Explaining the ending of Dolittle (2020)

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The conclusion to the new Dolittle film, starring Robert Downey Jr, takes some unpickling – and with no eye at all on our traffic counter, here’s what it all means.

Over the past few months, an assortment of consultants have continued to advise us on just what we’re doing incorrectly with this website. It was a savage and chastening experience to read their assorted reports. It seems, they say, that we’re not ‘chasing the traffic’ enough, and ‘putting ourselves at the epicentre of the zeitgeist’. That our ‘Googlejuice’ is low and that we need to zero in on ‘compelling and shareable digital content’.

In the past, thanks to these consultants, we’ve ranked the Speed movies, broken down the trailer for the trailer for No Time To Die, and put the Pirates Of The Caribbean films into some kind of order.

But it’s never enough. Now, they’ve advised us that movie websites thrive on articles where the endings of movies are explained. People love it, we’re assured. Thus, the recommendation we received was take a high profile new release, write down what happens at the end, and look for the hidden meanings within.

Well, chums, these consultants cost money, and we’ll give anything a try. Here, then, is our deep insight into just what the end of Dolittle actually means.

This article from this point onwards contains major spoilers for Dolittle. Scroll below Alf the Spoiler Ferret at your peril…

The movie, then, stars Robert Downey Jr as Dr Dolittle, a man who can talk to the animals in a Welsh accent via what seems like ADR. His mission is to follow the direction of his late wife, and find the fruit of the Eden tree in order to save the dying queen.

To do this, he must do battle with one of the traditional characters from the Dolittle stories … [checks notes] … a big dragon.

But why? Well, the life lesson is clear here. That should you be living a life of grief, and trying to recapture your previous life, then you should immediately team up with an enormous gorilla that failed the Congo exam and go on a quest.

Yet the compelling underlying messages and social commentary of the film lie in the ultimate encounter with the dragon. And here are the key questions that are raised, answered for you.

What is the significance of Robert Downey Jr shoving a leek up a dragon’s arse?

In these troubling political times, it’s easy to see the subtext of Downey Jr with a dodgy Welsh accent ramming the national emblem of Wales up the bum of an animal that’s the focal point of the Welsh flag. And it’d be remiss to not note the subtle political point about how we, as individual countries, have a habit of screwing ourselves over, often with tools of our own making.

Were the film to be shot in England, Downey Jr would instead be shoving a late night kebab up there, whilst St George weeps in the background. But the decision was made to go Welsh, once again skewing audience expectations. Clever, clever.

When the dragon subsequently lets out an enormous fart, just what is the film telling us, and what life lessons should we be learning?

Glad you asked.

The exhuming of significant quantities of wind clearly is demonstrating that global warming was a key touchpoint when the script was being put together. After all, the dragon has an impediment that stops it helping others, or even wanting to. Through the subtle, non-verbal release of a very loud fart, Dolittle and his companions understand what’s been holding it, and everyone else up: extreme wind. This can only be read as a commentary on the state of the world’s weather systems, and an important reminder to us all that when we finally start talking about matters, they get intense and the conversation accelerates very quickly indeed. But without acknowledging the wind problem, how can anyone move forward?

Why does the dragon have a suit of armour and a set of bagpipes up its rectum?


Once again, a question so obvious we almost feel embarrassed explaining it to you. Please forgive us for patronising you in this way, but just know that the consultants insisted the article needed to be at least 1000 words, and advised us to ‘pad it out any way you can’, assuring us that ‘the punters never notice’.

It’s only, you’ll note, that when the bagpipes and armour are removed from the dragon’s jaxy that the dragon, consequently, unlocks the path to saving the Queen.

The bagpipes, therefore, must be read as a caution against a second Scottish independence referendum. That only when they’re out in the open, and not up our bottoms, can they be celebrated by all. They’re simply not designed to be secreted where few can see them.

The film is saying here that bagpipes should be something that brings people together. Don’t put them up your arse. When they’re out in the open, and enjoyed by all, only then can the Queen be settled and open.

The suit of armour? Well, again, it’s so obvious isn’t it? In much the same way as Parasite is in part a commentary on social class divide and structures, here we see a dragon treated so poorly that it doesn’t have the living space even to have a closet to store some armour in. That rents have been driven up by the evils of extreme capitalism, that mythical creatures are now taking not to Ikea, but to their bums for extra storage options.

What Dolittle is telling us, and our children, when he removes the armour is that it’s okay and a basic right for us all to spread out. That we’re all entitled to a minimum standard of living. And whilst it’s an unexpected piece of politics in such a mainstream family movie, it’s a welcome and appreciated reminder.

How much was a ticket for this film again?

You don’t want to know.

What should we take from a polar bear threatening to assault Jim Broadbent?

Just as we head to the climax of the film, with the Queen saved, there’s the matter of Jim Broadbent’s character, who is apprehended by a large polar bear. This, again, is just double-bagging the film’s underlying environmental messages, in two ways.

Firstly, it’s a reminder that if any of us still have DVD boxsets of Lost, recycle them rather than throw them away.

Secondly, if a treasure such as Jim Broadbent isn’t safe from a creature originating from a very different climate being able not just to exist in a completely alien area of the world, but also thrive, then, friends, none of us are.

Thank you for your time, and we hope that this piece enhances your enjoyment and understand of a complex, ambitious family movie.

Dolittle is playing in UK cinemas now.

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