Matthew McConaughey, Reese Weatherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, Scarlett Johansson
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Fun, entertaining, gorgeously animated, and full of good tunes…
The “let’s put on a show” trope is one of the most enduring in the musical genre, throwing as far back as Babes In Arms and Mister Big, and pushing right into the contemporary world with the likes of the hugely popular TV series, Glee. Kevin Smith even put a very risque spin on the concept with Zack And Miri Make A Porno. So it’s about time that we saw it done with singing cartoon animals, right? Hey, why not?
And under the refreshing guidance of British writer/director, Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Son Of Rambow), and the not inconsiderable umbrella of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (responsible for the make-it-rain hits, Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life Of Pets), Sing is a sweet, uncomplicated, straightforward mini-delight in line with the studio’s previous efforts. With Pixar and Disney swinging for the fences with the likes of Zootopia and Inside Out, Illumination seem content to merely get a god strike on the ball, lessening the chance of greatness, but almost guaranteeing at least a good time in the process.
Boasting a stellar voice cast (Reese Weatherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Jennifer Saunders, and Jay Pharaoh…all of whom do their own singing too), Sing follows a koala entertainment entrepreneur named Buster Moon (winningly voiced by Matthew McConaughey…as with all of the other animals, place of origin doesn’t factor in the way that they speak), who has one final chance to restore his theatre to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Like a cartoon American Idol, we then meet the contestants, all of whom have more than a few skeletons in the closet, as well as a host of obstacles to overcome before the night.
Fun, entertaining, gorgeously animated, and full of good tunes (though, really, did we need another version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”? Even if it is sung by an elephant?), Sing has abundant charm and plenty of heart, but it just feels a little safe. That said, take the kids with confidence.