Since we both saw the new animated movie Sing (though, regrettably, not together), we've decided to give you our thoughts on this animal-full musical adventure.
I saw this with my nieces (who are actually in the target audience age range) and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We'd also seen Zootopia together last year, and if you're worried that the two movies are copies of each other, don't be. Zootopia spent a lot of time building up the animal world so that it would make sense to us, while Sing just throws us right into the story about a down-on-his-luck koala (Matthew McConaughey, who didn't sound like Matthew McConaughey) trying to make his crumbling theatre a success again by holding a singing competition. Is it a predictable story? Yes. But is it still heart-warming and enjoyable? Heck yes!
Unlike most Disney movies, there's more of an ensemble cast and less a focus on just one character. Buster Moon (the koala) is arguably the protagonist, but there's a lot of time spent on the contestants. There's not a lot of character development, but they have distinctive personalities and separate story lines that give you a glimpse at what kind of people - er, animals - they are outside of the competition. My nieces were all about the female contestants, of course (they're always down for a character voiced by Scarlett Johansson), but I'm enamoured of Taron Egerton's accent, so Johnny the gorilla was my favourite. It won't win any awards for complicated plot, but the idea of pursuing your dreams in the face of adversity is always a good one to explore (and so satisfying when the dreams are then achieved).
Plus the soundtrack is pretty darn catchy, so that's reason enough to check it out, in my opinion.
Like Sam, I saw this movie with some youngin's which always brings a new perspective to "children's movies" as opposed to me watching Zootopia or Moana on my own and weeping softly to myself. It took me awhile to get into Sing, mostly because it seemed to lack focus and did not stay long enough on any one character to give us enough of a story or hook. Pretty much every "main" character felt like a passing extra who we were only given a glimpse into, which ended up making their storylines feel simplistic, predictable and under-developed.
That being said, it is a fun movie. There is one scene in particular that had me crying with laughter, when Buster seems to have lost it all and goes back to his first job: car washing... with his body. It was perfectly executed with his best friend, a sheep, working as a shammy. The message of the film is commendable: don't give up on your dreams even when it seems like the odds are against you. The soundtrack, as Sam so rightly says, is catchy as hell, with tracks spanning the decades from Elton John to Taylor Swift. It's also so beautiful. Animated features continue to blow my mind, technologically, and this film from Illumination is no exception.
As we exit 2016, I think it's a good idea to take a page out of Johnny's book in one of my favourite performances of the film.