By: Russ Matthews
Leo (Adam Sandler) the lizard and Squirtie (Bill Burr) the turtle have been the 5th-grade class pets at Fort Myer Elementary School for over seven decades.
Each class brings their issues, and every teacher treats the reptiles well as they live out their existence in the glass enclosure. Until one day when Leo hears someone state that lizards usually don’t live much beyond the years he has lived. This motivates him to try a daring escape, as each child is responsible for taking him home for the weekend. Yet, his plans change as the students learn that Leo can talk, and he has excellent advice to share with him from his years of observing the kids in the classroom.
Review: Sandler and his faithful crew have found a genre that suits their talents and comedic tone. As he closes the door on the Hotel Transylvania franchise, these new animated characters are the ideal setting for the comedian to show off his skills while having a crack at pop psychology. Yet, most viewers may need to realise that this film is a musical as well, and the pleasant surprise is that it works. Some moments drag out a bit towards the end. Still, the heart of this reptilian adventure is the kind of fun parents and children can enjoy together. As comedy has suffered over the years as cultural insensitivities have increased, animation is the best place for humour to have a voice, and Leo is worth discovering this weekend.
What should parents know about Leo? Similar to the surprisingly appealing Hotel Transylvania franchise, Leo is a wonderful film for families to enjoy together. Some of the advice the aged reptile gives may cause some parents to pause and discuss the implications of his wisdom. Yet, most life lessons could be valuable for children to learn. Some mature jokes are handled subtly, but may make the parents enjoy this film even more.
If parents do watch this film with their children, this might be a great time to discuss where you can find true knowledge. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” It might not seem as cool as a talking lizard, but the wisdom gained is priceless and timeless.
Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.
All images: Movie stills
About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.