Leo (Marianetti, Smigel, & Wachtenheim, 2023) – Netflix Movie Review

Adam Sandler’s partnership with Netflix has brought us several movies so far, including: The Ridiculous 6 (Coraci, 2015), Murder Mystery (Newacheck, 2019), Sandy Wexler (Brill, 2017), and more. With the most recent being the recently released animated feature- Leo. So, let’s take a look at Sandler’s newest animated venture.

Details of Leo

What time is Leo out on Netflix? - Dexerto
Image Source: Dexerto

Distributor: Netflix
Production Companies: Happy Maddison Productions
Director: Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, & David Wachtenheim
Producers: Adam Sandler & Mireille Soria
Scriptwriters: Robert Smigel, Adam Sandler, & Paul Sado
Starring: Adam Sandler, Bill Burr, Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Sadie Sandler, and Sunny Sandler
Released: 21st November 2023

Running Time: 102 Minutes
Certificate: U

Story of Leo

Leo' is a coming-of-age musical with the sensibility and star power of SNL  : NPR
Image Source: NPR

The story revolves around the friendship of two class pets, Squirtle the turtle and Leonardo the tuatara. One parents evening a kid’s dad comments on how Leo’s species only lives for 75 years, and with Leo working out that he’s 754 he starts to worry about missing out on life. With so many things he stills wants to accomplish. One dream being to see the Everglades.

When the regular teacher takes her maternity leave a substitute Mrs. Malkin is introduced to the class. With her old school style of teaching, she replaces laptops for books and reinstitutes the take a class pet home for the weekend activity. Seeing his chance to get free Leo uses this to try and escape with several of the children in the class.

Leo becomes torn between following his dreams and escape to the Everglades and getting to attached to the children that take him home.

Analysis of Leo

Netflix To Screen 'Leo' In 150 Theaters Ahead Of The Film's Streaming  Release
Image Source: Cartoon Brew

Writing for a start was simply brilliant. Providing numerous comedic moments, paired with heartfelt scenes and relationships. You really do end up getting invested into the children’s problems and watch hopefully as Leo tries to help them. The constant back and forth banter between Squirtle and Leo is phenomenal, I can’t think of single dull scene these two shared. Another surprise standout character was the drone. Speechless but filled with emotion. Akin to Gromit from Wallace and Gromit, the character only needed its vast range of body language to express anything it needed to without the need for words.

Leo Cast Guide: Who's Joining Adam Sandler In The Netflix Animated Movie -  IMDb
Image Source: IMDb

As for voice acting, it was expertly cast and performed. Stand outs include all the children’s voice actors, and of course Sandler and Burr. Whose comedic dynamic has to be explored again in the future, the pair work terrifically well playing off each other.  

The animation style was very aesthetically pleasing, and the artistic style of the kindergarteners is memorable. With them depicted as hyper, big headed, single toothed, and constantly rambling. All characters were expertly designed, and animated. With each scene evoking such emotion through not only amazing voice acting but also a wide range of brilliantly animated body language.


Netflix Unveils Teaser, Poster, Release Date for Adam Sandler Animated  Comedy Leo — When To Stream
Image Source: When To Stream

To conclude Leo is one of the best Sandler productions to come out of his long time partnership with streaming service Netflix. With a lot of people agreeing the movies the two work on to be hit or miss, this one is most definitely a former. Expertly animated, brilliantly cast, this film is a must see for anyone, or any family! The story will tug on your heart strings, bring you to the edge of your seat, and make you laugh, why wouldn’t you want to watch it?

You can watch Leo here on Netflix

Overall Rating: 8.5 – Excellent!

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