Adam Sandler brings back his distinctive voice in the animated film “Leo,” portraying a 74-year-old class lizard. The recognizable gurgly baritone, known for phrases like “Shibbbittty bobbity dooo!” from “Saturday Night Live,” aims to inject humor into a narrative where the lizard imparts life advice to quirky fifth-graders. However, Sandler’s modern artistic lethargy takes the reins in this Netflix project, resulting in stiff animation and lackluster gags. Even the musical numbers featuring Sandler’s voice fall short.
“Leo” establishes self-awareness with a slight adult edge, referencing E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” early on. The story revolves around therapy, with the elderly lizard, Leo, disclosing 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 apparent, hindering its attempt to compete with other animated soundtracks.
While “Leo” occasionally sparks with energy through slapstick and a bright color palette, its assembly line animation and lack of attention to detail detract from the viewing experience. Awkward product placement and visual gags, reminiscent of the Minions’ style, are scattered throughout. Despite contributions from TV Funhouse, the humor in “Leo” falls short, making it a lackluster attempt at charismatic sentimentality. Visit fzmovies for more!