Doctor Dolittle
GenreCartoon series
Created by
Developed byFriz Freleng
Directed byFriz Freleng
Voices of
Opening theme"Talk to the Animals" by Leslie Bricusse
Sung by Bob Holt and Lennie Weinrib
Ending theme"Talk to the Animals" (instrumental)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes17
Production
Producers
Running time30 min.
Production companies
Distributor20th Television
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1970 (1970-09-12) –
September 2, 1971 (1971-09-02)

Doctor Dolittle (also known as The Further Adventures of Dr. Dolittle) is a 1970–1971 Saturday morning animated series produced by DePatie–Freleng Enterprises in association with 20th Century Fox Television.[1] The series is loosely based on the books by Hugh Lofting, as well as the 1967 film of the same title which center around Doctor Dolittle, an animal doctor who has the ability to talk to animals.[2]

The show was created for television by David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng in association with Paul Harrison and Lennie Weinrib. The series was broadcast on the NBC network. An altered version of the song "Talk to the Animals" was heard during the opening credits.

The series only has a DVD release in Germany from Pidax.[3]

Synopsis

Doctor Dolittle travels around the world on his ship called the Flounder to help out any sick animal in need. He is aided in his missions by his first mate, young sailor Tommy Stubbins. They share the ship with its animal crew.[4]

Wherever Doctor Dolittle's ship was, Sub-Mar Island was never far behind. A disguised submarine, Sub-Mar Island is actually the stronghold of Sam Scurvy and his pirate crew.[5] The pirates dress in an unusual mixture of old-fashioned pirate and gangster gear. The pirate crew were also a branch of the Democratic Order of Pirates International (or "DOPI" for short). Sam Scurvy has one goal in life: world domination. He believes that if he can get the secret to talking to animals from Doctor Dolittle, he will be able to raise an army of "creepy creatures" to help him take over the world. By using his eavesdropping device the Sneaky Snorkel, Scurvy gets wind of Doctor Dolittle's latest missions and then plots to hinder, disrupt, or even kidnap the Doctor, Tommy, or any one of his animals, in order to force him to reveal how he is capable of talking to animals. However, due to Doctor Dolittle's skills as well as the pirates' ineptitude, they never succeed.

Characters

Main article: List of Doctor Dolittle characters

Episodes

Title Directed by Air date
1"The Grasshoppers Are Coming, Hooray, Hooray!"Hawley Pratt, Oscar DufauSeptember 12, 1970 (1970-09-12)
The pirates will stop at nothing to learn the Doctor's secret. They track him to Grasshopper Island, where he has gone to treat the entire grasshopper population who have lost their voices after munching on poisoned grass. When the Doctor and Tommy are taken prisoner, only the insects can save them.
2"The Bird Who Was Afraid to Fly"Gerry Chiniquy, Grant SimmonsSeptember 19, 1970 (1970-09-19)
Montgomery the gooney bird suffers from a chronic lack of confidence and simply cannot take to the air, although he tries to convince Doctor Dolittle it is more of a lack of interest. His chance to be a hero comes when the Doctor gets into a fix and Montgomery has to summon the animals to the rescue.
3"The Land of the Tiger Moo"Oscar Dufau, Art DavisSeptember 26, 1970 (1970-09-26)
The creatures of a Florida swamp are upset by an agitated alligator for whom the cure is milk from the Tiger-Moo, a hybrid of a cattle and a tiger. But when the Doctor travels to Tiger-Moo Island to acquire the milk, he finds the pirates have arrived there first and now the unique animal is in danger...
4"The Great Turkey Race"Gerry Chiniquy, Grant SimmonsOctober 3, 1970 (1970-10-03)
Polynesia's old friend Toots the Turkey attempts to escape from the Sandwich Island turkey farm. When she is captured before escaping, she becomes the first prize in the Thanksgiving Ocean race. Dolittle enters the Flounder in the race knowing he has to win to save Toots—but runs into some engine trouble along the way.
5"The Peanut Conspiracy"Lars Calonius, Sid MarcusOctober 10, 1970 (1970-10-10)
Eric the elephant is allergic to peanuts, so the Doctor needs to find some Peanut-Cillin. Along with Tommy and Chee-Chee, he visits the jungle drugstore—run by a very strange pharmacist—but only peanut oil is at hand. The Doctor's plan is to make the medicine using green-scented mushrooms mixed with the oil, so Tommy and Chee-Chee set out to pick them. Behind those giant mushrooms, though, lurks a trap...
6"The Bare Bear"Sid Marcus, Oscar DufauOctober 17, 1970 (1970-10-17)
Dolittle heads for the Bering Strait to assist the thin-skinned polar bears living there who have lost their fur and are freezing. He concocts a special formula to restore their fur coats. With the pirates trying to steal his medicine, it looks like the Doctor will need help from the local Mountie.
7"High Flying Hippo"Lars Calonius, Art DavisOctober 24, 1970 (1970-10-24)
Hannah the overweight hippo is not looking where she is going and falls down a mountain. Fortunately, she lands on a ledge. A pair of eagles spot her, summon the Doctor, and they help him up onto the ledge to treat Hannah. The ingenious Doctor contrives a makeshift balloon for getting them all off the crumbling mountain, but as they are about to go, Hannah loses her nerve.
8"The Near-Sighted Bull"Grant Simmons, Gerry ChiniquyOctober 31, 1970 (1970-10-31)
The group are in Spain sourcing supplies for the Flounder when Romeo, the bull who cannot see a thing, goes on a rampage and ends in the water. After the crew rescue the animal, his owner Don Carlos asks Doctor Dolittle for help. The Doctor provides Romeo with glasses which somehow transform him into the best bull in town and now he must enter the ring in the fiesta, where Scurvy is posing as the matador and has taken the bull's glasses.
9"The Silver Seals of the Circus"Grant Simmons, David DetiegeNovember 7, 1970 (1970-11-07)
Stanley and Cyrus, two performing seals, are injured in a fall during a show and send for Doctor Dolittle. With the seals out of action, it is up to the Pushmi-Pullyu to save the circus. Meanwhile, the pirates trick their way into the big top disguised as trapeze artists. Once inside, they use clown costumes in their latest attempt to steal the Doctor's secret with a determined sheriff on their tail.
10"A Girl for Greco Gorilla"Art Davis, Gerry ChiniquyNovember 14, 1970 (1970-11-14)
The Doctor and Tommy are visiting a zoo in Ireland where they encounter Greco, a lonely and homesick gorilla whom they agree to take back to Africa. Aboard the ship, it is discovered he is also pining for a mate. So they resolve to find Greco a girlfriend. In the jungle, Greco sees his dreamboat and chases her, but then the Doctor and Tommy meet attractive gorilla Raquel...and they quickly realize the female Greco's after is not who she seems to be.
11"A Tail of Two Snails"Oscar Dufau, Lars CaloniusNovember 21, 1970 (1970-11-21)
Oil pollution has destroyed the habitat of Hamilton, the last of the Giant Pink Sea Snails, and has also meant there are no sea-cumbers which are his only food source. Dolittle plans to tow the snail to Sea-Cumber Island, with a cargo of three tons of sea-cumbers cut from the ocean bed by the swordfish. All is going well until the appearance of a second giant snail...only this one's on wheels and hides the pirates inside.
12"A Fox Called... Sherlock?"Sid Marcus, Grant SimmonsNovember 28, 1970 (1970-11-28)
As the crew are taking the opening tour of the Doctor Dolittle Wax Museum, Jip is "dog-napped" by the pirates. The Doctor, Tommy, and the animals enlist the help of Sherlock the fox sleuth to crack the case and rescue Jip. But time is short—eight hours to be precise. Further confusion arises when the pirates use Jip to create a second statue of the dog.
13"The Tomb of the Phoenix Bird"Oscar Dufau, Grant SimmonsDecember 5, 1970 (1970-12-05)
Polynesia tells of the legend of the Phoenix, a supposedly mythical creature who comes back to life once every hundred years. As the fateful day approaches, the group head off to Egypt to verify the tale and find out if the animal really exists. Scurvy and his men are there too and capture the Doctor with the use of a fake 'pyramid'... but help is at hand from one magical bird set to have the time of his century.
14"The Barnyard Rumble"Gerry Chiniquy, Art DavisDecember 12, 1970 (1970-12-12)
In Mid-West America, Cogburn the rooster loses his voice and cannot wake up the barnyard. The Doctor diagnoses laryngitis. After the treatment, the Doctor finds that Cogburn cannot stop talking, a useful talent when a band of motorcyclists turn up looking to cause mayhem.
15"The Baffled Buffalo"Lars Calonius, Sid MarcusDecember 19, 1970 (1970-12-19)
The Flounder is docked in Washington, D.C. when the Doctor is summoned by the President of the United States. He requests that the Doctor goes West to find a buffalo to be the model for a special commemorative medallion, a mission made harder by a runaway train, a buffalo deeply mistrustful of all humans and a posse of 'Indians' who look worryingly familiar...
16"A Hatful of Rabbit"Jim Pabian, Gerry ChiniquyDecember 26, 1970 (1970-12-26)
While in London preparing for another leg of the round-the-world trip, the Doctor is called to treat a hyperactive rabbit which is part of a magician's act. The group then attend the magic show, unaware that it has been taken over by the pirates. Disguised as the magician, Scurvy selects an audience volunteer to help with the disappearing trick.
17"The Bird from O.O.P.S."Art Davis, Sid MarcusJanuary 9, 1971 (1971-01-09)
As a birthday gift from his people, the Maharajah Sheldon will receive his weight in diamonds, but for his mum, Sheldon is 'all skin and bone' and thus will not earn her many jewels. She plans to fatten him up by feeding him a rare ogle-bird egg that is so rare, in fact, it is the only one in existence. The Doctor tries to save the ogle-bird from extinction, but Scurvy's levitation device might help the pirates to make off with the prize.

Cast

Syndication problems

Aside from a brief period in the early 1980s as part of The Krofft Supershow, the series has never been shown in syndication, possibly[weasel words] due to the politically incorrect stereotypes of the pirate crew, as well as the strong drug implications present during George and the Grasshoppers' rock and pop numbers.

It first appeared on British TV on BBC1 on Thursday, 25 November 1971. It was dubbed in Sinhala in Sri Lanka as "Dosthara Hoda hitha".

References

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 224. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 170. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Doktor Dolittle".
  4. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 115–116. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 353–354. ISBN 978-1476665993.