Directed by Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings,
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C Reilly, Jennifer Saunders, Peter Serafinowicz
In a world where animals live their lives as humans do now, with probably less wars and political rubbish going on, a Koala who runs a theatre must resort to a singing competition to save his theatre from closure. A simple mistake over the prize lures many more of the animal kingdom to his door than he expected though. Each entrant has their own reasons for entering but what becomes clear is that this competition brings them to a friendship that they are meant to have. Sing is one of the more upbeat movies you’re going to see in this time of earnest films that are trying to win their place in the award season.
Sitting before Christmas and watching this film I had just watched about ten fairly heavy films in row leading up to this animation, so I was thankful that we had something light and funny on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, the films that you see up for awards now are all fine pictures, and with the exception of La La Land they are all hard hitting dramas. It didn’t take long after sitting in the amazing Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield in Dublin to get out of the serious nature of being a reviewer and to see the wonderful joy that Sing brought. It’s a film that for a 41 year old TV and Film obsessed man is a mix of the original Muppet TV show and the best parts of the Disney movie from last year Zootopia (orZootropolis depending on where you live, reviewed here) Using songs that we all know from pop culture makes this a great film to bring the kids along to or just go on your own and enjoy the show.
Matthew McConaughey plays Buster Moon, the Koala with a love of musical theatre. His love brought him to opening his own theatre but with little to no success. He’s the Max Bialystock of the Sing world, but more loveable, and tries to save his theatre with a singing competition. Instead of a one thousand dollar prize his dotty secretary places a one hundred thousand prize on the advertising, which leads to every animal in the kingdom coming to his door. When Buster finds out the mistake of the prize money he has to bluff his way through the competition, and convinces the contestants to go along with what he’s doing. I laughed at the audition,s here just like I did when I watched The X Factor, only that here I’m meant to laugh.
The rest of the cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C Reilly, and Taron Egerton. All of which do a superb job in making this a complete world. The script keeps you entertained and is snappy enough that you never lose your focus on what is going on. Even though Buster Moon is a scamp he is a loveable one, and you want him to succeed, which is the biggest difference from Max Bialystock in The Producers. The feeling of The Muppets original TV show is clear to me with the backstage antics giving just as much entertainment as the staged moments. The inventive storytelling that allows us to get to know all the main characters and see their personal ambitions makes you care about these little critters. The Seth MacFarlane Mouse who sings like Frank Sinatra is a little on the nose but the massive chip on his shoulder makes for a great character.
Part of the reason that Sing will be one of my top films for 2017 is that every one of the main characters is actually explored, you see their hopes and dreams, how life has treated them, and how they need the competition in their lives. It’s a simple tale with great animation that just makes you smile and punches you with happiness. I would love to see a version of this film hitting the screens as a sing along edition, although I sound like a speedboat travelling across a gravel path, that should never stop anyone singing. Get out there and watch this film.