Netflix Unveils Its First Adam Sandler Animated Title ‘Leo,’ Headed By ‘Hotel Transylvania’ And ‘SNL’ Writing Team
Outlining its upcoming kids and family lineup today, Netflix has announced Leo, a new animated feature from Adam Sandler and his production company Happy Madison.
- Netflix describes the film as a “coming-of-age animated musical comedy about the last year of elementary school – as seen through the eyes of a class pet. Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his terrarium-mate turtle. When he learns he only has one year left to live, he plans to escape to experience life on the outside, but instead gets caught up in the problems of his anxious students – including an impossibly mean substitute teacher. It ends up being the strangest but most rewarding bucket list ever…”
- Leo is something of a reunion project, as frequent Sandler collaborators and Saturday Night Live writers Robert Smigel, Robert Marianetti, and David Wachtenheim are directing. Smigel was a co-writer of Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, with Marianetti and Wachtenheim as heads of story on the latter. All three worked on Saturday Night Live’s popular animated Saturday TV Funhouse shorts in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- Leo’s animation is being produced by Netflix Animation and Animal Logic (The Lego Movie, DC League of Super-Pets). The latter studio, headquartered out of Sydney, Australia, with additional offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver, was acquired by Netflix last year.
- Voice casting includes Sandler, Bill Burr, Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Rob Schneider, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler, Jackie Sandler, Heidi Gardner, Nick Swardson, Nicholas Turturro, Robert Smigel, Jo Koy, and Stephanie Hsu.
- Leo will release on Netflix worldwide on November 22, 2023.
Netflix also announced release dates for several other animated film and series titles, including:
- The Magician’s Elephant, March 17
- Oddballs Season 2, February 24
- Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, February 24
- We Lost Our Human, March 21
Release dates have not yet been announced for a trio of Netflix’s 2023 animated features: Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, The Monkey King, or Nimona.
Pictured at top: Leo