Leo is an animated musical comedy about the last year of elementary school through the viewpoint of a class pet. A pessimistic 74-year-old lizard named Leo (Adam Sandler) has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his turtle friend Squirtle (Bill Burr). When he learns he only has one year left to live, he makes plans to escape the classroom and live out his last days in nature. But things take a turn after a handful of children take him home for the weekend.

The best takeaway for children from this film is to talk to your parents. The movie itself is very light and isn’t something that’s going to weigh on audiences in the least bit. Some of the language is iffy, but when it’s time to get serious, they actually get serious. Set in an elementary school classroom, the kids are experiencing a wide-range of very relatable things. Fear, low confidence, and loneliness are just a handful of things we experience, not just as kids, but adults as well. Leo provides practical solutions to issues plaguing the children at school and at home. For that, the film is worth it.

LEO – (Pictured) Leo (voiced by Adam Sandler). Cr: Netflix © 2023.

Outside of that, it doesn’t do much. It’s nice to hear familiar voices like Jason Alexander and Rob Schneider, but the voice Sandler uses for Leo is hard stomach. His singing is a bit easier as it doesn’t last as long and the addition of the children make it comical. Other than that, the jokes are hit or miss.

Leo gets a 7 out of 10. The story was on the right track but veered off at some point. It could’ve been a lot better than it turned out, but at the very least, the message conveyed is for children to talk to their parents. To go along with that, parents need to talk to their children. It was very obvious that parental intervention would’ve helped a myriad of different kids but their focus was elsewhere, a very realistic scenario. The message is practical but the question remains… Was this necessary? And the answer to that is no.

Leo is now available on Netflix

-Jon Jones

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

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