Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton
Director: Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings
Running Time: 108 mins
Sing is an American film about a city of animals that becomes wrapped up in singing fever as a budding theatre-owning koala sets up a singing competition with a huge advertised prize that draws animals from all walks of life.
I was really surprised by this film. Whilst it’s not an exceptional piece of animation, nor is it the most riveting watch, I was delighted by its hugely colourful, energetic vibrancy throughout, full of some excellent toe-tappers, a fun story, entertaining animation and a whole host of great voice performances.
The one great thing about this film is that, despite being billed as a musical, the songs don’t really get in the way. Despite a cringeworthy and poorly-edited opening five minutes, the music here is well spread-out, never too long, and always fitting of whatever’s going on at that point of the story. As far as jukebox musicals go, this is one of the best, because it doesn’t get too caught up in covering pop hits, but rather using short bursts of song to provide even more energy and joy in the film.
Leading on from that, it’s great to see that this film generally doesn’t take itself too seriously. Much like Illumination’s other mad films: Despicable Me, Minions and The Secret Life Of Pets, Sing is a zany and crazy family animation that’s far more interested in getting you laughing and smiling than anything else.
For example, there’s no reason whatsoever for the characters in this film to be animals. Nor is there any real relation between the animals and their singing potential (mice singing deep soul and elephants singing big pop tunes), but that’s all part of the fun. Provided that you go into this film wanting to be entertained above all else, things like that will definitely make Sing a really fun watch for you as it did for me.
What’s more is that the animation style works really well. As it has done on numerous occasions for Illumination in the past, the very comical and cuddly animation adds to the light-hearted and fun vibes of it all. This isn’t trying to look like a Disney film, but rather something that’s there to be enjoyed, and with that very distinct animation style, that’s incredibly easy to achieve.
Finally, the voice performances here are very good. I don’t have time to mention all of the A-list stars behind the animals, but suffice to say the main players of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane and Tori Kelly are all very entertaining, putting in a wide range of fun, silly and upbeat performances in some crazy roles that are all just as much fun to watch as the rest of the film.
With all that said, there are still one or two issues with Sing that slightly brought down the fun for me. For one, its painful exposition phase was not the start that it deserved, and the audition phase of the story (where we get the most jukeboxing of all) did go on a little too long.
Also, the story sometimes does become a little preachy. Although it’s all fun and games in the end, the enormous range of different characters gives rise to a story that features just about every life lesson you can cram into one movie, rendering all of them a lot less interesting to follow simply because it’s all a little too crowded.
Despite that, it’s still hard to deny how fun Sing is. Full of life and joy with it excellent voice performances, animation and soundtrack, there’s a lot to enjoy here, and although it may not be a perfect movie, it’ll definitely have you smiling and tapping your toes by the end, which is why I’m giving it a 7.6.