Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is a theatre-loving koala, who is desperate for a hit show. As a last resort, Moon decides to hold a singing competition at the theatre. When the prize money is accidentally listed as $100,000 (instead of merely $1000), it attracts a horde of wannabe singers, including pig housewife Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), who is teamed up with the flamboyant Gunter (Nick Kroll), rocker porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson), criminal gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), crooning mouse Mike (Seth MacFarlane), and shy elephant Meena (Tori Kelly). All the participants of the singing competition have to overcome their personal challenges, in order for the show to become a hit.
Sing is the latest animated film from Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment, best known for Despicable Me. This film is a jukebox musical, taking its cues from singing competitions like American Idol, as well as the television series Glee. The film features dozens of well-known songs, ranging from Frank Sinatra classics to modern pop hits. In fact, one of the most entertaining scenes in the film is the audition montage, featuring hilarious renditions of songs like “Bad Romance,” “Kiss from a Rose,” and “Safety Dance.” Eventually, the competition is pared down to the core contestants, who rehearse for the big show, all while Buster Moon tries to find money to prevent the bank from closing the theatre before the show.
Sing almost doesn’t need to be an animated film with anthropomorphic animals, since this is a story that could have worked just well in a live action setting. However, the fact that it’s animals doing all this singing adds a certain cuteness to film, particularly a recurring gag involving a Japanese tanuki quintet. Sing is also loaded with celebrity voices, such as Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Scarlett Johansson, all of whom do their own singing in the film.
Sing is ultimately much more than just a jukebox musical, with the film also having messages about the power of song and how you shouldn’t let fear stop you from doing the thing you love.