Arlo the Alligator Boy review – a sweet family film with a strong relatable message

April 16, 2021 (Last updated: January 31, 2023)
Daniel Hart 0
Film Reviews, Netflix


It’s not always about what you don’t have, but what you do have, and the film does marvellously well to provide that philosophy.

This review of the Netflix film Arlo the Alligator Boy contains no spoilers.

It’s pretty admirable how Netflix continue to be the brave outlier in the family and kids market, despite Disney+ taking over the world in that space. The benefit of Netflix’s approach is that they will always be focusing on content that otherwise wouldn’t be touched by Disney, giving them a slight advantage by balling in the niche. It slightly reminds me of the k-drama market, an area Netflix is slowly taking control of.

Netflix’s Arlo the Alligator Boy is an anticipated family film with a sweet message for adults and children alike. Arlo has never known who his father is; after being left in a basket in a swamp and being embraced by a presumed mother, an older Arlo decides to travel to New York City to try and find his father.

With that premise, Arlo the Alligator Boy comes with a warning. Despite the warm story, children with absent parents may find the narrative upsetting, despite the light tone. We can imagine any child watching this may take the themes seriously and find them relatable.

Putting aside the warning, the Netflix family film sets the premise rather quickly, and it’s a joy to watch. Arlo’s sense of adventure into the city is an easy-to-watch experience. The team behind the film clearly wanted this film to be a shared experience with children and older adults able to watch it together without either getting bored.

Arlo the Alligator Boy brings a few musical numbers that bring elation in small windows. The numbers are not “throwaway” generic trash; there’s clearly a message for the song to complement the story.

The theme of identity and self-worth really shines through Arlo the Alligator Boy. It truly platforms the value of finding heart in your inner circle; friends, family, acquaintances — it’s not always about what you don’t have, but what you do have, and the film does marvellously well to provide that philosophy.

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