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Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
01 Dec 2022
Rating
PG
Runtime
107 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Comedy, Musical
Director
Will Speck, Josh Gordon
Cast
Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Winslow Fegley, Scoot McNairy, Brett Gelman, Shawn Mendes
Synopsis
Based on the best-selling book series by Bernard Waber, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is a live-action/CGI musical comedy that brings this beloved character to a new, global audience. When the Primm family (Constance Wu, Scoot McNairy, Winslow Fegley) moves to New York City, their young son Josh struggles to adapt to his new school and new friends. All of that changes when he discovers Lyle - a singing crocodile (Shawn Mendes) who loves baths, caviar and great music-living in the attic of his new home. The two become fast friends, but when Lyle’s existence is threatened by evil neighbor Mr. Grumps (Brett Gelman), the Primm’s must band together with Lyle’s charismatic owner, Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem), to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places and there’s nothing wrong with a big singing crocodile with an even bigger personality.
Reviews
By InCinemas  30 Nov 2022
The film-equivalent of a warm hug.
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Shawn Mendes voicing a singing crocodile would never be a square on our Bingo cards but here we are!

Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon from a screenplay by William Davies, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is an adaptation of the children's story of the same name and its prequel The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber. It stars Mendes as the titular character alongside Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Winslow Fegley, Scoot McNairy, and Brett Gelman. It features original songs by Academy Award-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Set in New York City, the film follows Hector P. Valenti (a magnetic Bardem) as he discovers a singing baby Lyle in an exotic pet store. Seeing the talented infant crocodile as an opportunity to become rich in the talent business, Hector trains him to perform. Alas, Lyle suffers from stage fright and so are Hector’s dreams, resulting in him abandoning Lyle in their three-story brownstone. 

Eighteen months later, the Primm family (McNairy, Wu and Fegley) moves into the house. Their young son, Josh (Fegley), is initially terrified of moving into his new home and struggles to make friends at school. One night, he discovers Lyle, now fully grown and living in the attic. They become friends when Lyle saves Josh from a mugger and demonstrates his singing talent. What follows is a sweet tale of the power of friendship and love.

The musical comedy is chockfull of heartwarming moments that gives Paddington 2 a run for its money. While it’s at its most entertaining with high energy sequences–largely the fun times between Lyle and Josh–Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile also powers down when needed, especially during moments when it touches on meaningful messages and sentimental values very beatifully. It makes full use of its 106-minutes by allowing the supporting characters to shine, even if it’s just in a singular sequence.

Mendes is faultless as Lyle (considering his role is limited to singing only) while Wu shows off her singing chops in a fun duet she shares with Lyle in the kitchen. The film’s most surprising star, however, is not the singing crocodile but Bardem’s eccentric Valenti! The dramatic actor makes an interesting choice with his character, delivering a lovable and memorable performance that adds flair to the already colourful film.

Pasek and Paul’s earworms also play a big part in setting the tone of the film, keeping it fun and light for the most part and contributing to one of its more emotional moments. It helps that Mendes has the perfect pop voice for the catchy, upbeat songs originally written for the film. 

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile has elements that both kids and adults can enjoy, making it the perfect family-friendly film for the holidays!
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