DR. DOLITTLE: TAIL TO THE CHIEF
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Kyla Pratt as MAYA DOLITTLE
Peter Coyote as THE PRESIDENT
Elise Gatien as COURTNEY
Niall Matter as COLE FLETCHER
Developed by: Craig Shapiro
BY KEVIN CARR
It may not be a product of the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, but it might as well be. “Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief” is a direct-to-DVD sequel that follows the daughter of Dr. Dolittle from the first two feature films. This movie again has Maya Dolittle (Kyla Pratt) as the main character. As she’s prepping for her college entrance exams, Maya is called on a special assignment.
It seems that the President’s dog is having some behavior problems. Because her father is in Antarctica saving the whales (presumably because Eddie Murphy would be cost-prohibitive for this film), the only animal whisperer left to come to is Maya. She is brought to Washington where she tries to find out why Daisy the White House dog is acting up… and all before a critical summit.
“Tail to the Chief” is very similar to the previous “Dr. Dolittle” movie, which featured Pratt on a dude ranch. It’s a very nice story, with villains that aren’t as dangerous as they’d be outside of a family film. Most of the film’s punch lies in the interaction between Pratt and the animals.
The core of these films, even going back to the theatrical Eddie Murphy vehicles, has been the silly talking animals. Norm MacDonald reprises his role as the snarky dog, and there is a whole barn full of new animals with celebrity voices to share the screen.
“Tail to the Chief” is made for families and tweens. It’s deals with issues between parents and children, and it tells it from the pre-teen female perspective. In this respect, it works as a way to enjoy things as a family over the weekend.
The DVD includes four behind-the-scenes featurettes, mostly spotlighting the animals used in the films. They highlight the casting of the animals, how the human actors dealt with them, different endangered animals featured in the film and the Mountain View Conservation Society, where the film was shot.