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Will Speck, Josh Gordon
Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Shawn Mendes
Writing Credits:
William Davies

A singing reptile lives in a New York home and gets to know its residents.

Box Office:
$50 million.
Opening Weekend
$11,401,182 on 4350 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Supplements Subtitles:

107 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 12/13/2022

• Sing-Alongs
• Bloopers
• “Woman/Warrior” Featurette
• “Croc and Roll” Featurette
• “Take a Look at Us Now” Featurette
• “Story Time” Featurette
• Deleted Scene
• 2 Music Videos
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Lyle, Lyle Crocodile [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 18, 2022)

Bernard Waber launched a series of books about a singing reptile back in 1962. 60 years later, a new big-screen adaptation of the characters arrives via 2022's Lyle, Lyle Crocodile.

Set in New York City, magician Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem) discovers a performing croc named Lyle (voiced by Shawn Mendes) in a pet store. Though he hopes to ride Lyle to fame and fortune, the critter’s stage fright undermines these dreams.

This leads Hector to lose his brownstone, and the family of young Josh (Winslow Fegley) – which includes his father (Scoot McNairy) and stepmother (Constance Wu) – moves into the home. Josh discovers that Lyle still resides there, so a friendship begins along with wide-ranging implications.

Is it just me or does the basic backstory of Crocodile sound a lot like the Looney Tunes classic One Froggy Evening? In that famous short, a man discovers a singing frog and dreams of fame/fortune that never arrives because the lead refuses to perform in front of other people.

Even if Crocodile does borrow that notion from Warner Bros. – which I suspect is true – that doesn’t mean the story can’t branch off into its own territory. After all, the general concept only launches this tale.

Given that the source books offer brief tomes packed with pictures, a 107-minute adaptation needs to branch out quite a lot. In that vein, Crocodile greatly stretches out the original work, though I can’t claim it finds creative paths.

At the start, we meet Josh as highly neurotic and friendless in his new home. Almost instantly after he meets Lyle, he blossoms.

That seems like a trite but adequate launch for a story, but Crocodile doesn’t do much with the narrative, partly because it fails to leave well enough alone. At its heart, Crocodile feels like a riff on the template used in ET the Extra-Terrestrial: unhappy kid makes unconventional new friend and goes through “coming of age” tale.

While this occurs with Josh, Crocodile barely explores these topics. Josh magically springs to life, as do his parents – even though his folks don’t seem particularly unhappy.

This feels like a weird aspect of Crocodile. Lyle works magic on the characters, as he inspires them to develop into their Best Selves.

But why? We get no real explanation for this, and as noted, Josh’s parents don’t feel especially in need of rejuvenation.

Whatever the case, the movie lacks focus, as what should become a simple tale of a Boy and His Reptile turns into something that veers all over the place. Crocodile bites off far more than it can chew, and a lot of this simply feels simplistic and cliché.

Not that Crocodile lacks entertainment value. The animated Lyle manages surprising charm, and the entire enterprise feels warm and innocent enough to deliver moderately engaging material.

However, I can’t help but feel that a Crocodile with greater narrative clarity would work better. As it stands, the movie brings a watchable but ordinary tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not the greatest transfer I’ve seen, the image appeared solid.

Only a wee smidgen of softness occurred. A few wide shots were a tad iffy, but those were minor complaints. The vast majority of the flick seemed tight and well-defined.

No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no signs of edge haloes. Source flaws remained totally absent as well.

Colors learned toward the usual mix of teal and amber. The tones felt well-represented by the disc.

Blacks were dark and deep, and I thought shadows seemed smooth and clear. I felt consistently pleased with the transfer.

Though also not killer, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked fine, as much of the movie demonstrated good range and activity. The forward channels did the most damage, as they showed nice movement and integration.

The surrounds offered a reasonably solid level of involvement as well. This wasn’t an action spectacular, but it contributed an engaging sense of place and movement, with most of the usage related to musical numbers.

Audio quality was positive. Speech was consistently natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music appeared bubbly and bright, while effects showed good power. Those elements offered positive accuracy and heft throughout the movie. Nothing here dazzled, but the track suited the film.

A handful of extras fill out the set, and four Sing-Alongs occupy a total of eight minutes, seven seconds. These simply show scenes from the movie and add lyrics. Yawn.

Bloopers runs two minutes, eight seconds and provides the usual goofs and giggles. Nothing compelling occurs.

Some featurettes follow, and Croc and Roll goes for two minutes, 32 seconds. It brings notes from costume designer Kym Barrett, songwriters Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, screenwriter Will Davies, and actors Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Shawn Mendes, Scoot McNairy, Winslow Fegley and Brett Gelman,

All involved pretend Lyle is a real crocodile/actor. It offers mild amusement at best.

Take a Look at Us Now spans seven minutes, 28 seconds and involves Bardem, Wu, Mendes, McNairy, Fegley, and directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon.

“Now” looks at characters, cast and performances. It gives us minor informational value.

Next comes Story Time, a nine-minute, 21-second piece in which Bardem, Mendes, Gordon and Speck read Lyle tales. Actually, an uncredited female narrator covers a lot of the text. This becomes a likable look at the source.

Two music videos from Mendes ensue: “Top of the World” and “Carried Away”. Both simply mix movie shots with basic lip-synch footage, so neither becomes interesting.

Finally, we get a Deleted Scene called “Josh Learns About Lyle’s Stage Fright” (2:06). It delivers a little exposition but nothing important.

The disc opens with ads for Vivo, Cinderella (2022) and Peter Rabbit 2. No trailer for Crocodile appears here.

If you seek out innocuous family entertainment, you can do worse than Lyle, Lyle Crocodile - but you can also do much better. Mildly entertaining but generic, the movie keeps the viewer with it but it never soars. The Blu-ray comes with fine picture and audio but presents insubstantial bonus materials. Expect passable enjoyment at most.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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