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After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle, famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria's England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures. The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla, an enthusiastic but bird-brained duc, a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich and an upbeat polar bear and a headstrong parrot, who serves as Dolittle's most trusted advisor and confidante.