The animated movie “Leo” sees Adam Sandler once again using his iconic voice, this time to portray a 74-year-old class lizard. The familiar gurgly, raw monster baritone, known from “Saturday Night Live,” aims to bring humor to the story, where the lizard imparts life advice to quirky fifth-graders. Unfortunately, Sandler’s contemporary lazy artistic tendencies take over in this Netflix project, resulting in stiff animation and lackluster gags. Even the musical numbers, featuring Sandler’s distinctive voice, fail to leave a lasting impression.
“Leo” introduces self-awareness with a slight adult edge, making an early reference to E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web.” The narrative centers around therapy, with the elderly lizard, Leo, revealing his ability to talk and offering personalized advice to each child. The script, crafted by Sandler, Robert Smigel, and Paul Sado, feels formulaic, treating Leo’s speaking ability as a poorly kept secret.
The film introduces Squirtle, a turtle voiced by Bill Burr, who becomes a source of antagonism and offhand urination jokes. Surprisingly, “Leo” incorporates musical elements, but the cut corners are evident, hindering its attempt to compete with other animated soundtracks.
While “Leo” occasionally injects energy with slapstick and a vibrant color palette, its assembly line animation and lack of attention to detail detract from the viewing experience. The movie includes awkward product placement and visual gags, resembling the innocuousness of the Minions. Despite contributions from TV Funhouse, the humor in “Leo” falls short, making it a lackluster attempt at charismatic sentimentality. Visit movies joy for more!