Arlo the Alligator Boy (2021) Review

Certificate: PG

Director: Ryan Crego

Screenwriter: Ryan Crego, Clay Senechal

Starring: Michael J. Woodard, Ryan Crego, Dee Bradley Baker

Genre: Family, Animation

Runtime: 90 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A young humanoid alligator travels to the big city in hopes of reuniting with his estranged father, meeting a colorful cast of characters along the way. – IMDB

What a charming and strange little movie that was.  That’s one thing I always love about a kids film, they aren’t afraid to take chances because with kids sometimes, the wackier and brighter the better.  And this film had bright and wacky in spades.

The 2D art style was just lovely, similar in style to TV shows like ‘Gravity Falls’ it was a quirky and interesting choice of style to use in a full length film.  But I actually really, really liked it. 

The story itself is quite a deep and emotional one, and will be particularly hard for kids with estranged or recently separated parents, so take that under advisement.  But I think the film handles it’s hard topics well, even if there are a few glaring pot holes.  What becomes of Arlo’s ‘Aunt’ that he left in the swamp?  Does she ever wonder what happened to him?  What happened to his mother?  There are a lot of things that are left unanswered.  There is a strong theme of found family, and self-acceptance running throughout this film, and that is a great message to instil in kids, and this film talks about it in a fun and accessible way. 

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The found family that Arlo assembles for himself are a great cast of characters, all with unique and developed personalities.  It is a shame that we don’t really get any real backstory to any of them though.  Bertie in particular I think deserved to have more of her past explained, as it is clearly a very defining part of her personality.

The ending wrapped up a little to neatly and a little too quickly for me, but it was a great and happy ending, so I’m not mad about it, but even giving it an extra ten minutes to really set up the big reveal, and have Arlo and his dada have a real heart to heart, would have been a more satisfying conclusion.

There are some great songs throughout the film, and they aren’t just thrown in there gratuitously.  Each one has a message to deliver and has an emotional heart behind it.  I am a suck er for a good musical, so this was an added bonus for me.

Kids will probably love the feel good message, great animation and interesting characters, and there is enough going on plot wise for the adults to have a half-way decent time too. A solid pick for your next family movie night. ‘Arlo the Alligator Boy’ is streaming on Netflix Now!

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