Jan 14, 2008

Hugh Lofting Jan 14, 1886

Near Christmas of 1967, 20th Century Fox released "Dr. Dolittle" to theaters. Kids of the 60's set sail with Jip, Pollyanna, Chim Chim & the good doctor in search of the legendary Pink Sea Snail. The musical starring Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar & Anthony Newley won a few technical Oscars and one for "Best Song". Rex Harrison who had made a career of performing in musicals without singing, only spoke the lyrics to "Talk with the Animals", but Sammy Davis Jr. (and later Bobby Darrin) hit the charts with a cover version. Dolittle had as much merchandise as a Disney animated film with puzzles, art sets & plush pushmi-pullyu's a plenty.

Dr Dolittle began as a series of letters. Hugh Lofting was an infantryman during the 1st World War and like thousands of others, spent his free time writing letters home. Hugh wanted to add something for his young son and the simple country Doctor who gave up his human practice to tend to animals was the result.

Lofting's wife saved the letters and "The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts" was published in 1920. Hugh Lofting wrote 11 sequels before his death in 1947.

If you'd like to read the first of Dr. Dolittle's adventures, you can download the book here

Amazon has the theatrical trailer for the 1967 musical here

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