When I first saw the previews for Sing, all I could think in my mind was ‘Zootopia ripoff’. This was going to be a cheap cash-in off the popularity of Disney’s movie about talking animals just this past year. However I have enjoyed most of Illumination Entertainment’s films so I might as well give it an honest try.
After watching Sing, I unfortunately found that some of my preconceptions had merit.
Sing is all about a Koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), who owns a failing music theater. Broke and at wits end, Buster decides to hold a singing competition for a grand prize of 100,000 dollars. In reality Buster only has about a grand. From here we are introduced to a diverse group of animals (pigs, porcupines, gorillas, etc.) looking to win big in the music business. Will the theater be able to stay open and be successful? Or will it be destined to crash and burn?
First with the bad news. I felt that Sing was definitely a cash in off of Zootopia. In Zootopia, it made sense that all the characters were animals. The movie told a story of racism between animal species and the bias they had against animals they labeled ‘predators’. The filmmakers also cleverly utilized the suburbs of where each animal species lived within the city. In Sing, they’re just animals for no particular reason. This doesn’t necessarily make it bad, it just sets up the film to be uninspired.
Also, this films plot was one of the most predictable plots I’ve seen in a while. I was able to guess exactly where each scene was going and how the movie would end. It took a couple of creative twists and turns but other than that extremely predictable.
The pacing was off too. I think Illumination tried incorporating too many main characters, because there is a lot of needless jumping from character to character. Time is split up so much between them that we don’t get the individual focus we need devoted to each character. Some characters are developed well with distinct personalities, some are left extremely flat.
The humor for this film was a little hit and miss for me. Some of the reoccurring jokes I found more and more hilarious as the film went on. Other attempts at humor I found very forced and embarrassingly bad. The audience in the theater I was with was pretty diverse in age, and they seemed to respond the same way I did to the humor. Sometimes everybody was laughing, other times there was just awkward silence.
The music (a major part of the film) was hit or miss for me as well. I liked the original song a lot written by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande. The other pop songs used were okay but I don’t think were integrated very well into the film.
This all being said, I found Sing to be very entertaining. The animation was as good as any other Illumination Entertainment film. The mood was distinctly happy and bright, even at Sing’s saddest moments. Even though the characters were underdeveloped I still found myself invested in them. I wanted these people to succeed and I wanted to see them happy in the end.
I must also mention my favorite part of Sing, which would be John C. Reilly. He plays this weird and lazy sheep that got me laughing every time he was on screen. The way he enunciated his lines and the way the sheep was animated made for some great comedic material.
If your someone looking for an entertaining story despite its predictable plot, I would check this out. If your a fan of cutesy characters and happy stories, than Sing should be a pretty harmless treat. Overall I think Sing is a movie that many people will love, even though it wasn’t my cup of tea.