Songs of The Southern Beast
It seems that animation movies have almost taken over the world, whereas previously you would be lucky to get one or two a year. In today’s market there is rarely a time when there isn’t at least one animated movie on offer for the younger audience. Sing is the latest from Illumination the people behind Minion’s, so with such a wide variety on offer the real question is: Can Sing get a standing ovation?
The pitch for Sing must have been so easy “remember Zootopia? That meets X Factor!”, I imagine Illumination bought a mansion on those words alone, but if we consider it for a moment it’s a far stronger premise than first appears, because if that outline holds true, something remarkable has to happen.
In it’s opening Sing is no different to any other Animation film you care to name, but once we are introduced to our main characters (anyone you’ve seen on a poster), you realise that only one of these animals are going to win the competition. Someone will have to lose.
Now I’m not going to spoil the film or how the ultimate outcome plays out but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Sing has a rewarding conclusion without compromising it’s inner integrity of story.
That’s where you start to see Sing’s real genius, as apposed to trying to push it’s own songs onto the audience for them to enjoy, it simply takes popular music we already know and transport them into Illuminations world. This could have been a deep mistake for Sing but instead it only adds to the experience as you are reminded of classics like I’m Still Standing and Hallelujah, while keeping tracks like Shake It Off all on the same footing.
Sing offers us a whole range of emotions to take from the movie each of the 6 main characters are unique, they each have a different story and finale to face, none of which feel forced. Each character’s story is what gives the film proper pacing, from the gorilla with father problems to the neglected housewife, everyone will have a favourite to root for.
While the movie boasts a robust cast no one is self-indulgent with their screen time, each of the 8 or so headliners all play their parts with passion and not greed. Matthew McConaughey brings his now trademark subtle tones, Seth MacFarlane brings a strong passion, Reece Witherspoon brings an element of realism, Scarlett Johansson brings a caged aggression and Taron Egerton brings himself (does he really need to add anything more?).
It’s true that we might not all have wanted to be a James Bond bad villain as a child, but we all have had a dream, or been made to feel like we were a disappointment, while Despicable Me or Minions might bring in the money and be laughed at for years, it’s Sing that will speak to the broken and the dreamers. Sing is where our hearts should be.