Sing?is that rare animated flick that bears watching several times because there’s more to be gleaned each time – and it’s an entertaining musical montage. The latest film from Illumination Entertainment finds theater manager Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a koala, trying anything he can to revitalize the flagging stage business. When he accidentally (with help from his one-eyed lizard secretary) ramps up a singing competition, he attracts a menagerie of animals seeking to share their talents and find their voice.
The pig Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) is a put-upon stay-at-home mom whose husband is emotionally checked out; Ash (Scarlett Johansson) is the female half of a porcupine rock band who is tired of being pushed into backup vocals; Meena (Tori Kelly) is an elephant with the sweetest pipes you’ve ever heard; Johnny (Taron Edgerton) is the gorilla son of the head of a robbery ring; Mike (Seth McFarlane) is a Frank Sinatra-era singer with a mouth too big for his body to back up. All of them are discarded by others, don’t believe enough in who they’re called to be, and arrive at Moon’s theater ready to find a way to be heard.
Joining the original song “Faith” are a host of songs you’ve heard before – and will find yourself singing again: “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Hallelujah,” “I’m Still Standing,” “My Way,” “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing,” and “Firework.” While the animals experience ups and downs on their road to stardom, and learn to work together to accentuate their strengths, the musical backdrop to the film provides a lyrical flow for its heart: you have a gift and you’re supposed to use it.
While my family enjoyed the film – three generations’ worth – we also enjoyed seeing the special features, like the mini-movies that showed us how Gunther would babysit, how Ms. Crawley would date, etc. Add in music videos, more from Gunther, and animation magic, and there’s plenty on Universal’s package of special features to make the film worth buying – and watching again!
How can you argue with good music and the reminder that we were all given gifts to use for the improvement of our community?