In the animated feature “Leo,” Adam Sandler once again lends his iconic voice, this time to a 74-year-old class lizard. The familiar gurgly, raw monster baritone, a staple from “Saturday Night Live,” attempts to inject humor into the narrative as the lizard imparts life advice to quirky fifth-graders. Unfortunately, Sandler’s contemporary lazy artistic tendencies take center stage in this Netflix project, resulting in stiff animation and lackluster gags. Even the musical numbers, featuring Sandler’s distinctive voice, fall short of expectations.
“Leo” introduces self-awareness with a slight adult edge, making an early reference to E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web.” The narrative revolves 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 movie 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 diminish the overall experience. The film includes awkward product placement and visual gags, reminiscent of the Minions’ innocuousness. Despite contributions from TV Funhouse, the humor in “Leo” falls short, making it a lackluster attempt at charismatic sentimentality. Visit hdtoday for more!