Film Review: Sing (2016)

in movies •  4 months ago

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Sing is an animated movie about overcoming insecurity. I can barely express how much I love it.

Before I start, let me say that I can be a cynic, but disliking Sing is as tough as disliking The Sound of Music. Basically, good luck.

My nephew is three and all he wants to watch is superhero films, which is my fault entirely. But I'm trying hard to show him other stuff, and that is how I stumbled across Sing on Netflix. Honestly I was put off by the fact that it appears to be about a singing contest. It is not about a singing contest.

Buster Moon is a koala who grows up loving a theatre that he eventually takes over. But he has not had even one hit show and the theatre is on the brink of repossession. Buster is plucky and feels he can fix things. He comes up with a final bid for success: a singing contest!

Now, I know what you're thinking. I just said it's not about a singing contest. And it's really not. It does start out that way, but slowly we realise that it's about much more. It's about a ragtag bunch of anthropomorphised animals who, for one reason or another, feel that they are worthless or unappreciated. There's a pig who has twenty kids and a zombie husband, a shy elephant, and an abused porcupine, to name a few. Together they learn that they have value, that they can be happy, and that the world can be a better place.

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Not all the animals are insecure. There is a vast array of personalities, and honestly they are fairly two-dimensional. This is to the film's benefit; we can all recognise parts of ourselves and people we know in each character.

So far, so emotional, but I must mention that Sing is also hilarious, exhilarating, and full of a jaw-dropping number of smash hit pop songs from the last fifty-odd years. What I thought was a humble indie animation is actually a huge studio project that was in the works for many years before its release. And because all the best animators in Hollywood work for Pixar and Disney, Illumination (the makers of Minions) created Sing entirely in France with European animators.

Being a big studio project meant that it could secure a delightful library of songs you know, and songs you've forgotten. I have struggled to get the Beatles' Golden Slumbers out of my head for weeks.

It also means that the cast list is impeccable. Only after I watched Sing for the first time did I realise that Buster is played by Matthew McConaughey! Other big names include Reese Witherspoon, Scarlet Johansson and John C. Reilly.

The stand-out character for me—and the one that makes me cry just thinking about him, for reasons I can't quite fathom—is Taron Egerton's Johnny. He is a gorilla whose father leads a gang of Cockney gangsters (in America for some reason) that Johnny is expected to join. His interest in singing is ignored by his narcissistic dad. Taron Egerton is a terrific actor and perhaps an even better singer. Johnny's look, style and attitude is my way in to the movie—a combination of aspiration and identification that somehow overwhelms me. Other viewers will no doubt identify strongly with other characters.

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My other favourite thing is a magnificent troupe of five Japanese red pandas who sing to a high-tempo, saccharin, Japanese pop backing track. They are sorely underused! My hope is that there will be sequel featuring them. I would even watch a spin-off.

I genuinely think there is something for everyone in this film, and anyone who is not swept away must have a heart of stone. Yes, it's an unabashed feel-good film, but the major chords are perfectly tempered by huge minor chords. The director, Garth Jennings, has created a masterpiece to rival Upside Down and The Lion King.

Sing certainly shows us a utopia. It is not realistic. But if the world is getting you down I highly recommend spending a couple of hours there.



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Interesting information. I have not watched this movie yet. Now I'm also interested in watching the film Sing.

Looks like a cool animated movie this would i love to watch thanks for your review :)

Great and amazing post @lenskonig.
Nice review on sing. I will definitely watch it with my friends in a free time. After this, I will download this film and I will watch this movie on Sunday, with my friends. This story is amazing.

Thanks for sharing this post.

You have revied the movie like a professional person. I am a fan of an animated movie. My son is only 6. He never eats without watching an animated movie. Thanks for sharing Sin animatd movie.

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Thank you for that compliment 😊

I hope your son enjoys the film!

Nice review. @lenskonig. I will keep an eye out for this one. I admit I would have dismissed it based on the first screen grab. I miss classic animation. I liked Spirited Away, and the classic Disney stuff (mostly) but I'm not so enthusiastic about 3D computer animation.

I'm glad movies are being made for kids that bring hope.

What does your nephew feel about Adventure Time?
It is my favourite contemporary philosophy show.

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Please do fire up your Netflix for this one, @matrjoschka. It’s better than classic animation. But I have to say that I simply did not get Spirited Away; I actually felt stupid and sad for not understanding why one reviewer gave it six stars out of five.

Adventure Time is something I will try to find on a streaming or cable service. However, the fact that there is so much Paw Patrol merchandise in stores and no way to watch Paw Patrol in the US without buying episodes makes me pessamistic that I will be able to access it in the swift manner my nephew demands.

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I watched Spirited Away in the original Japanese, with no subtitles, without any clear idea of what was going on. The mystery of It was beautiful.

I got the basic allegory I think: The previous generation (her 'caregivers') were turning into pigs; the protagonist must leave them behind and find meaning and purpose in a shadow world of ghosts and spectres than have lost their way, haunted by indefinable hereditary traumas.

I notice that it's easy to ruin a Japanese animation by sticking English voice actors on top of the original soundtrack. Perhaps you watched it in this hobbled state?

For me the beauty of Spirited Away was the indecipherability and magic; the symbolism and surrealism.

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My gut says I watched it subbed, but I can’t be sure. It can be deeply alienating to not get something that so many awakened people love.

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I felt the same about Inception until I watched it three times.

Not that I feel you should persist with Spirited Away. It wasn't life changing, it was just interesting.

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I just can't get over Nolan's Belligerent Time-Keeping, in Inception and now Dunkirk.

I loved Inception but get more annoyed each time I see the Hotel Climax.

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Fascinating Tubey, thanks.

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fabulous one.
Very nice i like it

I had watched this picture last year. In which Sing is exactly what we would expect if we've seen the trailer, a lighthearted and inspiring American Idol-style singing competition between animated, anthropomorphized animals.

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Thanks @lenskonig for sharing.