Next screening? “Lyle Lyle Crocodile”

Kids movies have to pass what I call “The Jerry Orbach Test.”

Back when the animated “Beauty and the Beast” came out, I interviewed Orbach and he told me what persuaded him to take on the role of Lumiere. He and his wife went to a revival showing of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

He was to voice Lumiere in “Beast” before “The Little Mermaid” came out and revived Disney’s animated brand. And Orbach, a stage song and dance man turned tough guy character actor wasn’t sure he wanted to risk his new brand singing in a cartoon.

He talked about the kid-crowded theater and the chaos that entailed for watching a then 50 year old animated classic. “And then, the movie started and it was dead quiet. They were rapt in awe. I thought, ‘Anything that gets kids to pay that close attention is worth doing. It’s going to last.”

Ever since, I’ve watched to see how much children act out and seem distracted by kids films. The good ones sit them down and shut them up, except when it’s time to laugh.

“Lyle” looks jaunty and juvenile. I’m totally down for that. It opens this coming weekend.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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