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Arlo the Alligator Boy Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Director: Ryan Crego
Writers: Ryan Crego , Ryan Crego
Stars: Michael J. Woodard, Mary Lambert, Haley Tju
Arlo Beauregard (voiced by Michael J. Woodard) is a part-human, part-alligator child who tossed into the ocean at birth but raised in the bayou by the kindly old Edmée (Annie Potts). He’s a loner by necessity, and while he’s joyously happy singing to the frogs in the swamp, he still dreams of seeing the world and making more friends. When he finds out his birth parents were from New York City, he sets out on a long trip north, teaming up with various other outsiders along the way.
Perhaps the closest comparison in terms of what Arlo the Alligator Boy is trying to achieve, as a road movie filled with silliness but also extreme earnestness, is The Muppet Movie. Where Arlo misses the mark is that The Muppet Movie never took its fluffy story too seriously; its emotional bits came from the characters rather than any attempt at heavy plotting.
The best parts of Arlo have a similar focus on the characters’ emotions. The movie’s most interesting character, the giant superwoman Bertie (Mary Lambert), doesn’t need an extensive backstory for viewers to understand exactly where she’s coming from. Her song “Follow Me Home” (a rough cut of which was released as a preview for the film) is genuinely beautiful and the best part of the movie, a misfit’s reflection on belonging that fulfills a similar role to “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday.”
It’s in the specifics of the plot that the movie falls apart, however. Arlo’s hyper-optimistic and forgiving nature is meant to be inspiring, but the way he brushes off issues with people who’ve actually been awful to him is both bad for drama and possibly a bad message for children. The film’s villains are half-formed; a team of minor antagonists serves no real purpose to the story except to hit the requisite action sequences on the “Save the Cat” beat sheet, while the main antagonist’s psychology makes no sense on multiple levels.
This isn’t the last audiences will see of Arlo and friends, as Netflix has already greenlit an I Love Arlo TV series. If the series goes for stronger comedy and doesn’t try to address heavy topics via trite cliches, maybe it will be a success. The movie, however, is a disappointment, especially considering its artistic strengths and creative potential.
Directed by Ryan Crego, Arlo the Alligator Boy features the voice talents of Michael J. Woodard, Mary Lambert, Jonathan Van Ness, Michael “Flea” Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Brett Gelman, Haley Tju, Jennifer Coolidge and Vincent Rodriguez III. It premieres April 16 on Netflix.