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Parents' Guide to

Leo

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Tender animated musical has mild innuendo, language.

Movie PG 2023 106 minutes
Leo: Leo the lizard looks out through terrarium glass.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 8+

Highly Recommend!

This movie was incredible. First of all, ignore the other two erroneous reviews in this thread. Ranpo feels like a bot, and Karol wants woke Disney movies over this gem. It was one of the better family films I’ve seen in a long time! It’s up there with Wonder, another great family film. If you want your child to think deeper about the meaning of life and laugh along the way, check this film out. Instant classic. One of the last lines of the movie were representative of the entire film: “find your Leo (a representation of meaningful listening, mixed with prudent advice and dialogue with Wisdom) to listen to you.” Basically, find someone more wise than you, and listen to their advice. You’ll know they are wise because they will listen intently more than they talk. The “Leos” we should look for are able to connect and offer sound advice precisely because they are lovingly listening rather than dictating. I think Ranpo and Karol got it wrong because they weren’t really listening to the message.
age 9+

Not what I expected.

The movie doesn't get good until about half way through when Leo talks to the children and goes home with them. Majority of the kids in the beginning are entitled and bratty. They say stupid and other phrases that I don't allow my daughter to say. (She is six) which led me to skipping over majority of the film. Leo and the turtle are pretty judgemental at first as well and the jokes are humorous for adults and potentially older children but not younger ones. There is also a scene where Leo tells one of the girls crying is for babies and she shouldn't cry.. that was not okay. Crying is 100% okay, yes later on he tells the kids it is OK to cry, but that scene was cringe when he told her not to. I also didn't necessarily agree to how he kept telling all the kids they *can't say anything to anyone that he talks, and the only reason he is talking to them is because they are special* this was major red flags. I encourage my kid to never keep secrets unless they are good secrets like for a surprise party etc. Not only that but they paint the adults as illiterate and mean. It's funny for sure, my daughter loved when he got stuck on the vacuum. Etc. But other wise I would say to wait for kiddos to be a little older to watch it with them. Unless you plan to skip over a lot of scenes that were not necessary or inappropriate etc. I personally thought it was just OK. I definitely didn't like the bullying, the grouping kids to specific groups, and the way they talked to eachother etc. It got better later on how they acted toward the other but definitely would suggest to proceed with caution with Littles.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This heartwarming story about the joys and difficulties of being a kid on the verge of tweenhood features Adam Sandler at his best. In Leo, Sandler puts on his dad hat (in fact, his kids and wife are also involved in this movie) to get at the tenderness parents feel for their kids and the important role caring adults can have in their lives. His lizard Leo is like a rent-a-grandpa for the kids who take him home -- someone with a patient ear, who has seen it all, and has wisdom to impart. Sandler's lizard voice could irritate some, and there are plenty of juvenile Sandler-style jokes, mostly involving bodily emissions, but Leo is all heart. That heart comes across in dialogues as well as through some touching musical numbers.

The film has important messages for kids and could also remind some adults about the very real fears and concerns even young children feel, as well as their parallel needs for more independence and loving support. Life does get more difficult the older we get, as one character warns, and that goes for 10-year-olds too. Okay, so maybe Leo's motives aren't entirely altruistic: he wants to escape the classroom, he's concerned about being well-remembered at his funeral, and he's intent on making what he thinks are his last days count. But Leo foregoes his long-desired freedom to be with the kids, and he realizes he needs them as much as they need him. Long live Leo!

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