Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Director: Will Speck and Josh Gordon
Year Released: 2022
Failed magician Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem) - who can't get any attention for his act - finds a singing crocodile named Lyle (voiced by Shawn Mendes) and tries doing a routine with him but the little reptile gets stage fright - months later, the Primms (Scoot McNairy and Constance Wu) and their son Josh (Winslow Fegley) move into the home Hector abandoned, only to find Lyle there ... and they (eventually) become attached to him. This is strictly - which I cannot emphasize enough - for the kiddos, with all the overacting, dancing and songs (which were written by guns-for-hire Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), and I don't really like Lyle's "realistic" plus-sized appearance: he looks far too menacing when compared to the cutesy drawings in Bernard Waber's books (Disney's been making the same mistake). It's also annoying how the creature can sing and comprehend verbal directions but can't speak actual words, but if he could explain himself that easily there'd be no storyline. Josh's "best defense" of his new friend to his frightened food writer mother is a gem, though: "He's not like that! He wears a scarf!"