Doctor Dolittle was an NBC network animated series produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (in association with 20th Century Fox) loosely based on the books by Hugh Lofting as well as the 1967 film of the same name.
The show aired from September 12, 1970 to September 2, 1971, lasting for only one season and 17 episodes.
The series centered around Doctor Dolittle, an animal doctor who has the ability to talk to animals. Doctor Dolittle travels around the world by ship to help out any sick animal in need. He is aided in his missions by his first mate, young sailor Tommy Stubbins (voiced by Hal Smith), who can also talk to animals. Tommy who was apparently taught how to talk to animals by Dolittle share the ship with its animal crew, which includes:
- Chee-Chee - The cabin monkey.
- Dab-Dab - A duck who is also the ship's cook.
- Polynesia Parrot -
- The Pushmi-Pullyu - A llama which has two heads (one of each) at opposite ends of its body. It serves as the ship's lookout.
- Too-Too - The wise owl.
- Jip - The Hound Dog.
The series' other notable characters are George and the Grasshoppers (a rock group of grasshoppers that lives inside Doctor Dolittle's medicine case).
At one point during each episode of the series, the group would launch into a rock or pop song, popping the sides of the medicine case open and using it like a stage, with Doctor Dolittle's bottles of pills and medicines glowing and flashing into different psychedelic colors behind the group as they sang.
Wherever the Doctor Dolittle's ship was, Sub-Mar Island is never far behind. A disguised submarine, Sub-Mar Island is actually the stronghold of Sam Scurvy (voiced by Lennie Weinrib) and his pirate crew:
- Cyclops - A hulking dimwit pirate with an eye patch over his good eye.
- Zig-Zag - An uptight Frenchman.
- Nico - An Italian pirate.
- Miko - A Chinese pirate.
The pirates dress in an unusual mixture of old-fashioned pirate and gangster gear. Sam Scurvy wears a fedora and a business suit and speaks with a Brooklyn accent.
The pirate crew were also a branch of the Democratic Order of Pirates, International, or "DOPI" for short. Sam Scurvy has one goal in life: world domination. He believes that if he can get the secret to talking to animals from Doctor Dolittle, he will be able to raise an army of "creepy creatures" to help him take over the world.
By using his eavesdropping device the Sneaky Snorkel, Scurvy gets wind of Doctor Dolittle's latest missions and then plots to hinder, disrupt, or even kidnap the Doctor, Tommy, or any one of his animals, in order to force him to reveal how he is capable of talking to animals. However, due to Doctor Dolittle's skills as well as the pirates' ineptitude, they never succeed.
- Hal Smith as Dr. John Dolittle, Tommy Stubbins
- Lennie Weinrib as Sam Scurvy, Zig-Zag, George Grasshopper
- Don Messick as Jip the Dog, Pushmi-Pullyu, Chee-Chee, Niko
- Robert Towers as additional voices
- Tom Bosley as additional voices
- Robert Holt as additional voices