You can love him or hate him for his sometimes crude sense of humor, but Adam Sandler is one of the most outspoken artists today, when it comes to Hollywood and pop culture. In recent years, the 57-year-old comedian has experimented with more dramatic films such as Csiszolatlan gyémánt and Minden egy Rapra, then together with his family put together a teen comedy for a younger target audience called Ne zereszelj oljeni a bát mitzvam . All three productions have been brought under the Netflix umbrella, and if you haven't watched them yet, take the time to watch them, because Sandler brings something surprisingly new to each of them. The same can be said about the animated film Leo, which was shown on November 21 by the most popular streaming service provider, and if we say that it is the best all-night show on the platform in this genre in recent years, it is not an exaggeration.
The new Netflix animated story revolves around two pets, a turtle named Squirtle and a lizard named Leo, who spend their days in an elementary school aquarium. From the first scene, it's clear that the duo is great, and Adam Sandler and Bill Burr start telling funny jokes to the fifth graders who come into the classroom. Squirtle and Leo have seen a lot, and they think they can't be surprised by anything… Until the moment when a student's father drops half a sentence about the lizard's age, he doesn't think he has a lot left.
This is where Leo gets very interesting, as Sandler's character panics and realizes that he hasn't lived long enough and it's time to see the world. At this point, the screenplay could easily turn into a Disney version, where the old lizard escapes and discovers the wonders that surround him, but screenwriters Robert Smigel, Adam Sandler and Paul Sado instead dared to come up with such a clever scenario. Together an educational tale to your TV screen so you don't get dry eyes from what you see. Leon is about 50-50 making the Giants laugh and get terribly emotional, it's a real emotional rollercoaster.
Because the lizard becomes a kind of class family member after the new teacher orders that every weekend someone must take one of the class animals home and learns about responsibility by keeping the chosen Squirtle or Leo alive. Then Leo speaks by chance, and it turns out that he understands the people's language, and from then on he becomes a surrogate father for the lurkers. Sometimes she teaches the little girl who talks too much to pay attention to others, not just herself, sometimes she shows a little boy trapped in a bubble how much fun it is to play in the park, and sometimes she gives some lessons to the class bully.
What Adam Sandler does behind the microphone, and the way he plays with his voice, is extraordinary, but thanks to his contribution, the actor's likeable personality shines through the script and makes Leo an unforgettable play. Of course, Sandler's great partner is Bill Burr, who fills the tired turtle with life, but all the efforts of the main characters would be insignificant if the animation style was not so loud, strong and distinctive.
Sometimes Leo seems like a caricature, just look at the kindergarten kids screaming madly, almost gnome-like, compared to whom even the little minions look like geniuses, but this exaggeration suits the movie well.
Additionally, this time the production team is omitting the bad humor that characterizes Sandler's films, such as farting jokes, which is also a welcome development. As well as the fact that the story often moves forward through lyrical and musically themed parts. Although these songs are unmemorable and do not cause melodic attachment, they skillfully build the characters and friendship of the children with their weekend pets.
The message that we should accept each other and be open to the world may not be very new, but the way Leo presents it with the lizard who wants to live before he dies at the center is definitely worth a drink. Lately, both Disney and Pixar have struggled when it comes to original stories, and the big studios may not be hitting the mark as much as they'd like. From that point of view, Leo is an absolute refresher, it relies on loose plots, and the twists and turns of the hour-and-a-half plot surprise you along the way.
Finally, a completely unpredictable cartoon. The fact that it made it to Netflix is a particular miracle. Adam Sandler gave his best performance of the year as the wise and friendly lizard, no matter how strange it sounds. It would be even weirder if the lion he takes care of gets splashed at next year's awards show, and there's every chance that will happen.
Leo can be watched with Hungarian dubbing and subtitles on Netflix.