Sing is your typical festive season feel good movie. One that thrills and lifts with magnificent vocals and crafty insights.
As a last ditch to save his show business, Koala Buster Moon announces a singing competition with a cash prize of $1,000. Unfortunately, his aged secretary mistakenly adds two zeroes to the amount, resulting in hordes of hopefuls turning up at the audition.
In a year with several animated comedies featuring cutesy talking animals, the story for Sing comes across as especially trite. Anthropomorphic animals in an American Idol-like contest? A city populated by herbivores and carnivores all living in peace? What’s there to laugh about outside of outrageous human impersonations?
Plenty, I was pleased to discover. The incredible singing by the voice cast aside, Sing shines brightest with how it acknowledges all the stereotypical expectations we have about singing contestants, thereafter also spinning a splendidly uplifting tale around these. Be it the weary housewife who’s really the next Susan Boyle, or the painfully shy everyday girl with the voice of an angel, there are no surprises over outcomes or even what these characters would perform for the finale. But it’s exactly this predictability that makes their acts so satisfying. So pleasing and so fulfilling.
Special mention must also be made of the intelligent casting choices of Sing. Would you expect the new gentleman spy, Taron Egerton, to be able to croon like Sinatra? Would emotional punk rocking be a talent you would associate with Black Widow Scarlett Johansson? (Though she has recorded professionally before)
In my opinion, these choices slyly reinforce the fantasies we are all so eager to embrace. That beneath even the most unlikely character is a talented vocalist ready to burst out in song. That you and I can be that songbird too. Puerile, yes. Comically naïve as well. But for a movie that makes no pretence about its simplistic premise, everything works seamlessly. It is also oh-so-delightful to watch in motion.
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