Dr. Dolittle 2
Title: Dr. Dolittle 2
Release Date: October 23, 2001
Running Time: approximately 87 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: The doctor must train a circus bear in the ways of nature, or a forest will be wiped out by unscrupulous loggers.
Version: Special Edition
Commentary by Producer Michele Imperato Stabile and Director Steve Carr
Extended scenes with commentary by Stabile and Carr
Behind the special effects with Rhythm & Hues
HBO "Making of" Documentary
"Bear Necessities - A Kid's Guide To Grizzlies"
Animal Planet "Wild On The Set" featurette
Theatrical trailers & TV spots
Music Video: "Cluck Cluck" by The Product G&B with Wyclef
NUON enhanced features.
Choice Scene: Andy Dick as a weasel. It's the ultimate match of voice and animal, and there's not enough of it.
Tech Specs: Anamorphic Widescreen (Aspect Ratio 2.35:1), English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, English & Spanish subtitles.
For the Fanboy Planet review of the movie, go here.
After a moderately successful theatrical run (over $100 million - but now that's moderate), Fox has this fun family movie out on video in plenty of time for the holidays. For the simple fact that kids will watch this over and over (and over and over), buying the DVD over a VHS copy makes a lot of sense. But what makes this a special edition?
The things that usually attract DVD buyers to "special editions" show up as a mixed bag here.
The commentary by Director Steve Carr and Producer Michele Imperator Stabile has a few interesting things to say. Eventually. For the most part, the commentary proves that just because DVDs can offer commentary doesn't mean they always should. With only one other movie to his credit, Next Friday, Carr just doesn't have much to say, nor does the film invite much analysis anyway. Maybe if Eddie Murphy himself were in the recording studio it would have been different. As it is, Carr and Stabile spend a lot of time just talking about what geniuses all the actors are and how great they are. It gets a little embarrassing on one of the extended scenes, which features a Murphy crony who missed the final cut. The scene just isn't funny, nor is it as poignant as Carr would have you believe. Eventually, he realizes that himself. Maybe commentators should do more than one take.
Kids will enjoy the bonus materials, though. Both documentaries featuring Murphy's co-star Tank The Bear provide a lot of educational material rendered painless by occasional comments from Steve Zahn voicing Archie. The HBO "Making of" special spends most of its time on a recap of Murphy's career. It might send older viewers back to watch some of his early work, and it's clean enough that younger kids will get a kick out of it (especially his "ice cream" routine from Delirious).
Occasionally a little creepy (but cool), the behind-the-scenes look at the special effects really serves as an eye opener. For such a light comedy, it's amazing how much work went into so many seemingly simple shots. And the Rhythm & Hues shop deserves credit for making it look seamless (and much better than the awkward work in Cats & Dogs). For tying it all together, Carr gets served better here than by his own commentary.
The only frustrating aspect of the disc is its section set aside for NUON-enhanced DVD players. A fairly new standard being marketed by Toshiba and Samsung, nowhere does the disc explain what a viewer might be missing. It could be cool, and for now, we have no idea.
Yes, in the next week Dr. Dolittle 2 probably won't stand up against the juggernaut of Dreamworks' Shrek release (review coming later). Give it a chance, and make it an Eddie Murphy Double Feature.
Buy it here