Sing (2016)

Been meaning to check this out since I saw the trailer last year. Sing is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment. It was directed and written by Garth Jennings, co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet, and starring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, and Tori Kelly. The film is about a group of anthropomorphic animals that enter a singing competition, hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater.

A koala named Buster Moon has always dreamed of making it big in the musical theatre business, ever since his parents took him to see famous singer, Nana Noodleman, a sheep. His father scrapped a tough living to earn enough money to buy Buster a theatre but as years pass by Buster is struggling to pay bills and the banks are calling. He hits upon the idea to start a singing contest, with a prize of $1000, but accidentally his assistant, an aging Miss Crawly, prints it out as $100,000 and many apply. Those selected include: housewife and mother of 25 piglets Rosita; street musician mouse Mike; mobster’s son gorilla Johnny; punk-rock porcupine Ash; a trio of frogs; and a camel named Pete. Shy teenage elephant Meena fails her audition out of stage fright, while Ash’s boyfriend Lance is dismissed from the contest. Rosita is paired with another contestant, an exuberant pig named Gunter, for a dancing routine.

Although Buster discovers the flyers show a prize of $100,000, money he does not have, he remains optimistic. Buster convinces Eddie to arrange a visit with Eddie’s grandmother, former opera singer and theater actress Nana Noodleman, to persuade her to sponsor the prize money. She is hesitant to contribute, but agrees to see a private screening of the show. Encouraged by her grandfather, Meena tries to ask Buster for another chance, but becomes his stage hand instead. When the frogs quit, and Pete is injured, Meena is added as an act. The performers’ individual problems begin to hinder rehearsals: Rosita flounders in her dance routine with Gunter, after having been distracted by her parenting duties that have fallen into disarray. After discovering Lance with a new girlfriend and evicting them from her apartment, Ash is devastated and can no longer sing her assigned song, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

Johnny is torn between having to help his father as the driver of a getaway car in a heist and making the practices. When he tries to do both, he does not show up for the planned pickup in time, and his father and his gang are arrested. Meena does not get any help in overcoming her stage fright, and Mike, certain that the prize money is as good as his, buys a fancy car to impress a female mouse, and then swindles a group of bears in a card game in a nightclub. The bears interrupt the show, demanding the money from Mike, who in turn, points to Buster. The bears open the chest containing the prize money, but it is nowhere near $100,000. Disaster strikes as the shoddily patched up theatre blows a pipe and after the place floods with water the building collapses. With the lot repossessed by Judith, Buster, who had been living in his theater’s office desk, takes up residence at Eddie’s place (his parents’ pool house). Although the contestants (besides Mike, who saw Buster as a fraud) visit him and try to cheer him up, Buster is too despondent to listen to them. He tries to start over by opening a car wash, using the same bucket that his father had used to earn money for Buster’s theater.

When Meena goes to the theater’s rubble lot and sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Buster hears her and is inspired to reinstate the show without the prize money. They perform on a makeshift stage on the lot in front of Rosita and Meena’s family members. As Rosita and Gunter perform Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” more animals are attracted to the scene as the show is broadcast on the news. Johnny’s rendition of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” impresses his father, who then escapes from prison to reconcile with him. Despite interruption by Judith, Ash sings her original rock song “Set It All Free.” Mike returns to the show and sings Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Meena finally overcomes her fears and sings Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing,” which literally brings down the house. The show becomes a success and impresses Nana, who was in the audience. Nana buys the lot and the theater is rebuilt and reopened.

It’s nice family friendly and a lot of fun. Lots of great singing by a solid cast. I give it an 8 outta 10!

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