The motion picture, “Dolittle,” captured children start to finish with silly humor, deep-sea adventure, love and friendship, but may have left adults less than satisfied as it entered the big screen this last weekend.

Released Jan. 19, “Dolittle”, is the first family-friendly film of 2020.

Varying from the 1998 adaptation starring Eddie Murphy, director Stephan Gaghan maintains the original historical timeframe of the beloved 1920’s children’s books by Hugh Lofting within Victorian era England.

This latest film, unlike previous adaptations chronicling the doctor’s genesis, jumps midway through Dolittle’s life, leaving viewers responsible to piece together parts of the story.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as Dr. John Dolittle, his first major role since Iron Man; he couldn’t have played a more paradoxically different character. Dolittle is quirky, odd, disheveled and although optimistic, lacks any arrogance. Downy’s bizarre Welsh accent set him further from his previous roles, but his failure to accurately portray the dialect may harm his career and the film.

The film enters a splendid country-side Victorian manor with Dr. Dolittle ingeniously playing chess with anxiety ridden gorilla Chee-Chee (voice acted by Rami Malek) using mice as live pieces. Oral grunts, hoots, howls and growls are portrayed as Dolittle communicates with his entourage of animal friends. The film transitions awkwardly between animal noises to English throughout, sometimes distractingly.

Dr. Dolittle has isolated himself from society within his manor after losing his love. His gates are closed to regular practice and he refuses human interaction.

At the queen’s request, a young woman named Lady Rose visits the Victorian manor, making known the imminent death of Queen Victoria. Understanding the paramount danger the Queen’s death would bring to Dolittle’s manor (the property’s deeds would change hands and the estate would be sold), Dolittle, with Poly’s (the brainy parrot voiced by Emma Thompson) persuasion, begrudgingly agrees to assess the queen.

The queen’s been poisoned. Dolittle’s only solution is to traverse to an unknown island and procure the antidote – and the deep-sea adventure begins.

Dolittle is accompanied by Yoshi the polar bear (voiced by John Cena), Chee-Chee the gorilla, Plimpton, a friendless Ostrich (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani), Poly and several others. Included on the voyage is a young man, Tommy Stubbins, invited by Poly for his ability to also speak with animals.

The film moves quickly from frame to frame often feeling choppy in transition; scenes at times feel pieced together and not smoothly laid out.

Downey’s character seems unsure which direction to go at times and though perhaps a characteristic of Dr. Dolittle, the character’s feelings change quickly.

Dolittle’s not the only one.

One villain suddenly changes heart after attempting to feed our protagonist to a tiger and helps our heroes along when everything seems hopeless.

Antagonist Dr. Blair Mudfly (played by Michael Sheen) went to medical school with Dolittle and has a soft obsession with him. Mudfly has the classic villainous pointed mustache and goatee along with a top hat. Quippy comments and one shipmate answering his rhetorical questions with literal sense may give some good chuckles, however, the villain is otherwise unrememberable.

Cheesy one-liners span the film and some gross humor takes it a little far with one scene showing characters being thrown across the set by flatulence.

The film does show some emotion that is bound to capture the hearts of children and those whom care less about overall performance, but enjoy the light-hearted nature of the film. Dr. Dolittle completes his lost love’s work; Chee-Chee overcomes his struggles with fear and anxiety to save his friends; Plimpton learns what true friendship means.

Plimpton, in one scene where all seems hopeless, asks Yoshi, “What’s this warm fuzzy feeling inside of me?” Yoshi tells him it’s friendship. And, “Dolittle” is likely to give viewers that warm and fuzzy feeling as well through its antics on friendship, love and bravery.

The film’s $175 Million budget is evident in the advanced CGI animals, effects and grandiose cinematography over oceans, islands, mountains, and more. The super cast affects that cost too.

Opening weekend brought “Dolittle” $30 million domestically and $56 million world-wide, a weak opening for a huge budget.

Mid-February will bring us “Sonic the Hedgehog”, a video-game inspired film, that will surely bring families pouring in, but until then, families are limited to the adventures of Dr. John Dolittle. That limitation may help “Dolittle” recover.

The PG rating of the film is fitting with only a few gross jokes. One tiger scratch and a gunshot to a squirrel that’s saved makes the violence minimal.

At only one and a half hours, the film makes for a great day out with your kids. The flick will have them rolling from one liners, feeling warm from the lessons learned and in love with the realistic animals featured; however, “Dolittle” does little for the adult community.