“Sing”

“Sing”
Directed by Garth Jennings & Christophe Lourdelet

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What a joy when an animated film gets it as right as Illumination Films, and directors Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet do with “Sing”! It’s not nearly as thought provoking as “Up” or `”Inside Out”, nor as long lasting in the memory banks as any of the “Toy Story” franchise offerings. BUT it is WAY more imaginative and enjoyable for an adult than most Disney films, and certainly more so than all the horrible films based on toy brands. “Sing” is a perfect family trifle. Great fun, amazing animation and terrific VO performances.

Illumination has really upped its game with each release.  There are two moments, visually, that are simply mind-blowing in their detail. The first finds the camera flying the length and breadth of the city in hyperdrive to find each participant…it’s incredible – especially in 3D. And then there is a moment of time-lapse photography toward the end that was equally breathtaking. In between, they connect VO performance and intention to animated expressions flawlessly…aided by a brilliant script. Evoking the current pop culture temperature perfectly, “Sing” is simply hilarious…never more so than the multiple appearances of a panda J-Pop band. But, rest assured, the music is cleverly used throughout…as is the merciless lampooning of the “American Idol”-ification of our world.

The voice over work is uniformly joyful, with a single exception…Matthew McConaughey. He really shouldn’t be doing animation voice over. I don’t know if he lacks the imagination to go for it, or if he just forgot that the character is a talking koala. Lucky for us, however, his character is never asked to do more than act as an emcee, saving the heavy lifting for more seasoned voice actors. Nick Kroll, Seth McFarlane, John C. Reilly, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton and director, Garth Jennings go for it with an infectious sense of fun. Even Reese Witherspoon’s voice work is top-notch.

Listen…this is not a game changer. It won’t teach your kids about the world…and it won’t stay with you like a long-lost, stuffed animal. But it will entertain the hell out of you for ninety minutes.

Written on 1/8/2017

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