Sing (2016) – reviewed by George

What a lot of fun! An animated musical where all the characters are animals and the voice talent is very unexpected!
A koala bear named Buster Moon (voice of Matthew McConaughey) is running the downtown Moon Theater which was previously run by his father, and he is in debt and in need of a good idea for a stage show. A talent show seems like that good idea: the contestants’ families would certainly buy tickets, so there’s a guaranteed audience. He tells his secretary Miss Crawly (voice of Garth Jennings), a chameleon, to run off some flyers, and he tries to think of a prize that he can afford. He comes up with $1,000, but Miss Crawly’s glass eye pops out hitting the keyboard two times on the zero key, so the printed signs say the prize is $100,000. Well, his tryouts are certainly crowded, and he is fairly brutal with the talent, picking only a few acts, and then adding others as people drop out.
Rosita (voice of Reese Witherspoon) is one of those chosen; she is a pig and the mother of over twenty piglets and this will be like a vacation. Some of the others chosen for the contest are: Ash (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a porcupine and half of a duo that breaks up over his not being chosen; Eddie (voice of John C. Reilly), a gorilla with father issues; and Meena (voice of Tori Kelly), an elephant who wants desperately to sing, and manages to get through the elimination, but is too afraid to sing in front of an actual audience. Some of Meena’s relatives are voiced by Leslie Jones, Laraine Newman, and Jay Pharoah.
The wealthy Nana (voice of Jennifer Saunders) is the owner of the theater, and since Moon is behind in the rent payments, she really has to be convinced to let the competition continue.
The musical numbers are terrific, all well known songs, and the CGI is worth an actual gasp or three. There are high speed car chases, explosions, building collapses, flooding, and highly detailed scenes of the audience reacting to the performers. It’s really fantastic work.
Written and Directed by Garth Jennings, Co-Directed by Christophe Lourdelet.

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