But speaking of movie musicals ... I’m old enough to have seen the original Dr. Dolittle movie musical in the movie theater. It came out in 1967 and somehow the song If I Could Talk to the Animals found its way into my fourteen year old heart, sitting alongside Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds from the Sergeant Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The tune—despite Rex Harrison’s talk/singing style won the Best Song Oscar that year. For me, it didn’t hurt that while the film starred Rex Harrison as the good doctor, it also featured a floppy-haired Beatlesque Anthony Newley and a love triangle.
With that warm fuzzy memory in mind, I was delighted to learn that Robert Downey Junior is going to reprieve the role. The new Dr. Dolittle will be based on the original book The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle written by Hugh Lofting in 1920. Will it be a musical? With the current popularity of the genre, it could be.
About the book
Doctor Dolittle heads for the high seas in perhaps the most amazing adventure ever experienced by man or animal. Told by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins, crewman and future naturalist, the voyages of Doctor Dolittle and his company lead them to Spidermonkey Island. Along with his faithful friends, Polynesia the parrot and Chee-Chee the monkey, Doctor Dolittle survives a perilous shipwreck and lands on the mysterious floating island. There he meets the wondrous Great Glass See Snail who holds the key to the greatest mystery of all.
It may be just because I can picture Robert Downey Jr. in the period costume—thanks to his role in the Sherlock films—but I’m ready to buy in to the American actor as the good doctor.
How about you? Are you in?