The lyrics and score music for Doctor Dolittle was composed by Leslie Bricusse and conducted by Lionel Newman. Following a test screening in Minneapolis, preview audiences wrote on their comment cards that the film was too long. Before the film was screened again in San Francisco, several verses of the songs were edited out to improve the film's pacing including "Something In Your Smile". Additional edits were made including the removal of "Where Are The Words" and "Beautiful Things" was shortened. In the original cut of the movie, Dr. Dolittle and Emma did eventually begin a relationship in which he sang "Where Are the Words", when he realizes he is falling in love with her, but in a revised version, it's actually Matthew who falls for Emma and it is his recording of the song which is featured on the soundtrack album. Both versions were filmed and both actors recorded their respective versions, but the footage for both, as well as the vocal track by Rex Harrison have been lost.

In both scenarios, "Something In Your Smile" is sung by Dolittle when he realizes he himself has fallen for Emma; although Harrison's vocal for the song survives, the footage does not exist. Ultimately, the version screened in San Jose, California, which ran 151 minutes, became the final cut of the film.

The soundtrack release was accompanied by an enormous media blitz, with half a million copies of the mono and stereo LP soundtrack being issued in retail stores four months before the premiere. The song, "Talk to the Animals", was recorded internationally by Bobby Darin, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack Jones, and Andre Kostelanetz. Sammy Davis Jr., who had been dropped from the film, recorded an entire album of music featured in the film. Bobby Darin Sings Doctor Dolittle was released on Atlantic Records in August 1967. Darin's recording of "Beautiful Things" from this LP was featured in a 2013 TV commercial for Etihad Airways. A cover version of the same song by the Shiny Lapel Trio was used in a 2008 Christmas television commercial campaign for the United States retail chain Kohl's.

In November 2017, the 50th Anniversary Expanded Soundtrack from La-La Land Records was released as a lavish 2-CD set and did include numerous demos, rehearsal takes, and alternative versions.

Track listing

  1. "Overture"
  2. "My Friend the Doctor"
  3. "The Vegetarian"
  4. "Talk to the Animals"
  5. "At the Crossroads"
  6. "I've Never Seen Anything Like It"
  7. "Beautiful Things"
  8. "When I Look In Your Eyes"
  9. "Like Animals"
  10. "After Today"
  11. "Fabulous Places"
  12. "Where Are The Words"
  13. "I Think I Like You"
  14. "Doctor Dolittle"
  15. "Something In Your Smile"
Wikipedia
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