Robert Downey Jr.'s Animal-Talking Eccentric Sets Sail for Adventure in Playful First 'Dolittle' Trailer
Universal Pictures
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Robert Downey Jr. takes on the role of Dr. Dolittle, the man who can talk to animals, in the latest adaptation of the classic children's book series.

Perhaps hoping to find his next big franchise -- and succeed where Eddie Murphy failed -- Robert Downey, Jr. is the newest Dr. Dolittle, and the first trailer for the upcoming big-budget film

It also features a cover of "What a Wonderful World," because clearly the film is trying to tap into the nostalgia of a more innocent time, but it was a slower minor-key version with a more sinister backing track, because while Dr. Dolittle makes us think of the wonders and joys of our childhood, his is a world fraught with dangers and we should never completely relax.

Or because trailers love to take classic songs and slow them down in minor keys for movie trailers. It's a whole thing.

Just like the "Alice in Wonderland" movies of the past decade tried to play up Johnny Depp's quirky Mad Hatter as this delightfully unpredictable scamp, RDJ is turning in a very quirky performance as the world's most famous veterinarian (who talks to animals)... he even has the wild hair.

Like the books it's inspired by, "Dolittle" takes the titular doctor on wild adventures around the world with his animals friends, and a few children as well. And his world is one filled with danger, excitement, incredibly bright colors and a wide array of animal friends (and a few enemies).

And while we're not completely sold yet on Downey's British accent, such as it is, he appears to bring just the right amount of charm and wonder to the role. It's a huge departure, however, from his Marvel work as he appears to be much more earnest and sincere than the sarcastic Tony Stark. Or maybe the trailer just leaves all of that out.

This first look at his adventures is a visual treat for the eyes, with stunning visuals throughout and plenty of excitement. Not to mention, our technology for talking animals is at such a point these days that the film's creators were able to create fully-realized animals from apes to big cats, exotic birds, giraffes and so many more.

According to the film's official synopsis, Dolittle comes out of his self-created hermitage to step out into the world in search of a cure for the young queen of England.

Unlike Murphy's recent adaptations, this latest interpretation takes its inspiration directly from the series of children's books by Hugh Lofting, and returns the action back to Victorian England.

Robert Downey, Jr. stars alongside Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent and more; with voice work by the likes of John Cena, Marion Cotillard, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Tom Holland, Rami Malek, Kumail Nanjiani, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer and Emma Thompson. The film is set to hit theaters on January 17, 2020.

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