American Idol for the animated world, Sing focuses on Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a theater loving koala who owns and runs a palace theater that has since fallen on hard times. Unable to pay off his bills, Buster remains relentlessly optimistic and puts one last plan in motion to hold a singing contest in order to save his theater from ruin. When his ancient assistant actually puts the reward at $100,000 instead of $1,000, the entire town shows up and Buster has to do everything he can to get the prize money, keep the lack of it a secret, and produce the greatest show he can so that he doesn’t lose the one thing he truly loves in life.
Sing is a solid animated feature that features the type of soundtrack that people can groove to. With an eclectic mix of pop, punk and Sinatra like jazz, the film unleashes top tracks that everyone can sing-along to, but also includes original songs that may have a shot at an Oscar nomination, however small the odds are. The movie pulls you in because it’s reminiscent of every underdog American Idol story from the first few seasons which took America by storm, and the humor from the supporting cast is what keeps you in that engaged state.
I hate musicals but I found Sing to be tolerable thanks to its diverse soundtrack, great mix of original and mainstream music, and excellent voice cast who really brought a lot of personality to the film. In fact, the cast was truly terrific and everyone pretty much matched up perfectly with their characters. I was also impressed how good the singing was. For those that don’t know, the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johnansson, John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, and Nick Kroll had vocal roles in the film and really did a bang up job.
When you see a movie like this, it typically follows a pretty standard story arc and, for the most part, this movie did, but there was one shift that surprised me and we can thank screenwriter and co-director Garth Jennings for taking a different path when it came to the third act. SPOILER ALERT The big difference was that Buster Moon wasn’t able to originally save his theater, it got completely destroyed. He learned some lessons and the people in his show were still up for performing without any monetary gain amidst the destruction on the bank seized land. While everything may have eventually worked out in the end and a new theater was opened, this deviation from the traditional “save my building” plot was very much appreciated and not overlooked. END SPOILER
Overall, Sing ended up being a pretty enjoyable comedic musical and a film that has a shot of getting an Oscar nomination for best animated film. It won’t win because it can’t hold a candle to Zootopia, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great movie for the entire family and a wonderful flick to check out over your Christmas break.