Monday, December 12th, 2016



When it comes to blockbuster animated movies, then Illumination Entertainment are definitely the new kids on the (Hollywood) block compared to Disney and Pixar.  This however has not stopped them from making their presence felt in a very big way.  They are now following their two mega box office hits Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets which grossed $251 million and $789 million respectively with a star studded juke-box musical that has already been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, and will most definitely be another roaring success for the Studio.

‘Sing’ takes place in a world of animals where Buster Moon a koala (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) is trying to save his crumbling theater that he owns after a recent run of flops which has practically bankrupt him, and the llama Bank Manager is about to repossess the stage.  Buster therefore decides to spend his last $1000 dollars to mount an American Idol type talent show but his rather daft old personal assistant a chameleon named Miss Crawly (played by director Garth Jennings) inadvertently types that the Grand Prize will be $100,000 which causes a whole line of would-be stars lining up around the block to audition, and almost giving poor Buster a heartache when he discovers the mistake when it is too late to back down.

The competition gives the perfect set-up for Jennings, who also wrote the script, to introduce a whole range of characters/competitors and tell their back story of why they want to win the prize. There is Ash a porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) who been overshadowed by her dominant boyfriend who she sang with, until Buster selected her to go solo;  Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) an overworked pig with 25 children and very distracted husband who was never home; and a very lovable gorilla called Johnny (Taron Egerton) who is too scared to tell his criminal father that he’d rather be a singer than a member of his gang. 

The fast paced auditions with snippets of all the other eager animals wanting to get their break into show business are hilariously funny, and some of them like the Mike the little mouse with a giant ego (Seth MacFarlane) who gets chosen to join the show, have really excellent singing voices.  The music itself covers a whole gambit from Christopher Cross to Lady Gaga via Stevie Wonder making for a delightful foot-tapping soundtrack.

Once Buster discovers what everyone expects the  prize money to be, he tries to raise the funds from a wealthy retired Diva Nana Noodleham (who is played by two Jennifers : Saunders & Hudson).  Things have naturally got to get a lot worse before they can get better, and with a myriad of sub-plots things do look very rocky at times.  It is however hardly a spoiler to mention that we will not get to the ending until we are sure that everyone is going to live happily ever after. 

The only real mystery about Sing is regarding who the target audience really is as they are parts that will  zoom well over the heads of most young children, and at the same time their are other passages in this rather long movie (108 minutes) which will undoubtedly test the patience of many adults watching. Maybe its just intended for the young at heart?


Posted by queerguru  at  12:35

Genres:  animation, musicals

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