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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Leo is the perfect feel-good movie

The movie poster for Leo, which was released on Netflix Nov. 21.

If you are looking for a cute, feel-good movie with an iconic voice, I have the perfect film for you. 

Picture this: a talking and singing lizard (actually a tuatara) voiced by Adam Sandler. What more could you ask for?

On Nov. 17, the film Leo was released. Sandler is the lead actor and co-creator of the animated musical comedy. He masterfully plays the voice of the main character, Leo—an ancient class pet lizard who experiences a midlife crisis at the age of 74. 

Leo has been a class pet in an elementary school since 1949; he shares the tank with a comedic turtle named Squirtle voiced by Bill Burr. On the first day of school, during the open house, a parent makes a comment on how tuataras have a lifespan of 75 years. When Leo realizes he only has one year left to live, he begins to make plans to escape so he can experience all of the things he has yet to experience. 

His opportunity for freedom arises when the class receives a permanent substitute named Ms. Malkin, voiced by Cecily Strong. She is very strict and insists that the students take turns bringing Leo home for the weekend. He sees this as his chance to escape and live the rest of his days in the Everglades. 

His plans take an unexpected turn when he begins to talk with the kids and shares years of wisdom and advice with them. Ultimately, he finds purpose in helping the students and sharing his fountain of knowledge. 

Initially, I was not interested in viewing this film but after a friend told me to watch it I decided to give it a chance, and I am so glad I did. 

Sandler manages to charm us all yet again while voicing an old, cranky reptile. The entire film is charming and wholesome; it will fill you up with bliss. The humor in this movie can play across generations, so whoever is viewing this film is likely to laugh, no matter their age. 

The entire film is charming and wholesome; it will fill you up with bliss.

I was engaged with Leo for the entire hour and 42 minutes, only leaving my couch once for a quick snack break. When I wasn’t laughing, I was smiling; when I wasn’t smiling, my heart was filled with happiness. 

Directors Robert Marianetti, Robert Smigel, and David Wachtenheim created a film intended for all ages. Leo is about aging, and both young and old can take away important lessons from it. Young people can take the advice that Leo gave the students in the movie and they can also learn about maturity. Older people can take away the important lesson of living life to the fullest and sharing wisdom with younger generations. 

Even though I was initially skeptical, in the end, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and universal appeal. The film is able to capture the essence of aging, purpose in life, and the importance of sharing wisdom with others. Leo is a delightful movie, sure to make you fall in love with a talking lizard. It will leave you with lasting memories of laughter, warmth, and valuable life lessons.

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About the Contributor
Juliana Lieuwen
Juliana Lieuwen, Staff Writer
Juliana is a junior entering her first year on The Central Trend. She loves sunsets and spending time with her rabbit Snickers. When she isn't at school you can find her at 5 High Farms, the place where she rides horses. Juliana is also on the FHC Equestrian team and is busy with that in the fall. She loves to sing and dance to music by Taylor Swift. When she isn't busy with horses or school, she loves drawing, hanging out with friends, and shopping. She is so excited to be writing for The Central Trend this year. Favorite food: Sushi Favorite color: Hot Pink Her pets: Two chickens, one cat, one dog, one bunny Favorite song: "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift Favorite numbers: 3 and 7

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