Adam Sandler’s Netflix animated film, Leo, revolves around the titular old lizard, who has been stuck in a school in Florida for over a decade. One day, Leo finds out that he is 75 years old, the age at which lizards die, so he decides to escape his cage and relish the outside world for once. But in order to go outside, he needs someone’s assistance. Let’s see how Leo manages to achieve his freedom.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Leo opens by introducing a group of students in the fifth grade who are coming to school. The class pets, Leo and his best friend, Squirtle, who had been a turtle living with him for decades, were seen in a cage. Mrs. Salinas was the class teacher who was pregnant, so she was seen eating all the snacks that the kids had brought. Leo understood what Salinas was expecting. The next day, Salinas announced her pregnancy and took a lengthy leave until she gave birth to her child. The principal appointed a substitute teacher named Ms. Malkin, who wasn’t as cool as Salinas was. Meanwhile, Leo came to know that he was only going to live for 75 years, so he decided to go outside and enjoy what was left of his life. Ms. Malkin unintentionally helped Leo by announcing a new rule. She asked each of the students to take one of the class pets home each Friday.
Summer chose the lizard and brought it home. Leo was trying to escape her house, but Summer caught him in the act. Summer was a very talkative girl who could make anyone feel sleepy just by talking to them about boring stuff nonstop. However, as Summer was about to put Leo back in his cage, Leo spoke out, shocking Summer. Sumner wanted to know how Leo could talk, to which the lizard replied that he could only talk to a special one, who was Summer. Leo begged Summer not to reveal that he could talk; otherwise, his life would be in jeopardy. Summer promised that she wouldn’t tell anyone. However, as Summer and Leo started getting along, Leo realized that Summer was a blabbermouth, which was not only annoying but also preventing her from making friends at school. So Leo set out to resolve her problem. He asked Summer to ask people questions instead of always talking about her own life. Summer tried it out, and it worked. The next day, when Summer brought Leo back to school, she began to ask questions to her friends about their lives instead of blabbering about her own, and she became successful in making friends. The next Friday, another student, Eli, was supposed to take one of the class pets home, so he chose to take Leo home.
Why Were The Kids Mad At Leo?
Eli’s father was a scientist, and his mother was someone who took extreme precautions regarding her son’s safety and health. They used an AI drone, which followed Eli like his own shadow. The drone used to examine everything from foods to toys before allowing Eli to take them, which was frustrating for him. He couldn’t even have a single moment of joy with his friends, as his mother forced him to wear a safety suit. Leo watched it all, and even though he wanted to escape, he couldn’t. Instead, he helped Eli out of this situation. He asked Eli to write a letter expressing his feelings about the drone’s constant interference in his life and give it to the drone. Eli did that, and even though it broke the drone’s heart, he managed to live his life in his own way for a while.
The next day, Eli brought Leo back to school, which surprised Squirtle. He demanded to know if Leo would ever escape from the cage, but Leo was having fun. On Friday, he was taken by Jayda, who was the rich and popular girl at the school. However, Leo talked to her as well, giving the same explanation that Jayda was a special one. He asked her to be more down to earth, allowing Jayda to look into herself. Jayda was impressed by Leo’s words and realized that she shouldn’t feel so proud of herself and her family or consider themselves extraordinary. Meanwhile, Jayda’s father was planning her birthday party, at which Jayda had demanded to have celebrity performances, but after talking to Leo, she decided to invite her friends. On her birthday, her father organized a massive zoo where every kind of animal was caged up, just like Leo was. Leo felt their pain and decided to free them. Jayda and her friends helped Leo in the process, and they freed all those animals. Leo decided to take off with them, but he felt that these kids needed him. He had also become fond of the connections he had made with the students, so he returned, dropping the idea of going outside.
As Leo was brought to the classroom once again, he told Squirtle his decision. The students began to leave cell phones in Leo’s cage so that they could talk to him. Squirtle realized that Leo was talking to the kids, which was making him popular among the kids. As he asked Leo why he was doing this, Leo replied that he was simply imparting his wisdom of all these decades and trying to make those kids feel special in his own way. Squirtle got jealous of Leo. When students were asked to take Squirtle home, he couldn’t make any effect on the students’ minds the way Leo did. So he decided to mess with Leo. One day, when Leo was answering all the phones that the kids had left for him, Squirtle made a video with one of those phones and sent it to everyone. The students found out that Leo actually talked to everyone, and there was no special one for this. As all of the students gathered around Leo and asked him why he lied, Leo told them that he only wanted to make them feel special.
Why Did Ms. Malkin Leave Leo At The Sanctuary?
Since Ms. Malkin took over the class as a substitute teacher and made the new rule of taking the class pets home, the students began to concentrate on their studies and had great character development. As no one knew that all the credit went to Leo, the principal thanked Malkin for bringing about such excellent change. However, the kids didn’t like Malkin. As they flocked around Leo and asked them why he lied, they also shared their feelings regarding Ms. Malkin. Malkin happened to hear them saying this, which broke her heart. But as she came to know that Leo was a talking lizard responsible for guiding the students to the right path, she decided to take Leo home.
She talked to Leo and shared her own insecurities with him. It was revealed that she was also an alumna of the school. She showed Leo the yearbook, which reminded Leo that he had seen her in the class. As Leo and Malkin bonded, she put Leo in her pocket and went to school, where a competition was held. After the event became successful and the students of the fifth grade excelled in the competition, the principal thanked Malkin for her great work and recruited her as a permanent teacher for the school. Malkin should have been thankful to Leo, who was the driving force behind her achievement, but the success changed her mindset. She decided to take the entire credit and drove to a faraway sanctuary, where she threw Leo away.
Who Saved Leo?
Squirtle saw that it was Malkin who was the last one to take Leo home since he disappeared. Squirtle contacted the drone, and with his help, he decided to look for Leo. Meanwhile, as Malkin became a permanent teacher for the fifth grade, she was given the responsibility of taking all the children on an excursion. Meanwhile, the children began to miss Leo and worried if he was doing well. On the day of the excursion, they decided to look for Leo. As Squirtle told them that it was Malkin who was responsible for Leo’s disappearance, the kids pressed her to spill the truth. Overwhelmed by guilt, Malkin decided to make amends by tracking down Leo. She almost fought with the sports teacher and managed to take over the bus. However, she couldn’t drive as she fell unconscious. One of the students who knew how to drive drove the bus to the sanctuary and began looking for Leo.
In the meantime, Leo met with the other animals at the sanctuary, where he met with lizards even older than him. He found out that lizards don’t die at the age of 75; rather, they can live up to more than 100 years. This brought immense joy to Leo’s mind, knowing that he was not dying. The children, who were told by Squirtle that Leo had come to the end of his life, worried if Leo was alive. They found a dead lizard, which they believed to be Leo, but Leo, who was very alive at the moment, appeared in front of them, letting them know that he was doing well. He also told them that he was not dying, as he still had many years to live. The children were happy to find Leo alive. Malkin apologized to Leo, who had forgiven her. They all went back to school, where the students of the fifth grade graduated from the primary school. It was a new year, and Leo and Squirtle expected a new batch. But as Malkin became a permanent teacher, she demanded to take Leo and Squirtle with her to whichever class she would be allocated to. However, surprisingly, she was given the class of nursery kids, who were real trouble. As the nursery kids flocked around Malkin, they made a huge ruckus, making Leo and Squirtle jump out of their cage. Still, at the end of the film, we saw that both Leo and Squirtle were happy. Even though they had to say their goodbyes to the former fifth grade students, they embraced their new students no matter how much trouble they were.