Hollywood has always given us a wide variety of talking animal live-action movies like “Dr Doolittle”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, “Stuart Little”, “Paddington” and much much more. But never once have they given us a non-talking (but singing!) animal live-action movie before!
Based on the classic children’s picture book by Bernard Waber, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” is a live-action musical comedy that will sweep you off your feet with its awesome tunes and heartwarming, family-fun comedy!
The plot follows Lyle, a music-loving, scarf-wearing, singing crocodile – voiced by the none other Canadian pop-star Shawn Mendes – and his journey of love, family, and self-discovery. When the Primm family moves to New York City, their young son Josh (Winslow Fegley), soon finds out that Lyle the crocodile has been living in their attic, surviving solely on dumpster-dived food and good music.
Josh and Lyle soon became fast friends and thus begin the adventure of their lives. But when evil neighbor Mr Grumps (Brett Gelman of “Stranger Things“) threatens to break up the family, the Primms must work together to prove to the world that family can come from the most unlikely places.
The movie gives off a feel-good vibe right from the beginning with its lighthearted show tunes and jokes. And with the special appearance of Lyle the baby crocodile, viewers going into the movie knowing full well that a movie like this has a happy ending. The plot was unfortunately very predictable, but then again, it’s no Christopher Nolan! What did you expect?
Since the story was originally from a 1962 best-selling children’s book, the conversion from book to movie left quite a few gaps in the plot line. Started strong with the typical slow burn of introductions soon turned into a rushed climax, even skipping several moments we feel would be important to the plot line. But of course, the humorous moments and great tunes ultimately won us over, and Lyle the crocodile came crawling back into our hearts.
Although Lyle is the star of the movie, the crocodile did not utter a single word throughout the whole movie (apart from the occasional roars and shrieks) but instead speaks through songs he learned from a hand-me-down media player. Facial expressions and body language on Lyle were also very well utilised, successfully delivering Lyle’s emotions without the use of any words.
Fans of Shawn Mendes would be happy to know that the pop star did such an amazing job in the movie, giving us amazing tunes you would be stuck repeating for days! Songs like “Top Of The World” and “Take A Look At Us Now” are such bangers, there are already half a million views on YouTube, each! And the movie isn’t even technically out yet!
Although this is a musical-comedy, not all of the cast has a singing role. That is why it was so surprising when Mrs Primm (Constance Wu from “Crazy Rich Asians“) and Hector P. Valentin (Javier Bardem from “No Country for Old Men” and “Eat Pray Love”), started singing! Having several duets with Mendes throughout the movie, we forget that they are actually actors and not singers!
The rest of the cast did beautifully too, successfully delivering their roles with passion that ultimately made the movie better. And thanks to Fegley’s impeccable deep emotional acting, the movie is able to evoke a range of emotions out of audiences, from happy to sad and back to happy again!
As you can obviously see, this movie is heavily relied on CGI – Duh! The star is an 8-foot singing crocodile! – but it was so fantastically done to the point where you don’t think twice about it. There is even a scene where Lyle and Mr Primm (Scoot McNairy) literally had a wrestling match, pinning each other and rolling about. But it was so smoothly done, the CGI team deserves a show of hands! Not to mention there are many other beautifully-done CGI animals, like Loretta the Cat, other crocodiles in the zoo, and even a beat-boxing snake!
Viewers going into this movie can expect a full 1 hour and 46 minutes of fun, so bring your children and loved ones along for a better family-loving, experience! Fans of Shawn Mendes should also definitely check out his debut movie as his voice is better than ever! “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” is out in cinemas on 1st December. Check out the trailer here;
Puteri Teja contributed to this article.
"Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile"
When the Primm family moves to New York City, their young son, Josh, struggles to adapt to his new school and friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle, a singing crocodile that loves baths, caviar and great music. The two become fast friends, but when evil neighbor Mr. Grumps threatens Lyle's existence, the Primms must band together to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places.
- "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" Movie Review