Sing Review: Musicals!
"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind wanting to start again
Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin
Like a house of cards one blow from caving in."
Sing is a 3D computer-generated animated film produced by Illumination Entertainment. The illustrious cast of voice actors include Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Scarlet Johansson, John C. Reily, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, and Taron Eagerton. Rightfully so, all the cast members are either renowned voice actors or talented singers. The film includes many classical and contemporary songs from famous artists of the past and present. The film was released on December 21st, 2016.
The story of Sing takes place in a fictional city filled with anthropomorphic animals. The movie is not concerned with why the species are able to cohabitate together. Instead, the focus is on the music! Due to financial problems, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) puts together a singing competition to help pay the bills for the theater his dad left him. Thus, begins the audition process where we are exposed to a vast variety of animals all performing different styles of music. Rap, hip-hop, pop, punk-rock, jazz, blues, etc. This is when the film becomes really cool for everyone watching. No matter what your taste is, you're almost guaranteed to find something to enjoy.
To the film's benefit, the singers are diverse and come from different backgrounds. Plus, their introduction is nothing less than fantastic. We all meet them during their daily life while their singing a song of their choice. They all have different taste and their taste in music reflects their character. For example, Rosita is a stay-at-home mom who gave up on her teenage dreams of singing long ago. Musically her taste has not changed since she was a teen. Therefore, she charmingly sings pop music when her and her family is first introduced.
The performers differences allow for the movie to explore different tones. Aside from Rosita, we meet the shy, teenage elephant Meena (Tori Kelly). Mike (Seth MacFarlane), the street-musician mouse with the attitude and pizzazz of Frank Sinatra. Ash (Scarlett Johansson), the punk-rocker porcupine who hungers to be a successful recording artist. Gunter (Nick Kroll), the flamboyant pig and dancing extraordinaire. And last but not least, Johnny (Taron Eagerton) a gorilla who tries to break away from his criminal family so that he'll have the opportunity to sing. The way the movie shifts between the different storylines of the characters, switches up the mood of the film, and allows the movie to appeal to a broader audience.
Music, Sound, And Animation
Beside its magnificent score, the music is the defining reason to go watch this film. Fortunately, they are well performed by their voice actors. They are what can be described as pitch perfect. Some songs featured in the film are Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me, Maybe", Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Frank Sinatra's "My Way", and Elton John's "I'm Still Standing". Remixes and new renditions of familiar songs are also song by the characters in breakthrough moments.
The sound and cinematography add to the experience of a musical. The animation matches perfectly with the choreograph danced numbers. The movie's colorfulness adds to the vibrant look of the big performances. Which allows them to appear larger than life. The sound mixing is brilliant. Voices reverberate loud and clearly off the walls of rooms. You can hear its source and hear how it affects the resonance in the area. Plus, the lip-synching of the characters are spot on. Lips move accurately and precisely as the singers sing.
As expected from the creators behind Despicable Me, the film has its moments of comedy gold. The Red Panda Girls is the film's way of sporadically breaking up the seriousness of the plot. The cute pandas randomly appear and sing JPOP. Not only are these moments cute and nonsensical but it gives the film its only foreign influence. Another funny aspect of the film belong to its characters. Gunther's flamboyant nature along with his serious attitude is hilarious. Plus, there are other subtle, smart comedic moments in the film that make it hilarious.
Through music, Sing delivers positive messages of hope. The movie teaches to believe in one's self. And more importantly to follow your dreams. The singers are in different circumstances of their lives but all come together to put on outstanding performances. The animators, actors, producers, and director successfully put together a timeless film. Even if the plot can be seen as unoriginal. And at times, cliché. The casual watcher or lover of musicals should be able to agree that is a musical to be remembered.
Sing is currently available on DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Video, and ITunes.