Dolittle 2020 UK release date and the latest news on the age rating, parents guide and story synopsis

Dolittle 2020 UK release date

With the arrival of an impressive trailer, the hype is starting to build for the Dolittle 2020 UK release date, which will kick things off early in the New Year. 

Robert Downey Jr. leads the cast after the momentous closing moments of Avengers Endgame and while he’s still getting Tony Stark / Iron Man roles with the retro timing of Marvel Cinematic Universe films like Black Widow, it’s good to see him breaking away in new directions.

It’s been a long time since the first adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s children’s books appeared on the big screen in 1967 starring Rex Harrison in the title role. Eddie Murphy took things in a different direction with his performance for the 1998 reboot, which was set in more of a modern timeline, but the 2020 film will be taking things back to its Victorian origins, throwing in healthy amount of CGI to bring the film to life.


Avengers legend Robert Downey Jr. leads the cast as Dr. Dolittle and he’s joined by Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley and Jim Broadbent. Banderas plays what looks like a pirate in the trailer and Buckley plays the young Queen Victoria.

The voice cast continues the roster of big names:

  • Emma Thompson as Polynesia, Dr. Dolittle’s parrot
  • Rami Malek as gorilla Chee-Chee
  • John Cena as polar bear Yoshi
  • Kumail Nanjiani as ostrich Plimpton
  • Octavia Spencer as duck Dab-Dab
  • Tom Holland as bespectacled dog Jip
  • Craig Robinson as mouse Fleming
  • Ralph Fiennes as Barry the tiger
  • Selena Gomez as giraffe Betsy
  • Marion Cotillard as Tutu the fox
  • Carmen Ejogo as Regine, a mighty lioness
  • Dolittle 2020 UK release date

    The Dolittle UK release date has been scheduled for Friday the 7th February. However, it’ll be out in cinemas in the USA and Canada a fair bit earlier on the 17th January 2020, so UK movie buffs will have to avoid spoilers for a few weeks until it arrives in Britain.

    As things stand, it’ll be out in the UK on the same weekend as DC Harley Quinn flick Birds Of Prey, so it might be a close call for the box office crown. Dolittle has the better trailer, cast and family friendly parents guide, but then Birds Of Prey has Margot Robbie starring as Harley Quinn, so it could still go either way.

    Age rating and parents guide

    As ever, The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will release the age rating for the UK a few weeks ahead of its debut on the big screen. Despite being a very family friendly film, live action adaptations rarely come in with an age rating of U, so you’re probably looking at a PG.

    If you look at the likes of The Lion King and Aladdin live action films they both picked up PG ratings, despite the animated originals getting a U. Dolittle looks like it’ll have similar parents guide notes, based on the trailer below, so you can expect a little mild threat and violence with the ship cannon fire being the most intense scene in the trailer.

    You can follow us on Twitter to see more news and updates on the film in the build-up to the release, plus the Universal Pictures Twitter page at


    The Dolittle runtime hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, and there’s very little to go on at the moment to predict what to expect. It’s a family film, so it can’t be too long, but the trailer makes it all look pretty momentous, so maybe around the 2hr mark is a good estimate.

    Story synopsis

    For anyone that has seen the original 1967 film, the Dolittle story synopsis need no introduction, but if you grew up with the Eddie Murphy film or missed them all completely then you might not know what to expect. 

    Essentially, the Dr is coaxed out of his secluded existence with his animal friends following years in mourning following the loss of his wife. He embarks on a mission to find a cure to save the young Queen Victoria who has fallen ill. 

    Taking his menagerie with him, he heads out in search of a mythical island that could hold the key to a cure for the Queen’s illness. However, he’ll have to face old enemies and call on the help of some fantastic creatures to find it. Hopefully, that means that the story will feature both the push me pull you and giant sea snail, like in the original film and stories, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    You can check out our family films section to see other big releases that are on the way, or check out the Universal Pictures website to see more on the film at