Sing (2016) – Sassy Pop Culture Animation With Heart
When pink piglets, packed into a car, bobbing their heads to a popular pop song pop up in a promo spot on my TV screen, I take notice.
Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) may be small, but his heart is full of big dreams. Dreams so big they encompass any number of possibilities in this entertainment industry. But with debtors closing in, and the bank nearly ready to take his theater (the theater his father’s years of hard work helped him build), Buster's optimism needs a quick fix – fast!
Inspiration strikes in the form of a music competition, but unbeknownst to Buster, his secretary mistakenly ups the prize monies rather than the modest 1,000 he planned on.
This sends dreamers and potential contestants to his tryouts in droves. Among them is the talented Johnny (Taron Egerton), a young man whose father wants him to go into the family business (thievery!); a busy and overworked mother Rosita (Reese Witherspoon); Ash (Scarlett Johansson), the rocker chick who’s heart is broken by her jerk boyfriend; and then there is shy Meena (Tori Kelly). Unable to break out of her shell, Meena misses her chance to audition, but when challenges befall the competition, it will take everyone’s creative imaginations to find their respective dreams.
Animated films are few at my house. There’s no real reason for this, it’s just that I don’t watch them with the same regularity I do the blockbusters or period dramas. Still, last summer I watched the entire Kung Fu Panda series. Not to mention the fact that I adore the Despicable Me trio and recently learned I do (mostly) love Zootopia, so watching Sing was a natural transition.
The story that unfolds in Sing is one of humor, family and friendships, the importance of encouragement, following ones dreams and of course, joy. All of these elements effortlessly work together to create an endearing story sure to charm its viewers, both young and old. The story itself is a simple one (which I appreciate given its main audience appeal), but the lessons it has to impart are no less important because of this.
The lessons the script has aren’t revolutionary, but they’re ones we all need reminding. Among them are the importance of standing with your friends and learning to let go of our own “worst enemy” feelings. The former is an aptitude we should all strive to never forget and the latter is a constant battle that we fight every day. Despite the cute fluff these messages hide under (and let me tell you, they are cute!), this film has moxie and poignancy. Sing’s familiar line up of tunes is sure to make your toes tap, and who knows! You may even have the sensational urge to burst out in song or get up and dance with Rosita.
Beyond that, the characters are great fun as are the stream of familiar songs, and the talent of the cast is underrated because it’s voice work which makes it easier to forget there are real actors behind this. Those of you who like animation or stories in which cute animals form a band of bonded friendship will adore Sing. It’s fresh, smart and too adorable for its own good. ♪♩🎝
Content: There may be one or two instances of “rude humor.” A character has mafia type dudes chasing him (he cheats them out of money), and another character is involved in robberies. A couple (apparently) lives together. Sing is rated PG.
Photos: Illumination Entertainment