Coming to theaters this week from directors Christophe Lordelet and Gareth Jennings along with Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures is a story about those who have a dream to “Sing.”
Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) is a koala with a dream! Given a theatre by his father, Buster has been busting his furry self trying to bring in talent that will bring people in. The theatre has fallen into some disrepair and he doesn’t have money to pay anyone so he is one step ahead of falling into a pit. His one solid employee is Ms. Crawley (Gareth Jennings) who is probably older than the theatre itself!
Buster has the brilliant idea to hold a contest with the winner receiving $1,000 but Ms. Crawley makes an error on the flyer putting the winnings much higher. The next day the theatre is filled with the brim with performers wanting their chance at the cash but some are actually there to be heard!
When Buster begins to whittle down the talent his top contends include Eddie (Seth MacFarlane) a mouth with a crooners song and an attitude for trouble, shy Meena (Tori Kelly) the elephant who can’t seem to find her voice in the crowd, Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) who is a Mom of 25 piglets needing to remember herself in the chaos of family life, Ash (Scarlett Johansson) the rocker porcupine who discovers she is just fine making music on her own and Johnny (Taron Egerton) the singing gorilla thug who wants more than the illegal family business.
Now the show can be put together but they need help as Buster turns to his friend Eddie (John C. Reilly) to talk his rich Nana (Jennifer Saunders) into investing in the show. When Buster puts together a dry run show for Nana, it is Eddie whose shenanigans bring in angry animals to tear up the theatre bringing it down to the ground. Sometimes you have to fall down hard to get back up — when you do make sure you “Sing!”
McConaughey as Buster is a smooth talking koala who just wants to keep the theatre that he considers to be his whole life. Jumping through hoops to make that happen, it is those same hoops that trip him up. The good news is that this isn’t a koala that is going to go down easy. This character is so enjoyable and funny and if vocals are any indication, McConaughey sounded like he had a very good time doing this animated film.
MacFarlane as Eddie is everything cool in a white suit and bow tie. He can sing and schmooze the lady’s all at the same time. Now if he’d just lay off the gambling things might have gone a little easier for everyone. Kelly as Meena is shy, sweet and doesn’t want to let down her very proud family so finds another way to become an indispensable part of the group.
Witherspoon as Rosita is going to be very wife/Mom-relatable in that sometimes being those two important things leaves out individuality so when Rosita lets loose — look out! Johansson as Ash is a pure rocker chick who discovers that she doesn’t need anyone to rely on her talents, just a belief in herself. Egerton as Johnny is such a sweet gorilla who happens to be in a family of very large and very loud criminals. He wants more in life and finding a way to make the family understand that may take a trick or two.
Reilly as Eddie is as laid back as any spoiled kid would be but at least he stays true to his life long friendship with Eddie. Now Saunders as Nana is hilarious and I just loved watching her be grumpy and stubborn. Saunders gives her character grit and a bit of no-nonsense that keeps everybody but Buster at furs length.
Other characters include: Jennifer Hudson as Young Nana, Peter Serafinowicz as Big Daddy, Nick Kroll as Gunter, Beck Bennett as Lance, Jay Pharaoh as Meena’s Grandfather and Nick Offerman as Norman.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Sing” four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is definitely a family film filled with every family issue imaginable! It must be said first off that the animation is absolutely gorgeous and the characters are loveable and talented. My granddaughter is a toddler who loves music and loves animation so anytime you can put those two together I can absolutely guarantee you she will be thrilled with the results and “Sing” is no exception. The songs are recognizable yet when these characters sing them it is a whole new look, sound and feel.
It is fanciful, very charming and there isn’t anyone walking into the theatre that isn’t going to walk out with a smile on their face. This is a wonderful example of the work that Illumination Entertainment puts into their animated films with a resume that includes “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets” (both of which are on full rotation in my house). “Sing” brings comedy, friendship, love and music through amazing characters that are in time to join your family for the holidays.
Gather up the family and make it a night before Christmas filled with joy as “Sing” gets everyone toe tapping and hand clapping.
In the end — let the auditions begin!