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Time Out says20th Century-Fox's lavish musical version of the much-loved Hugh Lofting stories almost bankrupted the studio when audiences stayed away in droves. In retrospect, it's not hard to see why, since the antics of Harrison's kindly veterinarian, who's learned 498 animal languages, fail to find any compelling dramatic shape over the lengthy running time, while resistible right-hand man Newley and vacuous love interest Eggar aren't much help. True, the Bricusse songs (including 'If I Could Talk to the Animals') have their charms, and the pre-CGI spectacle of some 1,500 live animals often works its magic on very young viewers, but you're mainly left with sympathy for Fleischer and his crew, since the whole thing was evidently a nightmare to shoot. Especially when one of the parrots learned to mimic the director's 'Cut!'