Doctor Dolittle is a 1967 American musical comedy film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, and Richard Attenborough. It was adapted by Leslie Bricusse from the Doctor Dolittle novel series by Hugh Lofting, primarily The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1920), The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922), and Doctor Dolittle's Circus (1924).
In 1845, in the small port town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, in western England, Matthew Mugg brings his young friend Tommy Stubbins with him when he takes an injured duck to his friend, the eccentric Doctor John Dolittle, who he claims is the best veterinarian in the world because he can talk to animals. A former medical doctor, Dolittle lives with a large menagerie of various creatures, including a talking blue-and-yellow macaw named Polynesia, a chimpanzee named Chee-Chee, a dog named Jip, and a piglet named Gub-Gub. He explains that the many animals he kept in his home created havoc with his human patients, who began to go elsewhere for their medical needs, so his sister, Sarah, who served as his housekeeper, demanded that he dispose of the animals or she would leave, and he chose the animals. Polynesia then revealed that she could speak over 2,000 animal languages and offered to teach Dolittle so he could become an animal doctor. Dolittle says he can now speak nearly 500 animal languages, and he is currently in the process of learning how to speak with sea creatures for an upcoming expedition to search for the legendary Great Pink Sea Snail.