Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
This is the time of year when movies which premiered at TIFF make their official bow into multiplexes around the world. This year, however, one of those TIFF favourites just happens to star a koala, a pig, and a gorilla. Sing is the new Animated Feature from the team at Illumination Entertainment and is sure to have kids laughing and singing along to a killer soundtrack.
Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is a koala with big show biz dreams and a talent for always picking the wrong show to play in his bankrupt theatre. Hoping to avoid daily calls from the bank, Buster dreams up his last big shot at success: a singing competition with a $1,000 prize for the winner. Unfortunately, his secretary, Miss Crawly, prints flyers boasting a prize of $100,000. This typo results in hundreds of animals showing up to audition for Buster’s singing competition including Mike, a crooner with an ego that outpaces his tiny stature; Rosita, an overworked house-pig with a love of pop music; Ash, a prickly teen with boyfriend problems; Johnny, a gorilla who wants to get out of the family business; and Meena, an incredibly-shy elephant with a heart of gold. The Movie then follows the mismatched group as they attempt to fit in rehearsals for the big show around the demands of their real lives.
Not enough can be said about the stellar Voice Cast assembled by Writer/Director Garth Jennings. Sing features the vocal talents of everyone from Reese Witherspoon (Rosita) and Seth McFarlane (Mike) to Scarlett Johansson (Ash) and Taron Egerton (Johnny). All the actors did their own singing which means that we get to hear fantastic numbers from Tori Kelly (Meena) and Jennifer Hudson (Young Nana). The eclectic Soundtrack for this Movie is a surefire best-seller.
At the tail end of a stellar year in animation, Sing doesn’t stand out as much as one might hope. Some of the humour and musical choices are slightly too mature for young viewers and the Movie’s message about pursuing your dreams gets muddled near the end. The bright animation will be great for kids while their parents sit back and enjoy music from their own childhoods.
This ‘Animated Jukebox’ is a fun 110 minutes for anyone who enjoys great music. As Buster would say: “Take a chance you won’t be disappointed.”.
Universal Pictures Canada release Sing on Wednesday, December 21, 2016.