Sing is the latest animated kids film from Illumination studios, and is set in a world with animals instead of people. Buster Moon, a theatre owning Koala, decides to put on a Singing competition to save his Theatre from closing down. The film follows Buster and a variety of different animals who enter his competition, including Jonny the bank robbing Gorilla, Rosita the housewife Pig, Meena the shy Elephant, and more. The film takes the initial premise from Zootropolis, but replaces the cleaver comedy and inspiring social message with pop song covers and on the nose, slap stick humour. To be honest there’s not much to say about this film. There was nothing offensively bad and it wasn’t particularly boring, but it didn’t really have anything that made it unique or especially entertaining either. This is definitely aimed more at a younger audience, and adds up to a perfectly fine but ultimately disposable kids film. The film stars the voices of Mathew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Edgerton, Tori Kelly, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane and John C. Riley.
I didn’t hate this film by any means, but having been spoiled by the wonderful family films that Pixar, Disney, Liaka etc. give us on a regular basis, this film was a little disappointing. Illumination Studio did really well with the ‘Despicable Me’ series, but also did terribly with ‘Minions’, so this film falls somewhere in between those films as ‘just fine.’ If you go into it expecting a Pixar level film then you will probably hate it, but if you accept it for what it is (a perfectly adequate children’s film) then you might be entertained. The comedy was pretty much just fart jokes and people falling over or hurting themselves. I laughed a couple of times, mostly at the car washing sequence, but not much, the children in the cinema with me seemed to really enjoy it though. The film has an overabundance of Pop songs which I did find annoying by the middle of the film, especially after the audition sequence (which was pretty much beat for beat from the trailer), so I think the singing aspect of the film would have gone down better I they’d held back on all of the different songs and stuck to the main characters songs only. It seriously felt like they got ‘Now Music’ to make the soundtrack, but were only allowed to use slightly out of date songs.
However, hidden amongst all of that are some quite good characters. I found myself getting quite invested in Jonny (Taron Edgerton) and Meena (Tori Kelly). They were quite relatable, and Jonny’s story with his criminal father was quite touching towards the end. Most of the other Characters were also alright. Buster (McConaughey) was pretty much the main character and he had a pretty generic arc but it was done reasonably well. The fact that I liked most of the characters meant that I ended up enjoying the ending. They each got their moment to shine and it was a pretty satisfying conclusion considering what had come before it. The only character I found unnecessary and out of place was Mike (MacFarlane) the street performer mouse. He was pretty unlikeable for the most part, but then he was given a redeeming moment towards the end that felt forced and didn’t mean anything overall. I will also say that having all these well-known actors voicing the characters felt inconsequential. They were clearly only cast for their names, as none of them stood out or brought anything distinctive to the voicing. I didn’t even recognise anyone’s voices (except John C. Riley’s). They even had McConaughey dumbing down his very distinctive voice, so they might as well have been anyone voicing these characters, in comparison to say, Dwayne Johnson in Moana, who brought something unique to that performance so you understand why he was cast.
In Conclusion, Sing wasn’t by any means a great film but it was ok. I’m definitely not going to buy it on Blu-Ray but if I see it for a couple of quid in CEX I might pick it up. It is definitely more designed for younger children than families.
P.S. I think this film would have been a lot better if they had only focused on one character in the competition, who I think should have been Jonny. It would have been emotional and interesting and much more enjoyable in my opinion.