This half-animated musical can only appeal to a very young audience.
Adaptation of the eponymous youth novel by Bernard Waber, Lyle the Crocodile begins when the magician Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem) seeks, for his show, an animal more impressive than the traditional pigeons and doves. By chance, he comes across Lyle (voice of Shawn Mendes in the original version and William Cloutier in the French version presented here), an adorable baby crocodile who can… sing!
Fast forward to the arrival of Joe (Scoot McNairy) and Katie (Constance Wu) Primm who, along with their son Josh (Winslow Fegley), move into their new apartment in New York. Josh is worried and fails to make any friends until the day he discovers Lyle in the attic of the house, Valenti’s former home. As we can imagine, Josh and Lyle will build a friendship that will soon extend to the whole family, the arrival of Valenti adding a special zest to the adventures of the Primms.
Directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon, known for The Exchange with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, took care to respect the target audience: young children by making the visuals engaging, betting on the magical side of the story and managing to make Lyle look adorable – which is a trick of the trade. strength, let’s face it.
The songs have the merit of speeding up this 106-minute feature film and also serve to convey the usual messages about friendship, fear, self-transcendence and family.
Whether Lyle the Crocodile does not remain in the annals and that parents are likely to find the subject a little superficial, the film contains enough good moments of entertainment to please young people.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5