So, Sing FINALLY makes it to UK cinemas after hitting US screens last year. Sing follows the trend set by last year’s Disney hit Zootropolis and is set in a bustling city populated with pretty much every species of animal you could imagine. A brief whirl around the city introduces us to a number of wannabe singing stars, all looking for a chance to break free of their mundane or unhappy lives…
Cue Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey. He’s a koala bear and owner of Moon Theatre. The theatre is currently going through some hard times though, following a series of unsuccessful productions, and Buster now spends most of his time fending off calls from the bank and attempting to keep his head above water and the theatre open. When he fails to secure more financing from his wealthy friend, he comes up with an idea to host a singing competition, with the hopes of drawing in the crowds and breathing new life into his dying theatre. He cobbles together just enough to be able to offer £1000 in prize money, however an accident involving the glass eye of his hapless elderly assistant means that a couple of extra zeros get added to the prize figure before the promotional flyers go to print. A further accident involving a desk fan and the big pile of flyers means that they are then quickly distributed to the entire city before Buster knows what has happened.
We then get a bit more time with some of our wannabe singers as they begin finding the leaflets and dreaming of the prize money. Reese Witherspoons downtrodden mum of 25 little piglets hits the spot perfectly and will instantly appeal to any parents taking their kids to see the this. Building on the hilarious elements introduced in the trailer and showing us the ingenious lengths mums will go to, juggling home life and leisure time effortlessly while dad flakes and cracks under the slightest strain of losing his car keys. Meena the elephant has a beautiful voice but seriously lacks confidence. Johnny the mountain gorilla wants nothing more than to break free of the life of crime his father is dragging him into and follow his singing dreams.
There are characters that don’t work though. Seth McFarlanes rat-pack crooning mouse is just downright dislikeable, and not even in a cute or funny way. On our first encounter with him he essentially mugs someone for not giving him enough money while busking. He then goes about town spending the prize money on girls and cars before he’s even won it, cheating at cards and mocking his fellow aspiring singers for having confidence issues.
The audition process for the show, so heavily featured in the trailer, is over in a blink and I would have enjoyed seeing some of the funnier acts fleshed out a little more. It serves the purpose of getting our main acts on board though and rehearsals are soon underway for the show. Everything seems to be coming together nicely, until disaster strikes, and the whole show is put in serious jeopardy.
All of this is just building to the last 30 minutes as the show, obviously, must go on! And when Buster realises that, not before hitting rock bottom in a sequence involving him setting up a car wash business, everyone puts their heart and soul into making it happen. At this point, Sing finally begins to shine and the show itself is a real joy to watch. Heart warming, funny and entertaining in equal measure. Overall, Sing wasn’t quite as fun as I’d expected it to be but it’s still a pretty solid and enjoyable family movie.