April 15, 2020
(After the Channel Awesome logo, we cold-open on Robert Downey, Jr., walking by a crowd of people (possibly at the premiere of a movie))
Narrator (Tamara): Once upon a time, there was an actor who won over the entire world. For ten years, he played (An image of Downey as the title character in Iron Man is shown) one of the most beloved superheroes of all time, even when a movie he was in kind of sucked ass. (The poster for Iron Man 2 is superimposed) He was always praised for his charm and charisma. But one day, the actor decided he was done with this path. He called up his agent and said that he wanted to make a movie like the old days of his career.
(We then cut to Downey's agent, played by Malcolm)
Agent: You want to what??
Downey, Jr. (voice of Rob): (on Skype) Yeah, I'm tired of doing good stuff. I want to go back to what I'm most familiar with: being in crap.
Agent: Robert, you act like the majority of your career was starring in bad things.
Downey, Jr.: It was. Don't you remember?
(A montage is shown of Downey, Jr.'s pre-Iron Man movies: Only You, The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen, The Singing Detective, Fur, The Gingerbread Man)
Downey, Jr. (vo): Before Iron Man, I was in nothing but critical box office poison.
Downey, Jr.:' To tell you the truth, I kinda miss it.
Agent: Robert, no one's going to purposely fund a bad film.
Downey, Jr.: I'll finance it. My wife and I.
Agent: Susan? She's a very well-established producer. Why would she indulge you in this?
Downey, Jr.: 'Cause it's fun. I don't know. I just want to suck again.
Susan (Tamara): (also on Skype) Oh! You wanna know who's really not popular anymore, honey? Jack Sparrow!
Downey, Jr.: Oh, that's great. I'm gonna play Jack Sparrow.
Agent: You can't play Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp still...-ish plays that role.
Susan: Well, buy some cheap copyrighted character, and we'll just pretend he's Jack Sparrow.
Agent: I got some...
(Posters for upcoming movies, Venom and Morbius, are shown)
Agent (vo): ...Spider-Man villain movie scritps.
Downey, Jr.: No, Jared Leto said he'd already tanked those.
Agent: Disney wants to do an origin story on...
(A shot of Fantasia is shown, depicting Bacchus, the god of wine, and his donkey Jacchus)
Agent (vo): ...that donkey from Fantasia.
Downey, Jr.: No, I already did blackface.
Susan: Okay, we're not looking for Shakespeare! We want a role where he can do little.
Downey, Jr.: Wait a minute. Wait a minute! (An image of John Brinkley is superimposed) Is John Brinkley copyrighted?
(On that note, we cut to the 2020 NC title sequence)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Of all the franchises that exist, (points down to the floor for emphasis) "Doctor Dolittle" is the one I most have no opinion on!
(A montage of shots related to "Doctor Dolittle" is shown: the original book by Hugh Lofting, the 1967 musical adaptation featuring Rex Harrison as the title character, and the later 1998 adaptation with Eddie Murphy, which was later followed by a sequel in 2001)
NC (vo): I mean, does anybody? Based on the 1920s children's book about a vet who talks to animals, it was adapted into a hit Rex Harrison film in the '60s, and then again with Eddie Murphy in the '90s, even getting a sequel. The response from most people seem to be "That exists. Good for that."
(Now we cut to footage of the trailer for the most recent adaptation of the story, Dolittle, featuring Robert Downey, Jr., in the title role)
NC (vo): That might be why when the trailer for Dolittle, starring Robert Downey, Jr., came out, nobody really knew what to think of it. It didn't look bad, it didn't look good, so nobody really paid attention to it, causing the film to bomb.
NC: (shaking head) But JESUS CHRIST, you don't know what you're missing! (beat) In that...I just saw the film and I don't know what I'm missing!
(The title for the movie is shown, followed by footage of it)
NC (vo): Dolittle is one of the most baffling films I've seen in recent years. (An image of Cats is shown) Okay, not the most, just one of. Everything from the acting, the writing, the editing, the cinematography, I have no idea what this film was trying to do or be. On the surface, it looks like a harmless kid's film, but the experience is like having a bedtime story written by Tim Burton's (An image of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka is shown in the corner) Willy Wonka read to you by (Another image of...) Joe Exotic. It's a rainbow of madness producing colors you'll regret you now know exist. It's a one-of-a-kind dumpster fire that has to be seen to be believed. So let's see it and...try to believe it.
NC: Let's look at the cinematic version of (Image of the following appears in the corner...) the Jackie Chan meme face. This is Dolittle.
(The film begins in animated cartoon form)
NC (vo): The film opens with an animation that, like an opening act for Jeff Dunham, is going to be better than the main attraction.
Narrator: There once was a peculiar doctor. He could talk...
(Dr. Dolittle was checking a hippo's teeth and it sneezes on him)
Narrator: ...to animals.
NC: (crosses arms) You know how in most versions of "Doctor Dolittle", how him talking to animals is basically the main focus?
NC (vo): Well, here, it's like a crazy relative's political post: it's there, but doesn't demand your attention.
NC: Instead, they explain how...
NC (vo): ...there's a man who can talk to animals, got praised from the queen, she gave him a mansion, he met an adventurer named Lily, they traveled the world, got married, she died, he closed down the manor, and refused to see anyone for years.
NC: (smiling and nodding, holds up index finger) In one minute!
Offscreen voice: Eww! What the fuck?
(The narrator is shown again, but with snippets of dialogue)
Narrator: There was once a peculiar doctor... / Even the Queen of England caught on... / She gifted him a wondrous mansion... / ...with the fearless explorer... / Lily died... / He locked his estate...
(The narration bits overlap one another as a commercial for Micro Machines hosted by John Moschitta, Jr. plays, although it's hard to tell what he is saying with the narration overlapping)
Moschitta: (talking extremely quickly) Micro Machine Man here, and I've come to tell you all about the Micro Machine car wash city...
NC: You do know when they give the backstory in (The poster for Spider-Man: Far From Home is shown in one corner) those Marvel movies you were in, they did usually have (Posters for Marvel movies featuring Iron Man appear in the opposite corner) movies that preceded it, right?
(Outside the premises of Dolittle's mansion, a group of hunters, including a boy named Tommy Stubbins (played by Harry Collett), are out duck-hunting. Tommy spots a squirrel in a tree and smiles at it)
NC (vo): This brings us to a boy named Tommy, who is hunting with his uncle [Arnall (played by Ralph Ineson)], using the brilliant strategy of smiling his prey to death.
(They come across a duck pond. The ducks there take flight while Arnall urges Tommy to shoot at one of them. Tommy tries to aim his gun at a duck, but can't seem to concentrate)
Tommy: Oh, no, I can't!
Arnall: Shoot, shoot!
(Tommy fires his gun, but misses the duck. The infamous dog from Duck Hunt pops up, doing his infamous laugh. Instead, Tommy has accidentally shot the squirrel)
NC (vo): It looks like he hit the squirrel, though, and unlike the film, he's given the option to put it out of its misery.
(Arnall gives Tommy a knife with which to kill the squirrel, but a parrot named Polynesia (voiced by Emma Thompson) spots what's going on)
Polynesia: Poly, Poly!
(Tommy follows Polynesia over to Dolittle's mansion, carrying the wounded squirrel with him)
NC (vo): A parrot leads him to Dolittle's house where he figures might be able to help.
(As Tommy enters the mansion's grounds, he spots a polar bear [Yoshi] wearing a chullo. Tommy spots the bear and backs away from it as it emerges from the bushes and comes toward him)
Tommy: Good dog...
NC: Did he seriously just call the polar bear a dog?
Tommy: Good dog...
NC (vo; as Tommy): I have to find a doctor to help with this octopus (meaning the squirrel).
(While backing away from Yoshi, Tommy accidentally steps in a trap and is caught in a net cage that holds him aloft)
NC (vo): He gets caught in a trap...
(We then cut to inside the mansion, where an unshaven Dolittle (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) is playing chess with a gorilla named Chee-Chee, using living mice as the chess pieces)
NC (vo): ...and we're introduced to Dolitte, played by I'm 90% sure a relapsing Downey, Jr.
(Dolittle beats his chest like a gorilla, much to Chee-Chee's amusement. Dolittle then makers chattering noises like a gorilla. A white duck flies up onto the chessboard)
NC: Well, there it is...
NC (vo): ...the moment everyone on set knew they weren't gonna make their money back.
(Dolittle continues to make noises like a gorilla)
NC: I too didn't think there was enough footage of...
NC (vo): ...hairy men's mouths making dog-fucking sound effects.
NC: Thank you for filling that void, Dolittle.
NC (vo): The film is kind enough to translate these disturbing moments of terror, but don't worry, you won't feel much saner knowing what they're saying.
Dolittle: It's a NIGHTMAAAARE!
Polynesia: (flying up to him) Pull yourself together!
(Dolittle falls over with his knees bent and his hands up. Chee-Chee imitates him)
Dolittle: Possum. Be brave and get rid of them and don't forget your mantra. (gets up and backs out of the room) You are not a prisoner in here.
NC: You know, if you got him off the ground...
NC (vo): ...shaved the beard and ditched the wealth Chester A. Bum voice...
NC: ...this would still be a terrible performance.
NC (vo): Tommy is noticed by a girl named Lady Rose.
Lady Rose (Carmel Laniado): (looking up to see Tommy in the trap) Whatever are you doing up there?
NC (vo): (speaking on her behalf) Yes, I looked up, saw you there, put my head and umbrella down, just so I could lift it back up in an elegant reveal. Did it work? I don't care. Nothing else will stand out about me.
Lady Rose: I come from Buckingham Palace on urgent business.
NC (vo; as Lady Rose): Yes, the palace often entrusts urgent business with a 13-year-old, unguarded in a field of wild animals.
(Cut to a clip of The Avengers)
Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.): Not a great plan.
(Cut back to Dolittle as Tommy knocks on the main front door, which is opened by Chee-Chee the gorilla, who roars at Tommy, who screams like a girl at this sight. Chee-Chee also screams like a girl right back and falls over in a faint)
NC: (shrugs) All right, that's pretty funny.
Dolittle: (looking at a picture of Lily on the wall) I should never have let you go.
(He then clasps his hands together and hangs his head as he remembers her)
NC: Stop thinking you're up! You're not up! Stop thinking you're up!
NC (vo): Something you'll notice quickly is that, for whatever reason, not only is Dolittle constantly dubbed in this movie, but they find dozens of reasons to cover his mouth, almost as if they knew he was gonna be dubbed.
(A montage of clips of Dolittle's dubbed dialogue is shown)
Dolittle: (hiding under his blankets) Not here. / (his back to the camera) The birds will show you out. / (taking a sip of tea) We're humans. We leave the house. / (his back to the camera again) Thanks very much. / (wearing a surgical mask) Save the squirrel, Shui. / (to Lady Rose, his back to the camera) Are you hard of hearing? / (wearing a breathing mask) That's still celery. / (head out of range of camera) Do some fire and grooming. / (his back to the camera) You should fetch my bags. / (long-distance shot) Who's she thinking? Boy nearly killed himself. / (his head back to the camera; to Tommy) I believe it's time to go our separate ways. / (his back to the camera) I hear you could be a big help. / (his face covered in a book called "Botanical Index") I'll quit possibly, the answer to everything.
(Dolittle is now seen wearing a mask)
Dolittle: (speaking in the voice of Johnny from The Room) Lisa loves you, too. As a person. As a human being.
NC: Is this really the time to pay homage to...
(A clip of Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas is shown, showing two characters with their mouths hidden as they take a sip from some coffee mugs)
NC (vo): ...Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas? I mean, everybody knows they've ripped off (image of the following appears in the corner...) Jesus, Bro!
(Cut back to Dolittle as Tommy brings the wounded squirrel to Dolittle)
Tommy: I have an injured squirrel.
NC (vo): Dolittle is shown the squirrel and he agrees to do his best to save it.
Lady Rose: You will not tend to a squirrel while the Queen of England's life hangs in the balanace.
Dolittle: Oh, you don't know me very well, do you?
NC: (as Dolittle) What that bitch ever give me, outside of a home?
(Assisted by the other animals on the premises, Dolittle operates on the squirrel, while Tommy and Lady Rose watch from behind a window)
Dolittle: Eureka. Everything will be fine.
Tommy: (amazed) They're not understanding human, he's understanding them! In their own languages!
NC: (pointing to camera) I'm understanding your language, too!
(Tommy's expression is shown again)
NC (vo): "Of constant enchantment" face!
NC: I'll translate them for you.
(Tommy's expression is shown one more time, along with the "translated" subtitle: "I'm a Whimsically Empty Husk.")
NC (vo): The squirrel is healed and wakes up. At least, I think that's what this is.
(The squirrel has a flashback to being shot, exaggerated with military weapons, including cannons and an atomic bomb, and he remembers the boy who shot him. The squirrel becomes angry)
Squirrel: (deep voice) Revenge!
NC: You know, most people have a similar reaction when the movie ends.
(We cut to a rapid-fire montage of scenes in the movie, in the style of the squirrel's flashback)
NC: (holding up his fist) Revenge!
NC (vo): Dolittle has no interest in saving the Queen, but Poly, voiced by Emma Thompson, tells him if the Queen dies, his home will be taken away.
(Dolittle does a spit take and rises to his feet dramatically)
Dolittle: Right! I'll do it.
NC (vo): It's the ethical side of this backstabber that makes me want to follow him.
Dolittle: (now clean-shaven) We will come to you to Buckingham Place after all.
NC (vo): He no longer looks like he's gonna start Monty Python's Flying Circus and he tells Tommy to piss off, but Tommy sneaks into the carriage.
(Dolittle rides into the palace on the back of an ostrich, Plimpton)
NC (vo): (singsong voice) I smell hijinks!
(Inside, Dolittle dismounts Plimpton, only for it to start knocking over suits of armor lining the room. These in turn knock over other suits of armor like dominoes. Dolittle runs ahead of the falling suits to avoid getting hit)
NC: It's true, the funniest slapstick is the kind...
NC (vo): ...when no one gets hurt.
(Shots of the Three Stooges, Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes are shown)
NC: Take notes, you guys. You are all too mean.
(We then see Queen Victoria (played by Jessie Buckley) lying in her bed)
NC (vo): As you can see, the Queen is at death's door...that perfectly healthy-looking door...as Dolittle tries getting information from the pet octopus about what could have caused this.
(Dolittle puts on a pair of swimming goggles and then sticks his head in an aquarium to communicate with the octopus inside. He makes noises toward it which are translated via convenient subtitles)
Dolittle: Did you see anything unusual?
Octopus: Snitches get stitches, man.
NC (vo): Octopus doesn't need stitches; it grows its arms right back!
(Dolittle brings his head out of the water, gasping for breath. Lady Rose and Tommy stare in amusement, with the camera zooming in on Tommy, accompanied by the "translated" subtitle: "My Dignity Tastes Like Stale Nothing.")
NC (vo): Dolittle suspects a lord named Badgley, played by Jim Broadbent, is in cahoots for control of the crown with another doctor named Mudfly, played by Michael Sheen.
NC: (clapping hands eagerly) Ooh! I have to figure where to put my Twilight laugh!
(A clip of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is shown, emphasizing Aro (also Michael Sheen)'s laugh)
NC: It's like baking a souffle; you have to time it just right!
(The shot of Aro's laugh tries to slide in from the bottom of the screen, but NC pushes it back down)
NC: Not yet, my pet.
(Jip, a bespectacled dog, addresses Dolittle on what's going on)
Jip (voiced by Tom Holland): Something smelled wrong, and that's coming from a guy who loves the smell of butts.
Dolittle: Ooh, you do love butt.
NC: (shakes head) You know, if you look at this as the rehab hallucinations of...
(The scene of Jip and Dolittle is replayed, with a shot of Downey, Jr., as the title character in...)
NC (vo): ...Sherlock Holmes getting off morphine...
NC: ...the film actually makes a lot more sense.
NC (vo): His solution for curing the Queen?
Dolittle: The Queen's only hope is a cure that's never been tested from a tree that's never been seen on an island that's never been found.
NC: Move over, Tolkien, (crosses arms) the real masters of world-building are at work. (nods)