Sing has something for the whole family

HIGHVELD – If there is one thing that people like more than an animation film with talking animals, it is a reality talent show, and if there is one thing people like more than a film about an animated reality talent show with talking animals in the lead roles, it is an animation film about talking animals taking part in a reality talent show and singing no less than 23 well-known and much loved hit songs.

Following this logic, the newest animation from Universal is a good, safe bet and will be a steady box-office earner.

In a desperate bid to safe his run-down theatre, eternal optimist Buster Moon the Koala decides to go out on a limb and produce what he calls the world’s greatest singing competition.

Through a comedy of errors, five final contestants emerge: A punk-rock inspired porcupine, a gorilla with a heart of gold, a shy elephant with stage fright, an overworked mother pig and a mouse.

Sing has a star-studded voice cast, including Matthew McConaughey (the koala, Buster Moon), Reese Witherspoon (Rosita the pig), Seth MacFarlane (Mike the mouse), Scarlett Johansson (punk-rock porcupine Ash), John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly (elephant with stage fright) and Taron Egerton as a crooning gorilla named Johnny.

Jennifer Hudson lends her impressive vocals to a young sheep diva.

With these lovable and adorably animated animals all singing their little hearts out, this film is just charming enough to keep parents and kids alike entertained and it makes it a perfect family friendly outing for the first weekend after schools have opened again.

As usual, there are the naughty jokes, aimed at giving the parents a good giggle while coasting safely over the heads of the little ones, but as the subject matter never really strays further than bodily functions and tongue-in-cheek references to the joys of being a grown-up, there really is no harm.

The tension is provided by a mistake on the pamphlets, advertising the prize money as being $100 000, which Buster Moon clearly does not have, and the small personal conflicts of the characters, be it due to the stress of managing a burgeoning singing career and a large family, escaping from a life of crime, or the random little struggles that befall a mouse living in the big city.

The film ends, rather predictably but no less enjoyably, on a high note, with all conflicts resolved and wishes fulfilled, if only that could be true for real life.

Illumination Entertainment, who brought us Despicable Me, is responsible for the animation, and they have once again done a fair job of it, playing around with relatably human characteristics for these animals.

The sound track, featuring everything from Taylor Swift to Queen, will have you tapping your feet and humming along in no time.

4/5 popcorn rating

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