Now Showing: Sing

Brian Chang, News Editor

From the creators of “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets” comes the beautifully animated movie “Sing,” which tells the story of a group of animals from all walks of life who come together on the big stage to compete for $100,000.

Koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), is the optimistic owner of a once-proud theater that has fallen on bad times due to Moon’s inability to deliver good productions. In a final attempt to avoid bankruptcy, Moon decides to hold a singing competition and invites the whole city to participate.

As Moon’s fliers fly over the city, some animals begin to take interest: pig housewife Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), dissatisfied Johnny the gorilla (Taron Egerton), the heartbroken hedgehog Ash (Scarlett Johansson), the shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), arrogant mouse Mike (Seth MacFarlane) and pig dance-enthusiast Gunter (Nick Kroll).

As the animals prepare for the day of the performance, Moon schedules a rehearsal to present the show to a potential sponsor, though Mike’s gambling ways cause disaster on the day of the recital. Halfway through the show, animals that have been cheated by Mike of money storm the theatre and cause it to come crashing down.

Each of the animals learns a different lesson throughout the movie (with the exception of Gunter, who seems present mainly to break Rosita out of her shell), and each sings a song relating to their specific lesson. While the ideals of family and individuality may appeal to the general public, the themes do come off as cliché.

Another shortcoming is the movie’s rushed plot; while the character’s insecurities are each fleshed out in detail, each one is solved overnight. Johnny’s gangster father realizes the importance of family over money after five minutes of watching him sing, Ash comes up with an amazing new song in a few hours, and Rosita suddenly discovers her ability to dance. Most shocking, however, is Meena’s sudden ability to sing onstage; she transforms from a quaking wreck to someone who sings her heart out onstage in a matter of hours.

However, the film’s soundtrack more than makes up for its somewhat commonplace message. MacFarlane’s deep voice does  Paul Anka’s “My Way” justice, and Kelly’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” is wonderful, with Kelly’s melodic voice ringing out with every note. Kroll’s and Witherspoon’s rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” is hilarious to behold, though Egerton’s version of “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John and Johansson’s “Set It All Free” are undisputably the best two songs in the film.

The actors, already well-known for their live-action talents, step up to the challenge as voice actors. They are believable in their roles, and small details such as Witherspoon speaking in a nasally tone after Rosita stumbled and hit her snout were small but insightful touches.

Beautifully animated, with the characters coming to life on-screen, the computer-animated film features numerous emotional moments, and each is captured perfectly. The movements of the characters are also very fluid, and the backgrounds are also aesthetically pleasing with their vibrant colors.

Ultimately, while it may come off to some as trite and hurried, “Sing” is a cheerful animated film that is sure to be a hit with audiences of all ages.