Why is Everybody Hating on Doctor Dolittle?

Marketers control the world these days…at least that’s how it often seems. Here’s a marketer’s perception of the failure of the latest version of Dr. Dolittle to grace our local cinema’s. And not just any marketer, Seth Godin, whose wisdom in the eyes of this TVWriter™ minion knoweth no bounds.


The Dolittle effect

by Seth Godin

Why is the new Dolittle movie so bad? Savaged by critics and viewers, it had:

  • One of the most bankable movie stars in the world
  • A story that had previously been the basis of two hit movies
  • The best CGI houses in the world
  • Unlimited time and money

I think the best way to understand why it failed is to look at the reasons above. Ironically, it’s these assets and lack of constraints that created the circumstances that allowed the movie to become a turkey.

Too many meetings.

Too many self-important voices around the table.

And most of all: No one who cared enough or was bold enough to stand up and say, “no.”

That would have been enough. If at three or four critical moments in the development of the project, someone had stopped the assembly line until the work was good enough to proceed, everything would have been better.

Sometimes, the investments we put in place to avoid mediocrity are the very things that cause it.


Don’t just sit there marveling at how much a showbiz non-pro knows about Hollywood. Instead, click on over to Seth’s Blog and see what else he knows and is so willing to share.