Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

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Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 8 (themes, violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
  • a review of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 December 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to themes and some violent and scary scenes.
Children aged 6–8 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes and violence, some scenes may scare very young children
Length: 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Failed performer Hector Valenti (Javier Badem) is looking for something different to save his career, when he buys a singing baby crocodile. As Lyle (voiced by Shawn Mendes) grows up, he turns into a fine performer and their double act seems bound for success. However, at their debut performance, Lyle has stage fright and freezes, which means they are thrown out of the theatre and Hector loses the money he has invested in the show. Forced to give up his New York brown-stone house, Hector leaves Lyle in the attic, hoping that someone will care for him.

The family who move into the house are the Primms – a young boy named Josh (Winslow Fegley), his father who is a teacher (Scoot McNairy), and his stepmother who is a cookbook author (Constance Wu). Josh is at first nervous about everything in the city, including the noise, crowds, and his new school. When he encounters Lyle in the attic, he is initially scared but they soon become friends and eventually Lyle becomes part of the family as they all start to relax and have fun together. The only problem for the family is their appropriately named downstairs neighbour, Mr Grumps (Brett Gelman), who constantly complains about the noise coming from upstairs and wants the family evicted. Things come to a head when Hector returns and tries to revive Lyle’s performing career. Lyle is taken away and Hector and Josh must work together to save him.

It is, however, finally up to Lyle to take the action which will make things right for him and his new family.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Animal distress; Moving to a new city; Bullying at school; Show Business Success and Failure; Blended and Found families.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Josh is thrown to the ground and pinned down by a tough-looking opponent while wrestling at school.
  • Lyle is captured by New York Wild Life Control and carried away unconscious with his jaws strapped up.
  • Mr Grumps is frequently angry and threatens the Primms.
  • Mr Primm wrestles with Lyle but the playful intent is not obvious.
  • A wild crocodile advances on Hector and seems to be about to attack him.
  • Hector handcuffs a security guard at the zoo to a railing”.
  • There are some scary chase scenes with armed police involved.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Although Lyle is first seen as a cute baby crocodile, he looks scarier as he grows up. He can growl fiercely and there are several scenes of people being scared by him.
  • Lyle accidentally swallows Loretta the cat, but later spits her out, looking wet and dishevelled but unharmed.
  • The wild crocodiles in the zoo are large, aggressive and frightening. The scene when Hector enters the crocodile enclosure to rescue Lyle is very tense and frightening.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Lyle looks very sad at times, such as when his stage fright and inability to perform upset Hector.
  • Josh looks scared and lonely on his first day at his new school.
  • Josh is very upset and is seen crying after Lyle is taken away.
  • Josh has a panic attack and collapses.
  • Scenes of Josh and Lyle on the top of tall buildings are quite scary.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Use of ‘Google’ and various electronic devices.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Alcohol drinking by adults.
  • Josh has asthma and uses a puffer.

Coarse language

There is some very mild, coarse language in this movie, including:

  • A bully insults Josh by aggressively calling him, “Pumpkin”.

In a nutshell

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is an entertaining, live-action musical which is likely to be enjoyed by most of the family. The film is based on a popular picture book of the same name by Bernard Waber. Lyle is an engaging character, Josh is courageous and loyal to Lyle, and the Pimms are a loving family. Also, the song and dance numbers are catchy and fun. However, because of scary scenes and themes, the film is not suitable for children under 6, and some slightly older children may need some parental guidance. The Australian Classification Board have acknowledged this in the consumer advice guidelines given, in spite of giving the film a G rating.

The main messages from this movie are the importance of families; the value of teamwork and loyalty; and the benefits of working to overcoming your fears and being prepared to take risks.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the value of both blended and found families. Josh’s birth mother died when he was very young but he now lives as part of a loving family with his father and stepmother. In addition, the Pimms become a family for Lyle, and Hector has to acknowledge how important this is for the happiness of his crocodile.

Some children may also be interested in discussing the fact that Josh’s stepmother seemed very concerned about healthy eating but became more relaxed as the family began to settle in and enjoy themselves. This, together with the scene in which Josh and Loretta the cat share Lyle’s meal from a dumpster, could lead to some interesting discussions about food!