A Review and Story of The Film Leo

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Review and Story of the Film Leo

In the animated The film Leo Adam Sandler reprises his role as That Voice, this time giving a 74-year-old class lizard a little personality. His long-running, raw monster baritone is the one responsible for the creation of catchphrases like “Shibbbittty bobbity dooo!” and the many chuckles generated by “Saturday Night Live”‘s Weekend Update. Sandler reprises his role as the voice actor, this time as a lizard that secretly gives funny fifth graders wonderful life advice—a voice that is kinder but more congested—in a vehicle that promises to be entertaining. Despite this, the Sandman’s slovenly, contemporary creative side shines through in this Netflix production packed of uncomfortable jokes and stilted animation. Not even the few musical passages including Sandler’s rendition of “That Voice” are really impressive.


“Leo” makes an early allusion to E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web since the protagonist is self-aware and has a little mature edge. It’s the required reading for the class, which the kids complain about and dread because of their curmudgeonly replacement, Ms. Malkin. Leo, a 74-year-old lizard, travels home for the weekend with one of the pupils, and each time, he shows that he can converse and understands what every kid needs to hear. However, therapy is the main focus of this narrative. Some girls aren’t making friends or connecting with others due to how she discusses excessively; a protected boy figures out how to climb barriers and dangle from them; a spoiled girl learns that just because her dad is famous as Dr. Skin doesn’t make her any better than her peers; and a charming klunk headed boy admits he has no idea how babies are born.

Yeah, the one with the talking lizard. This aspect is treated as a poorly guarded secret in the original screenplay by Sandler, Robert Smigel, and Paul Sado, which is quite pat. The scaly psychotherapist in Sandler begs the children not to tell anybody so that the secret he is sharing with them remains secret. Amidst one of the many plot points in this excessively drawn-out film, the audience comes to the realization that the class lizard is adored for just that reason. Despite the secrecy, the fact that Leo talks isn’t miraculous or even noteworthy; rather, it’s only an attempt by the screenplay to cast Sandler as an endearing, knowledgeable animal. As for what else, “Leo” wants to know. The story’s offhand urine jokes mostly come from the turtle Squirtle, portrayed by Bill Burr, whose annoys Leo and his treatment endeavors.

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For some reason, this film that plays babysitting also has musical numbers. In a modest, non-uniform way. However, filmmakers Robert Smigel, Robert Marianetti, and David Wachtenheim stomp on the musical numbers that include Leo’s influence on the younger generation. The musical pieces are sparse in every way: duration, arrangement (sparse piano and light strings), dancing (none), and overall quality. “Leo” tries too hard to keep up with other animated films that prioritize score above story, but its shortcuts are too apparent.

As the lizard Leo soars throughout the air, drifts on a bubble, and encounters other talking animals, “Leo” sometimes packs a punch with its comic moments and vibrant color palette. A few seconds of staring at the backdrops of shots is all it takes to break the magic of viewing the lifelike people and locations created by assembly line animation. The eyes of humans and other sentient beings are very similar, and they both blink very seldom. As in “The Blair Witch Project,” the humans with the Playdoh skin texture stand perfectly still and don’t budge an inch from their upright positions. Let me be very clear: my beef is with the project’s lofty goals and low quality standards, not with the animators specifically. The film relentlessly stuffs uncomfortable commercial advertising and cheap visual jokes wherever it has the chance. The Minions’ innocent innocence is symbolized by the kindergarteners’ heads, which are gigantic balloon with eye on one side.

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Apart from a couple of lines here and there, “Leo” doesn’t have much humor, even though it has a lot of comedic elements from the production, including the TV Funhouse folks. Squirtle, played by Burr, makes a funny remark about how the events unfold as “an E.T. scam,” as if they were the pitch for the film. “Leo” demonstrates, however, how strange it is when films take adult comedy too seriously.

Written by Anime News

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