The Salvation Army - Salvationist.ca - Sing! The Show Must Go OnBuster Moon and his assistant, Miss Crawley, are speechless during auditions for the big show (Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

Movie Review: Sing!

A koala bear concocts a plan to save his failing theatre in the new animated movie Sing!

December 21, 2016 by Jeanette Levellie


Get ready to hear your kids singing a few pop tunes mixed in with the carols this Christmas if you take them to Illumination Entertainment’s new animated movie Sing! A family-friendly musical comedy opening December 21, Sing! promises to delight audiences with more than 85 popular tunes from the 1940s to the present.

Matthew McConaughey voices the leading role as the charming yet rascally koala Buster Moon, the owner of a theatre that has seen better times. Against the advice of his best friend, a black sheep named Eddie (John C. Reilly), Buster devises a plan to host a singing contest he’s sure will revive the theatre and bring the crowds back.

“Real talent from real life,” he enthuses to a cynical Eddie. “That’s what audiences want, and I’m gonna give it to ’em!”

In a recent interview with USA Today, McConaughey said, “Buster is a salesman and a survivor, eternally optimistic and someone who will do anything to make sure ‘the show goes on.’ ”

When Buster scrapes $1,000 together for a prize, his absentminded assistant, Miss Crawley, an iguana voiced by Leslie Jones, misprints the flyers, changing the award to $100,000. A strong breeze carries them out the open office window and around the city. Every wannabe-singing animal for kilometres around lines up to enter the contest, realize their dreams of stardom and change their lives forever. But with a $100,000 prize that Buster can’t afford, will lives be changed for better or worse?

Living Life to the Full
Directed by Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Sing! brims with toe-tapping tunes and giggles galore. It also reflects the yearning of every heart: to gain recognition and discover true worth.

The Bible shows us that these desires can be ours when we give our lives to God. Unlike a theatre owner with mixed motives, God only wants what’s best for us, and He proved it by sending His Son, Jesus, to us at the first Christmas ever. But He didn’t stop with offering us the gift of life forever in a heavenly home. His love at work in us has the ability to change our lives for the better here on earth. Jesus promises, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

This Christmas, that’s something to sing about.

Cast of Characters
Five crooning characters emerge as the top competitors:
Rosita the pig (Reese Witherspoon) abandoned her teenage dreams of a musical career to raise a litter of 25 piglets.
Crested porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson) co-leads an alt-rock band with her overbearing boyfriend. When Buster chooses Ash to sing in the competition but sends her boyfriend home, the quills fly.
Mike the mouse (Seth MacFarlane) is tiny but wields a Sinatra-like voice and attitude out of all proportion to his size.
Johnny the gorilla (Taron Egerton) wants a singing career despite a gangster dad who tries to keep him in the family “business.”
Timid teenage elephant Meena (Tori Kelly) could hold any audience spellbound with her superb voice—if she can just manage to overcome an acute case of stage fright.

Fun Facts About Sing!

  • If you love films with anthropomorphic animals, 2016 is your year. In addition  to Sing!, other releases include Kung  Fu Panda 3, The Angry Birds MovieFinding Dory, Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets.
  • Since Matthew McConaughey hasn’t made many movies suitable for his own children, he says he’s “excited to make one they’ll enjoy as well as hear their dad in.”
  • Although Taron Egerton is a talented singer, Sing! marks his debut performance in an animated film.

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