mr. Lofting's wonderful stories, either in childhood or as a parent with a reading job to do, may find this elaborate whimsy, all done up with animals and quaint costumes, very much the thing to take the kiddies to at Christmas—and no damage done to images. And certainly the youngsters should enjoy it, provided they can take the two-and-a-half-hour length, not including an intermission, which is thoughtfully inserted at just about the right place.

Excerpt from NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Doctor Dolittle arrives on Blu-ray from Koch Media in Germany. This is only single-layered for the 2.5-hour film and my major complaint would be the colors  -which seem not only less vibrant than I was anticipating - but have an earthy brown bias - giving the skin tones a grayish overlay. Detail is promisingly visible and detail is acceptable. This Blu-ray is superior to SD and I guess with the film's middling reception - it probably won't be set for dynamic marketing in the near future. Frankly, it's just not that big of a moneymaker. This Blu-ray isn't of sterling quality but my presentation was consentient and, at best, reasonable.


















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master in an odd 4.0 channel mix at 1809 kbps works reasonably well. I can't say I noted any strong depth but the singing was very pleasant (I kinda like Anthony Newley's style.). There is some crispness overall but I can't say I was overly impressed. The disc offers optional subtitles in English, German and Italian and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

The supplements appear to be nothing more than a couple of trailers and an image gallery.



If you have the time to spend - with some kiddies in the room - this isn't such a bad way to entertain. Doctor Dolittle has enough charisma to make for a nostalgic evening. Popcorn is probably a good idea... and a little scotch. I'll admit that I've never seen the Eddie Murphy remake. The Blu-ray is imperfect but I wouldn't anticipate anything better on the near horizon. Those who have some strong memories of the film may wish to indulge - the rest won't be missing too much although I, personally, found more to like than I was expecting. I guess that is not much of a recommendation.

Gary Tooze

December 13th, 2011

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze





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