Doctor Dolittle (also known as Dr. Dolittle) is a 1967 Oscar-award winning American DeLuxe Color musical film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley and Richard Attenborough. It was adapted by Leslie Bricusse from the novel series by Hugh Lofting. It primarily fuses three of the books The Story of Doctor Dolittle, The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, and Doctor Dolittle’s Circus.
The film had a notoriously protracted production with numerous setbacks along the way such as complications from poorly chosen shooting locations and the numerous technical difficulties inherent with the large number of animals required for the story. The film exceeded its original budget of $6 million by three times, and recouped $9 million upon release in 1967, earning only $6.2 million in theatrical rentals.
The film received mixed to negative critical reviews, but through the studio’s intense lobbying, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and won awards for Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects.