Leo (2023)

Leo (2023)

PG

A modest animated offering that's better at being an absurd comedy than a musical

7.1

Movie

Australia, United States of America
Arabic, English
Animation, Comedy, Family, Music
2023
DAVID WACHTENHEIM, ROBERT MARIANETTI
Adam Sandler, Alex Quijano, Allison Strong
102 min

TLDR

Whoever had the insane idea to depict kindergarten students as human piranhas deserves some sort of prize.

What it's about

A 74-year-old tuatara lizard dreams of escaping the fifth-grade classroom where he lives, but begins to grow a bond with the students who are tasked with caring for him.

The take

Held back by awkward and uninspired musical numbers but otherwise a surprisingly funny and sweet animated comedy, Leo gets a lot of mileage out of being simply weirder than many of its direct-to-streaming contemporaries. As the titular lizard works through his cynicism by spending his last days helping others with their early years (a premise heartwarming enough to stand on its own), the film expresses itself through plenty of cutaway jokes and throwaway lines, excellent physical comedy, and a few particularly bizarre character designs. Everything is played in good fun though, and the movie's witty, easygoing personality allows it to overcome any limitations from its admittedly ordinary animation.

What stands out

Many animated movies tend to talk down to kids or show some sort of contempt towards children, but Leo clearly has a big heart for them. All of the fifth grade characters are depicted as having complex feelings and insecurities, and all of their bad behavior is always seen as something that can be repaired with kindness. They also get the film's best musical number: "When I Was Ten," a humorous but sweet song in which they reminisce about being younger (AKA just a year ago). And yes, every time the kindergarten kids show up as flailing, unblinking, hyperactive creatures, it's always, always funny.

Comments

Add a comment

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

Mike Epps: Ready to Sell Out (2024)

A formless and toothless stand-up special comprised of lazy jokes

3.2

Kill Me If You Dare (2024)

Money pushes a marriage to the edge in this lazily assembled Netflix remake

3.5

End of the Century (2019)

A quietly devastating queer romance that does everything with softness and sensitivity

8.5

Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama

7.7

Thank You, I’m Sorry (2023)

Estranged sisters reconnect amidst grief and bizarre comedy in this understated Swedish drama

6.5

Giannis: The Marvelous Journey (2024)

This awe-inspiring and triumphant documentary gives justice to an NBA star’s remarkable rise to the top

7.3

Saltburn (2023)

A black comedy of perilous desire that's perfectly acted and rightfully unhinged

8.5

Still Fabulous (2024)

A cliche romcom about self-acceptance that could’ve worked if it wasn’t self-defeating

4.5

I Lost My Body (2019)

The Oscar-nominated unconventional animation

8.2

From the Ashes (2024)

A disappointing fictionalized depiction of a real-life Saudi all-girl's school fire

3.0

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.