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Lyle, Lyle Crocodile: The Musical - The House on East 88th Street (1987)

The Primm family moves into an old brownstone house on East 88th Street, where they find a crocodile named Lyle in their bathtub.

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(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Narrator / Signor Valenti (voice)
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Mrs. Primm (singing voice)
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Joshua (voice)
Charles Strouse ...
Mr. Primm / Mover #1 (voice)
Heidi Stallings ...
Mrs. Primm (voice)
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Bird (voice)
Rick Parks ...
Mover #2 (voice)
Lanie Zera ...
Houseguest (voice)
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Storyline

The Primm family moves into an old brownstone house on East 88th Street, where they find a crocodile named Lyle in their bathtub.

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18 November 1987 (USA)  »

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Goofs

During the song telling how Lyle was integrated into the community, Mrs. Primm refers to him as an amphibian even though he is a reptile. See more »

Soundtracks

Look On the Bright Side
Written by Charles Strouse
Performed by Liz Callaway, Charles Strouse and Devon Michaels
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User Reviews

 
Lyle, Lyle, Don't Leave Me Now!
28 February 2003 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I was six and living in New York when this delightful musical-comedy based on the popular children's books debuted in my home. Sixteen years, several schools and two countries later, I rediscovered this video on my parents' shelf and absconded with it, in the hopes of showing it to my own kids when they arrive. Before I buy any Barney or Disney or Muppet movies, my children are going to watch "Lyle, Lyle Crocodile".

If you're unfamiliar with the story, it follows the adventures of a fairly modern American family in the midst of an unwanted move to the city, who find much to their dismay that a real, live crocodile is resting in their new bathtub! Turns out that the enormous smiling reptile is a trained and intelligent performer, left in the family's temporary care by his showbiz manager, who promises them, "I shall return!" Although it's a major adjustment (Turkish caviar is awfully expensive, and apparently that's all Lyle eats), the family comes to love Lyle, who helps with their household chores and forms a firm bond of friendship with the young son Joshua. But Lyle's manager makes good on his promise, and is intent on returning Lyle to his stage-and-screen lifestyle. Will the family ever see Lyle again? Of course they will, but as with most children's films, it is the lesson we learn from the story that is important, and not the devices thereof.

I don't know if "Lyle, Lyle" is even available to buy any more. I haven't seen it on television, or advertised in any catalogues. Which is a shame, really, because it's a treasure: wholesome, funny, sometimes sad, but always enjoyable. Children can identify with Joshua and Lyle's friendship, and will learn early on that crying and loving are all right. Parents can find joy and even relief that a children's cartoon exists which tells a tasteful story and teaches an actual lesson, rather than merely showcasing the shenanigans of a few rainbow-painted lunatics. And although there are kids' programs today that are free of violence and useless insanity, many tend to reach a level of high annoyance that "Lyle, Lyle" completely avoids. You'd never get sick of your son or daughter singing the "Moving Into a New House" song, or comforting them every time Lyle's manager takes him away from his new family. In fact, you'd be positively heartwarmed at the emotional response your children would show.

I can't stress how wonderful "Lyle, Lyle" is. If you have kids, or know someone who does, and you come across a copy of this cartoon (we got it through the HBO video collection, but that was, as I say, 16 years ago), grab it up and let them see it. If you want to, watch it yourself first. It is a must-see for anybody of any age who has moved to a new house, adjusted to unusual circumstances, needed cheering up, lost a friend, or made one. And, of course, anybody who's owned a crocodile.

8 out of 10.


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