Gobble gobble

You’d think Hugh Lofting’s stories about a doctor who can talk to animals would be a natural for film adaptation. But the venerable Rex Harrison’s 1967 effort flopped, and Eddie Murphy’s 1998 movie and sequels didn’t do much better. And now if Robert Downey Jr. can’t make it work, I think we can safely conclude that it’s unfilmable.

Awkward narrative has a reclusive Dr. D, despondent after his wife’s death, being coerced out of self-pitying retirement by the grave illness of the young queen to embark on a CGI sea voyage to seek the herb that will cure her. Or something.

I found it fitfully amusing and rarely flat-out annoying, but that may have been due to low expectations. Other than babysitter duty for harried parents, I can’t think of a reason to recommend it.

(101 min)