These adorable beasts are ready for their close-up.
In a new trailer for “Dolittle,” starring Robert Downey Jr., a string of animated furry beasts, big and small, audition with the “Iron Man” star for roles by re-enacting scenes from movies including “Jaws,” “Notting Hill” and “Despicable Me.”
In the retelling, Downey, 54, stars as famed British physician Dr. John Dolittle, who sets sail for an island with some animal friends to find a cure for a gravely ill member of the royal family.
During the two-minute teaser, released Tuesday by Universal Pictures, a parrot named Polynesia (a k a Polly, voiced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson) takes on a scene from the action flick “The Fast and the Furious,” clearing her throat and declaring with her best Vin Diesel swagger, “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time.” She then recklessly peels away, squawking, in a miniature red sports car and plows through a pile of cardboard boxes nearby on the studio floor.
“We need her,” says Downey, adding, “and a medic.”
A squirrel named Kevin (Craig Robinson) tries his hand at “Scarface,” sneering Al Pacino’s line, “Say hello to my little friend.” After Downey tells him to be more “threatening,” Kevin lets out a string of Mafia-appropriate profanities. “OK, stop — this is a family movie,” Downey scolds him.
In another scene, Yoshi, a cuddly polar bear played by John Cena, playfully reclines on the ground and asks, “I have nipples, Greg; can you milk me?” — a classic line uttered by Robert De Niro to Ben Stiller in the rom-com “Meet the Parents.”
And Barry the tiger (Ralph Fiennes) lets out his best dinosaur roar that proves a reasonable facsimile for any ferocious beast in “Jurassic Park.”
“Do I have the role? Put me in the movie, or it’s Downey for dessert,” he threatens, as Downey quickly caves in, saying to the unseen cameraman, “Gotcha. He’s perfect.”
Other animals and all-star voices who made the cut include a gorilla named Chee Chee (Rami Malek), Dab-Dab the duck (Octavia Spencer), Plimpton the ostrich (Kumail Nanjiani), a pooch who goes by Jip (Tom Holland), Tutu the fox (Marion Cotillard) and a giraffe named Betsy (Selena Gomez).
“Dolittle” is based on a series of children’s books by Hugh Lofting. The character was previously portrayed by Rex Harrison in 1967’s “Doctor Dolittle” and Eddie Murphy in a 1998 reboot and 2001 sequel. A series of three spinoffs starred Kayla Pratt (“Recovery Road”) as Maya Dolittle, the doctor’s daughter who follows in his footsteps.
“Dolittle” premieres Jan. 17.
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