My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is that it is a very pleasant and charming movie. There is a lot of heart and class with the movie, and it holds well on its own. Regarding the flaws, it tries to handle so much that the resolution for some of the plots are a bit unsatisfying, there are a LOT of characters, and it gets a bit predictable and convenient at times. Overall, it was a satisfying way to end the year.
There is not a lot that was released about the production of the film. All I know so far is that the film was announced in January of 2014 (thus starting production in 2013) under the name Lunch, before it was changed to Sing. The actors were signed on the project and started recording in 2015. Apparently, this was a pet project from Illumination head Chris Melandandri, who wanted to be a film about a producer, like he was.
The movie starts with a young koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) watching a show in a theater that consists of an opera singer named Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Saunders and Jennifer Hudson) with his father, and the performance inspired him to open up his own theater. We skip some years to find out that his theater is about to shut down, as he has been avoiding the bank’s calls for anything other than an extra loan. After he decides to go out to lunch, we ride through the town, where we are introduced to our other main characters; a housewife pig named Rosita (Reese Whitherspoon), a street performing mouse named Mike (Seth McFarlane), a rocker porcupine named Ash (Scarlett Johansson), a shy teenage elephant named Mena (Tori Kelly), and an elephant named Johnny (Taron Egerton), who does not want to be a gang member like his father.
Buster tries to get his rich sheep friend Eddie (John C. Reily) to get his parents to loan him money for his next stage play; which is a talent show of $100,000 (which was supposed to be $1,000, but his assistant Ms. Crawley (Garth Jennings)’s eye fell out, and added 2 extra 0s), but Eddie says his parents refused. Everyone rushes to audition, but everyone in the main cast is put on the show but Meena (who is rushed out after freezing by Mike), and Johnny (who only got cast because it was impossible for Buster to communicate with a giraffe). I am going to say it right now; there are many plots in the movie, and while I am glad that it’s not just about the “save the theater” plot, it can be hard to juggle, so I am going to put pictures of each character under this, and discuss their plots there.
As you can see, a lot is going on, and they switch between all 5 of them every minute or two, so it would have been hard for me to write down chronologically, scene by scene. Overall, their lives are getting worse and worse, and turns out, Nana is Eddie’s grandmother, so Buster coerces himself to get her to fund them, and she snobbishly agrees, thinking it will be a cluster-fest. It is the next day, and Buster gets Meena and some others to rearrange the theater that includes squids and water to impress her, and while some of the performances are going well, things go badly. Mike is caught by the three bears, and demands that he gives them their money, and he throws the theater under the bus, saying the money is in there. The bears open the prize money to see that there’s only a thousand in there, and their aggression causes the water to break, and the entire theater breaks down.
Everyone is sad, but everyone in the crew but Mike visit Buster (who is now residing in Eddie… or his parents house), and he tells them that the show is over, and that all of the doubters are right about him. Buster and Ms. Crawley start a cheap and embarrassing car washing business, and Eddie hates seeing them like this, so he helps them out. While the three of them are washing a car, Buster hears a big and loud voice, following it to see that Meena is singing at the destructed theater. This inspires him, and everyone decides to repair the theater enough to be able to perform. The news decides to cover the mess, and as the performances start to perform better and better, people start to go to the theater. Rosita’s family start to see her in a different life, Johnny’s father breaks out of jail to make up with his son, Meena grows confident enough to sing in front of everyone, and Meena grows into a songwriter and that she is capable to move on her own, while her boyfriend misses her. All we get of Mike is him acknowledging that Meena can sing, before his girlfriend drives and saves him from the bears. Nana buys out the theater, it is repaired, and everyone but Mike and his girlfriend celebrate the reopening.
I am not going to post pictures in this section, since I am trying to save photo space, and I spoke about most of the main characters in detail individually in the Story section. Buster has a heavy attachment to theater, song, and the history behind it, also seeing it as an attachment to his deceased father, who invested most of his savings to purchase it for his son. Buster has to hustle through any merit to save his company, and unlike Mike (there are actually quite a bit of similarities), he is actually pretty likable. It could be debated that he does not really care about the people that much though. His assistant Ms. Crawley is hilarious, and Eddie has to learn not to be so spoiled, to actually have talent, and to become more of an independent man, which is somewhat debatable as well regarding to if he did that. Most of the other characters are fine though, and I already spoke about the main 5 above. There are a lot of small conversations among-st the group that leads to a very supportive and interesting dynamic.
What I will say about the animation is that there is a lot of varied designs between all the types of animals in the film. Regarding the setting, it is nothing unique, but there are some decent effects and textures. It’s kind of just the general city, but it looks a lot better than the Despicable Me films.
There is a lot of songs (snippets that are a lot smaller than a verse) in the film, and most of them take place in the audition stage, so it ewally is not as much as you would think. Almost all of the songs are cover songs, and while I usually hate this, the songs are used extremely well, and help define our characters better.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on December 21st, 2016, it made (as of December 29th) $108 million domestically, and $54 million overseas, with a total amount of $162,928,284 worldwide. Honestly, this is going to be a huge hit. The theater was packed when I was watching it, and it is performing strongly after only being open for a bit over a week. Illumination has a formula to get people into the theaters, and it is working.
Regarding its critical reception, most of the people are saying the same thing, which is that the story is familiar and not really original, but some people saw it as a negative, though others liked the story regardless. Overall, the reception is mixed-to-positive.
A lot of the awards are pending, and I think it might have had the disadvantage of its late release date, so it might have missed some induction opportunities.
= 29.5/40 = 74%