Lyle Van de Groot is the main antagonist of the 1997 Disney live action film George of the Jungle, and one of the two main antagonists in its 2003 sequel George of the Jungle 2 (alongside Beatrice Stanhope). He is the former fiancé of the heroine Ursula Stanhope and George's arch-nemesis. In the first film, he is assisted by two poachers, Max and Thor and in the sequel, he is assisted by Sally and Kowalski.
In the movie, Lyle Van de Groot was Ursula Stanhope's fiance who was guided into the Jungle of Africa by Max and Thor to find Ursula to which he did and gave her a big kiss when he was reunited with her. When she asked him how he found her he said that he hired Max and Thor who were the best guiders in the world. That night at camp Lyle tried to get in contact with someone to help him and Ursula get back home to San Francisco California but Ursula decided that she wanted to stay and wanted to see if they could find the legendary White Ape to which Lyle agreed to.
The next day Lyle and Ursula sneaked into the jungle so they would find the white ape but they were attacked by a lion and Lyle ran for help but got knocked out while Ursula was rescued by the white ape who was actually a man raised by apes, George of the Jungle. When Lyle woke up from being knocked out he found Ursula's scrunchie. He later found the group and asked them to help him find Ursula to which they did but never found her. The next day Lyle and the group were out searching again when Lyle heard Ursula (after falling into a pile of poop) and took Max and Thor with him where he found Ursula and tried to reunite with her but she refused to accept him back because she believed that he was not trying to save her when the lion attacked them. Then George appeared and Lyle shot him but George survived and Lyle and Max and Thor were taken to the Bujumbura Jail where Max and Thor got out (and deported), but Lyle had to stay as he was convicted of shooting George.
Later on Lyle escaped the jail and became a mail-ordering minister and returned to the jungle where he found Ursula with George and kidnapped Ursula to take her to Bujumbura and marry her. George tried to stop Lyle but Lyle's henchmen captured George and Lyle managed to escape with Ursula. When they reached the river Lyle and Ursula accidentally slipped into the water but swam to the boat that was waiting to take them to Bujumbura. As Lyle rowed the boat he proposed to Ursula but before Ursula would turn him down they noticed big waters but luckily unknown to Lyle George had escaped the Mercenaries and was nearby and rescued Ursula. When Lyle rowed the boat safely into a nearby cave he still thought Ursula was in the boat with him and ordered Ursula to say I do to which someone replied I do. But when Lyle turned on his lighter to see his bride he saw that he had accidentally married a female ape and was kissed by her as the boat continued downstream.
George of the Jungle 2
Lyle was first seen in his bedroom, talking to Beatrice Stanhope, Ursula's mother, on the phone. Believing Ape owned the deed to Ape mountain, he cheated him in a poker game. Upon discovering that Ape doesn't own the deed, but George does, Lyle instead makes Ape work off his debts from the gambling for the next 17 years. After stealing the deed from George's hotel room, he later appeared at the circus, convincing Ursula that he was not responsible for his actions in the first film, even getting his doctor to explain it. But once the doctor mentioned that Lyle knew where Ursula was, Lyle fired him. He attempted to make Ursula love him again, but George ruined it by singing his own theme song. He hired a hypnotist to make it seem like Ursula married him, and it worked. He mocked George at a farm, only to be dragged away by a horse that did not like him.
He sent two agents, Sally and Kowalski, out to destroy the jungle. He also called the police on George, Junior, Gorilla, and Rocky. The police were about to shoot Gorilla, but George saved him. They stopped on the Empire State Building, and Lyle quickly got himself sent (in a package) to the jungle. He attempted to kidnap a knocked-out Ursula, who woke up and chose Lyle over George. At the last second, George grabbed Ursula away (like he did to Gorilla) and kissed her. She angrily scolds Lyle, who threatened to kill George.
George hung Lyle by his underwear, freeing all of Ursula's insane friends, who were under a spell by Lyle. Lyle escaped, repeated his threat on George's life, and insulted the narrator, calling him annoying. In retaliation, the narrator dragged him away to the sky, pulling him from the story's world, and making it look like he never existed. In the bloopers, his underwear ripped, and he fell from the sky.
Lyle is the main antagonist in the franchise on account of being George's arch-enemy.
Thomas' villain roles as Lyle and The Sandman share the same crime of mansluaghter, with Lyle accidently shooting George and The Sandman accidently shooting Ben Parker. Thomas even portrayed the villain a decade after his portrayal of Van de Groot.
Lyle is similar to Gaston. Both are narcissistic, desire to marry the heroines (Ursula, Belle), fall into filth, and their enemies are heroes who live in the wild (George, Beast).
Lyle is also similar to Bluto from Popeye as they both fall in love with the heroines (Ursula and Olive Oyl) and want to defeat the main protagonists (George and Popeye).