There is absolutely no reason the characters in Sing are animals. The version of LA they live in is exactly the same as ours, the plot would function if they didn’t have tails and scales, and the film doesn’t even bother to whip up much in the way of animal-based comedy. Few animated movies going forward will stand up to Zootropolis – but take a look at the detail and hard work that went into designing that world, and then come back to Sing and the film’s lack of effort becomes all the more glaring.
Taron Egerton and Jennifer Saunders offer solid vocal performances, but most of the cast either phone it in or are woefully underused – Leslie Jones is so criminally wasted her character isn’t even named. As you would hope for a musical, the soundtrack is pleasantly boppy, if a little inane, sticking with twee pop hits ready to embed themselves back in your brain, and a couple of ‘classics’ – including a surprisingly great Elton John cover from Egerton.
Generally the whole thing feels oddly outdated – singing competitions aren’t exactly the hot trend in reality TV these days, and one arc in the film concerns a character innovatively blending pop and rock as though no one’s ever thought of that before. Most of the jokes come across as hackneyed and forced, from the spandex-clad German pig gyrating to a car wash and reliance on the hilarity of putting an animal in a thong.
Sure, Sing is a perfectly serviceable 90 minutes of brightly-coloured fluff to distract the kids and sell some merchandise – but shouldn’t we expect better? In a world where more and more filmmakers are pushing the envelope in animation, we shouldn’t have to sit through this kind of dreck.
CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton
DIRECTORS: Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings
WRITER: Garth Jennings
SYNOPSIS: In a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Buster Moon, a dapper koala, presides over a once-grand theatre that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal – some might even say delusional – optimist who loves his theatre above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.