Illumination, the company responsible for animation favorites like “Secret Life of Pets” and “Despicable Me,” has struck cartoon magic once again with their Universal collaboration “Sing,” a vibrant musical. The family friendly animation could not have been released at a more opportune moment, as Disney’s hit ”Moana“ is venturing out of theatres and more adult targeted films are fighting for revenue scraps left over from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Though the film is reaching to youthful audiences, “Sing” proves to be one of the rare cartoons that connects with all viewers old and young.
With a blend of music from a wide breadth of genres and generations, the film artfully constructs a soundtrack of 85 songs, both new and old. Songs like “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift prove to be perfect sing along songs for kids while more mature tunes like “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John bridge the youthful audiences into music they may not have heard otherwise. These more classic well known songs also aid to keep parents and more mature audiences entertained.
When his beloved run down theatre is on the brink of being owned by the bank Buster Moon (Matthew Mcconaughey), a show biz loving koala, is struggling to come up with the cash to keep his dreams alive. After consulting his elderly lizard secretary Miss crawley (Garth Jennings) innovations strikes, and he sets out to dazzle audiences with a singing competition. With flyers printed out showcasing the cash prize, animals of all kinds flock to the theatre for auditions.
Though the film accumulated $41.4m over the holiday weekend alone it still remains light years away from gaining the revenue that “Rogue One” is pulling into theatres with $706.1m. With an overall box office gain of $238.2m “Sing” manages to breeze past “Passengers”($57.4m) into the second highest position in the box office, making “Rogue One” first.
The thing that makes “Sing” particularly special is the character personalities. People love animation and look to those films for colorful unique characters and liveliness, something that writer and director Garth Jennings nails right on the head. From the shy elephant, plagued with stage fright, Meenah (Tori Kelly) to the punk rock loving porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson) the film delivers a myriad of vibrant characters through adorably animated animals.
The overall production of the film was a five year process, much of it to do with obtaining legal permission to include songs by big artists like Elton John. The grueling process payed off as the film has received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song and Best Animated Movie and is likely to gain more nominations as award season progresses.
“Sing” was practically destined to score big in the box office as it perfectly plays off of viewers’ unsatisfiable craving for talent competitions and love of cute talking animals. Perfect for a family viewing, or simply a goofy day out with friends, “Sing” lights up the screen with rhythm and character.