ANTICIPATION is building among residents of Kirkby Lonsdale ahead of next week's release of Dolittle - the Hollywood adventure starring Robert Downey Jr as the doctor who can talk to animals.

The crew of the $150 million movie spent three weeks on location in the picture-postcard market town back in May 2018.

Cllr Allan Muirhead, vice-chairman of Kirkby Lonsdale Parish Council, said there is definitely an air of excitement among townsfolk about the film's release on Friday, February 7.

In one version of the Dolittle trailer, a giraffe leaps through Kirkby's Market Square, and its carved stone Monument and the former Trustee Savings Bank, now a private house, can clearly be seen.

"Kirkby Lonsdale has been a favourite with film and TV people in the past but this is really a blockbuster," Mr Muirhead told the Gazette.

"It took three weeks of extensive production work in the town centre, and we were all watching the movie being made. It was exciting to see it being put together."

The parish councillor said the giraffe scene was filmed using a man on a quad bike driving haphazardly round the square, knocking over apple carts and chased by horses, with the CGI animated giraffe added in later.

Carpenters created false shopfronts, such as at clothing store Edge of the World, which became a hardware shop. Office manager Sue Airey said staff glimpsed the film crew at work from behind net curtains placed over the shop windows.

"It was very interesting to see. You couldn't believe how many takes they needed to do just one tiny bit of action," she said. "We are going to have a works outing to go and see it."

Critics have given Dolittle mixed reviews since its US release. It is predicted to lose up to $100m at the box office.