This computer animation transports us to the city in a world of anamorphic animals.  We follow koala Buster Moon (McConaughey), a theatre owner who decides to stage a singing competition in order to reverse the fortunes of his grand old crumbling establishment, and in doing so he produces the first successful show of his career.

As we fly across the city and suburbia, extensively detailed and vibrantly coloured, we are gradually introduced to the main players in a talented ensemble cast.

A hardworking pig Rosita (Witherspoon), a devoted wife and mother to 25 piglets; a street musician mouse (MacFarlane), an arrogant but passionate jazz player; a teenage porcupine (Johansson), who plays with her boyfriend in a rock music band; a shy elephant (Kelly), a powerful vocalist who suffers from stage fright and a gangster gorilla (Egerton), who takes no interest in criminality unlike his father.

They all dream of performing and are eventually chosen to front Moon’s live signing competition after a rigorous selection process is undertaken from the auditions of hundreds of animals.

This impressive turn out is all thanks to Moon’s assistant Ms. Crawly, voiced by Garth Jennings.  As an ancient iguana with an uncontrollable glass eye which causes chaos every time it escapes the head of the beholder, Ms Crawly shamelessly steals every scene in which she appears.  The same must also apply to Miss Nana Noodleman, voiced wonderfully by Jennifer Saunders, a grand old wealthy dame of the opera who Moon persuades to visit his theatre for a preview of his show.

Alas, all does not go to plan.

Sing features a strong soundtrack of over sixty pop songs with darting extracts from Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Sam Smith, Luciano Pavarotti and Queen.

These help to reflect the thoughts and feelings of the characters’ personal stories throughout the main plot of the film.  While this maintains the speed of the story in haste, it also presents the only criticism that can really be made of Sing.

Due to the many characters in the ensemble cast, we don’t get to spend enough time with each of them before leaving and returning to them later in the story.  For younger audience members, this shouldn’t be a problem, but the limited character development may prove difficult to follow.

Admittedly, this is harsh criticism for an otherwise energetic musical with excellent visual comedy and on point timing.  These issues subside when the film is at its best for the climactic finale of the singing competition and we are finally given the opportunity to enjoy these classic songs for decent periods of time.

Sing has taken almost $500 million at the worldwide box office since its initial release in North American in December, so naturally a sequel is already in development for Christmas Day 2020.

A deserving recipient of two Golden Globes nominations, for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song, for the new composition ‘Faith’ by Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite, Sing is an undeniably joyful piece of light entertainment that will keep you absorbed to the closing credits.

 

 

Sing

Director: Garth Jennings

Screenplay: Garth Jennings

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly

Length: 110 minutes

Age: U

 

Photo courtesy of Universal Studios