Arlo the Alligator Boy

Movie review by Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Arlo the Alligator Boy Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Sweet, goofy animated adventure has some peril, stereotypes.

NR 2021 92 minutes

Parents say

age 8+

Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 3 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 8+

Big feels- abandonment, kindness, redemption, acceptance, and forgiveness.

First of all this movie has great music. Think X men for littles- normals vs. not normals in society only rather than all out fighting, the non normals are shunned from society. Non normals either drift, grift, or hide out in seedy places and swamps and are exploited OR they hide themselves and try to pass as normal. The main character Arlo (a teen) secure in himself thanks to a great surrogate granny (hiding from the law), sets out to find his real family and "where he belongs". Bringing positive vibes with him along the way he inspires a group of odd folks out to the city with him. Finding out the truth about his family, and being abandoned for a second time, Arlo has some big feelings to work through and some tough decisions to make, as do the adults and others in his life. The animation is vibrant, music great, the story is really good and funny, with some peril in parts but it allows bravery & heroism to shine. This is a really good movie to discuss some important life concepts but to be warry if you have sensitive kids or if abandonment is part of your life in any way. Happy viewing and enjoy the music!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 9+

Simple story elevated by likable characters, great songs, a unique art style and terrific animation

Ever since I saw promotional images for this, I've been really looking forward to this. Like, this was up there with Encanto as one of my most highly anticipated films of the year. It just showed off this wonderful art style that reminded me a lot of Gary Baseman's work. And, yeah, the film is a lot of fun. It's energetic, it's gorgeous, it's delightfully strange, it has many psychedelic moments. And of course, since Netflix can get away with a lot more than your standard Hollywood fare, there is a lot of humor that was clearly aimed more at the adult crowd. This was like when I saw 2018's Next Gen, which features a dog who curses at least 75% of the time. I love that the film was able to get away with as much as it did. But it also tackles some pretty heavy themes with the animal people representing minority groups. Admittedly, I wasn't completely won over by the story at first as it seemed a little too simple. But as it goes along, it gets a lot more complex and powerful with a nice, likable, colorful cast of characters. On top of that, the songs in this film are great. By far the biggest stand-outs are the opening number and this one song performed by Arlo's father shortly after he meets him. Now, at first, I did have a bit of an issue with Arlo himself as I didn't find him that interesting throughout a good portion of the film. And I'll be honest, he is probably the least developed member of the cast. More often than not, the film centers around the supporting characters learning from him. There is a point where he doubts himself and then has to be reminded of who he is, but that's about it for his growth. But even then, his energetic attitude is so infectious and his personality is so likable, I was okay with it. It's a similar case with Danny from Cats Don't Dance. (In fact, both characters are really similar in terms of personality, now that I think about it) Not among the most complex leads I've seen, but still very likable. All in all, yeah, if you have Netflix, check this out. The story might not grab you, but everything else is great.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Movie Details

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