Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief (2008)
Problematic Presidential Pooch
So here we are at the 4th movie in the "Dr. Dolittle" series which currently stands at 5 movies and like its predecessor "Dr. Dolittle 3" the focus is upon Maya played by Kyla Pratt with no Eddie Murphy or the actual Dr. Dolittle in sight. Now whilst "Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief" isn't a great movie it does what it sets out to do which is entertain children with some inoffensive fun. We have Maya Dolittle helping the President with in an issue with his dog and at the same time inadvertently helping the President's teenage daughter and also saving the day when it comes to an important political deal. If you watch this 4th movie under the delusion it will be like either of the first two starring Eddie Murphy you will be disappointed, which is why it is often rated down, but as entertainment for young children it works.
After a year of getting her head around the fact that she can talk to animals Maya Dolittle (Kyla Pratt) is ready to follow in her father's footsteps and go to University to study veterinary. Unfortunately being the daughter of a popular vet brings with it some issues especially when the interview board are more interested in what her dad is up to than her. So when two men from the Whitehouse show up at the Dolittle home in need of the great Dr. Dolittle to help President Sterling (Peter Coyote) with a pet pooch problem Maya volunteers to go as her father is on expedition out of the country. Realising she is a bit over her head Maya initially struggles but with a little Presidential pep talk Maya gets to grips with the doggy dilemma and inadvertently not only helps the First Daughter but also saves an important political deal.
The thing about "Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief" is that you need to watch it with low expectations, this is not really a sequel but a spin off aimed at young children which goes purely for family friendly fun. As an adult there is no denying that it is all incredibly cheesy but in its simplistic innocence it is also quite pleasant and enjoyable in a seriously inoffensive manner, I can't remember seeing anything which would cause embarrassment. And whilst it is all incredibly simplistic the moral message about the importance of rainforests is delivered in such a way that children old enough to be paying attention will take it in.
Now the key to "Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief" is the likeability of Kyla Pratt as Maya and Pratt has this sweet charm about her that even when she does something utterly corny it is entertaining, and trust me there is a lot of corniness in this 4th movie. Aside from Pratt well Peter Coyote makes for a nice President and Elise Gatien is okay as the First daughter but it is all about the likeability of Pratt which makes this movie tick.
What this all boils down to is that "Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief" is only average but it does what it sets out to do which is provide some Dr. Dolittle humour for young children. It is inoffensive and fun and whilst there are those who bemoan it for being inferior to the first two Dr. Dolittle movies it works for its target audience.
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