Sing Movie Review by Cameron Metrejean
Admittedly, American Idol done by animals sounds like such a cheap, stupid idea. I myself wasn’t interested when I first saw ads for this film, but I am sure glad I gave it a chance anyways.

In trying to keep his aged Theater afloat, koala Buster Moon, announces a singing competition drawing the attention of a handful eager participants that each has something to prove with this competition. But when the prize money amount gets miscommunicated and each participants personal problems begin to weigh in on the show, they’ll all have to bring the house down or face the music.

Sing got enough attention to be a box-office success but otherwise kinda got lost in the remembrance with all the other animations of the year, but unlike Zootopia, Moana, or Kubo, Sing doesn’t really try to challenge anything or say much beyond perseverance. But not every film needs to challenge, and Sing doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It just wants to be a fun, entertaining film with likable characters and plenty of good singing. And that is exactly what it is. I won’t act like any of the characters are especially new. You’ve got Rosita, a beleaguered mother of 25 who wants to show she’s more than a housewife, Ash, a singer finding her own voice away from her unsupportive boyfriend, Johnny, son of a criminal who doesn’t want to go into the family business, and Meena a singer with a big voice but even bigger stage fright. Oh and there’s Mike, an arrogant hustler who’s just kind of a douche. He’s really the anomaly of all the characters. But aside from him, there’s such a genuine care and likability with each of them that you don’t mind too much if they are familiar. It’s a movie where there’s a character for everyone to enjoy (mines Johnny lol).

“Admittedly, American Idol done by animals sounds like such a cheap, stupid idea. I myself wasn’t interested when I first saw ads for this film, but I am sure glad I gave it a chance anyways. ”

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The animation is bright and colorful and shines when getting across some spectacular facial expressions. It’s quite impressive considering 15% of the budget went just to getting the rights to the 65 songs sung. Garth Jennings’ direction adds a splash silliness drawing out of more from the story than otherwise. The pacing works well with juggling everyone’s story, though if I had one other complaint with this film it’s just that everyone’s story feels a bit separate. It’s rare that the competitors really interact in the movie and their stories never intersect. But if nothing else all the characters still feel fleshed out and defined having it stand far beyond the better-received Illumination animation of 2016, The Secret Life of Pets, a film trying to replicate Toy Story without the knowledge of proper character development.

But, in the end, how does the title hold up? Pretty well I’d say. The majority of the music is covers of pop songs with two original ones thrown in. They are all very appealing to listen to with most of the best coming in the climax. Aside from Tori Kelley, the voice cast is primarily made up of performers who are actors first who just happen to also be good singers, which was a very smart choice. Reece Witherspoon has shown her voice previously in Walk the Line and Seth Macfarlane has dabbled in plenty of Sinatra style albums but then you have Taron Egerton (Kingsman: Secret Service) who has an incredible singing voice. It turns out he’s always been passionate about singing and this is his first role fulfilling it. The rest of the non-singing voice characters are voiced well too, with Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon giving a very twang-less voice performance different than his own.

Nearly every person I’ve brought the movie up to has enjoyed it more than they were expecting, much like me. If you’re looking for something light that even kids can watch, Sing is perfectly satisfying, harmless, and fun with some warm-hearted moments to match, and I’m already anticipating Sing 2 in 2020.

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Cameron Metrejean — an actor, writer and film critic who loves to review films through the lens of an actor.

Cameron Metrejean is a local actor, film critic, writer and jack of all trades. You will find him around town in front of the lens and behind.

He is a passionate cinephile with a unique voice forged through industry experience.

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