Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sing [2016]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (3 Stars)  AVClub (C-)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (K. Walsh) review (Susan Wloszczyna) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review

Sing [2016] (screenplay and codirected by Garth Jennings along with Christophe Lourdelet) is a generally fun and well-made if not overly original animated "barnyard fable" / "juke box musical" about ... what is it about? ... standing-up and letting oneself ... sing.

Set in a city populated entirely by animals of all kinds, the film's focus is on a diminutive Koala Bear / "theater owner with a heart of gold" named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) whose pride and joy was a Theater left-to-him by his venerable dad, which ... well ... was "going under" because NOBODY it seemed wanted "to go to the show" anymore ;-/.

 Well, ever the optimist -- has ANYONE ever seen _a depressed_ Koala Bear? -- he and his aging secretary Miss Crawly (an Iguana with one glass eye, voiced by Garth Jennings) come-up with a sure fire way to fill the seats:  They sponsor a "singing competition."  Okay, a typo in Miss Crawly's initial poster advertising the event (remember she has a glass eye) generates MUCH MORE ENTHUSIASM than the event probably warranted ;-) ... but yes, the two soon get a theater full (and out into the street and around the block) of potential contestants.

What follows is something of an updated "Chorus Line" type story (but with animals).  What's NICE is that there REALLY ARE NOT ANY VILLAINS IN THIS STORY.  All the characters, voiced by the likes of John C. Riley, Seth MacFarlane, Jennifer Hudson, Reese Witherspoon and Scarlet Johannson, "have their stories" but NONE OF THEIR STORIES ARE "MEAN" (or DEMEANING).

As such, this is a lovely "Koala Bear of a smile" story. 

My favorite characters in the film are the members of an apparently Asian-style ("Siamese Cat") "girls band" who come late to their audition, are told kindly (and repeatedly) that, as such, they _won't_ be performing, but just keep cheerfully showing-up anyway.  Again, this is a film that _can not_ but put a smile on one's face.

So even if this is NOT a particularly "original story," it's a well-done one and one that will make for an enjoyable time for one and one's family.  Good job! ;-)

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