Director(s): Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly
In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario’s attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists’ find that their lives will never be the same. (Source: IMDb)
Normally a kids film with an incessant over-reliance on a poppy soundtrack will do nothing but annoy me, but in the case of Sing the music forms an intrinsic part of the storyline so it can absolutely be forgiven. A film which centres around a singing competition and a theatre show would be a little strange without music so Sing gets a pass. Additionally, the music cues, references and sound bites are varied enough to please people of all tastes, and even this massive cynic was won over!
The voice cast is truly excellent on paper, and fortunately this transfers well into the finished product as well. We spend the most time with McConaughey’s hard-up koala theatre owner Buster Moon, and he is given the most in terms of character development. The rest of the cast feel a little like a hit parade but even so, we spend enough time with each to invest our time and effort into their stories, and whilst the balance isn’t always perfect, it’ll keep young minds entertained throughout.
The animation is sumptuous and rich, and whilst not quite the pioneering photo-realistic animation techniques that Pixar are starting to utilise, it is gorgeous to look at, particularly the cityscapes and set designs.
The story is inconsequential but it has a delightful old-fashioned “the show must go on” kind of vibe which is hard not to be charmed by. The songs are the real star of the story, and it’s an eclectic toe-tapping collection of genre-spanning hits, and each musical interlude generally has a memorable scene to accompany it, resulting in a soundtrack which both stands alone but also evokes the good times you’ll have had watching the movie. Parents, you might be hearing a lot of this soundtrack in the car!
There’s nothing overtly bad about this film, it is inoffensive and charming, but it does seem to be lacking in that re-watchability. You’ll have a great time watching it, undoubtedly, you just might have a hard time remembering why!
The story may be a little too simplistic for some, but young kids will absolutely lap it up, and they are the target audience after all!
I saw this movie and you should too. Perhaps not as funny as the trailer would have you believe but it is an all round enjoyable film to watch with great characters and catchy songs with a cute message of overcoming the impossible and adversity in various forms and uniting through the power of music. Illumination continue to make films which are definitely aimed at children more than adults as Pixar seems to have that market cornered but this film is not without its merit and does have something for everybody. Well worth a watch!