Let's be honest: Sing has zero originality. Made by Illumination (the animation company behind Minions) it is the animated story of a koala who hosts a singing competition in his struggling theatre. This is just the X Factor or American Idol, except the hairless, greasy, shimmering Simon Cowell has been replaced by a fluffy Koala bear, which makes the whole thing marginally less hateful. It has none of the creative juice that went into Disney's Moana.
So what can you expect? What you always get on these shows -- there's a collection of hopeless misfits: busy working mothers, spandex covered Germans, cripplingly shy teenagers forced on stage by pushy parents and overconfident scam artists among them, each candidate arriving with a back/sob story, a talent, a dream. This horde of hopefuls get onstage in front of a rude, self-interested, profit-driven judge, and sing their little hearts out to acclaim or humiliation.
We know, we know, you've seen it before, season after season, every year, again and again, on every TV channel in every country on the planet ever. Boring! I mean, how stupid does a producer have to be to make yet another show that's just the same as all the other identical TV shows that millions of us watch repetitively each year, forever? Oh. Right.
There's some kind of mystery magic to X Factor/ The Voice/ Pop Idol etc, and it is obviously all the better for having animals in it. In Sing Buster Moon the koala has a vision of success for his decaying theatre. The stage was a gift from his father who worked tirelessly washing cars so that he could buy it for for his son. Buster decides the best way to get out of dept is to host a big singing competition, to get the best unknown voices on stage. Soon, every mouse, dog and rabbit are queuing up to audition, with the promise of a big reward for the winner...
There are a million characters in Sing but here are the important ones: the judge koala, Buster Moon is played by Matthew McConaughey, there's a gangster, singing gorilla played by Elton John, a spiky (figuratively and literary) porcupine is Carly Rae Jepsen and the downtrodden piggy mother of 27 children is Reese Witherspoon.
On one level, this film is pants. It's just there to let us indulge in beloved pop songs sung by dancing cartoon animals. The backstories are soppy and the message about strength, perseverance and the power of dreams is a cliché. And we've seen it all before. But if it was on TV every summer on every channel in every country in the world, I'd watch it every time.
Recommended for children aged 5+
|What||Sing film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
27 Jan 17 – 01 Mar 17, Show times vary
|Website||Click here for more from IMDb|