Thu 07 Dec 2017, 23:00 | (0)
Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Tori Kelly
This animated kids movie begins when, at age 6, koala bear Buster Moon falls in love – and the object of his affection is the theatre. Mesmerised by opera star Nana Noodleman, Buster decides that he’ll one day own the very theatre in which he hears her perform.
Years later, with the support of his hardworking father, Buster’s dream comes true –but things don’t turn out as planned. After yet another box office bomb, his cash flow slows to a trickle and he’s forced to find a way to finance his dream. He hatches a plan to stage a singing competition, inviting all-comers to an Idols-esque challenge under a few false pretenses in a last-ditch attempt to generate interest in his failing venue.
Animals from all around the city gather for auditions, with the final selection boiling down to housewife pig Rosita; tough street musician mouse Mike; mobster's son gorilla Johnny; punk-rock porcupine Ash; a triple-act of frogs and a camel named Pete. Trouble starts as soon as auditions begin, with some of the performers unable to get into the swing of things. Calamity ensues as the theatre crumbles – and its up to an unlikely heroine to step in to try to save the day.
The film features more than 60 songs from famous artists from Carly-Rae Jepsen to Irving Berlin and the Beatles to Beyonce – and includes an original song, ‘Faith’, by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, which was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Sing is Director Garth Jennings’ first animated feature, and he says it was as simple decision to make after being approached by Illumination’s Chris Melanandri. “It was simple as ‘could you find anything with animals in a singing competition?’ And I was like ‘well, of course!’ It was the loveliest launchpad for an idea,” he says. “The thing we got out of that first meeting was, ‘how much fun it is to see characters, not just step up on that stage and perform for the first time to fulfill some kind of dream that they otherwise could not fulfill, but also what the effect it has on their lives, their families, and their relationship’?. That became the thing we were most interested in. It was very much like The Commitments, where the songs are an escape for the characters. They are a means for a way out or a way to connect with a part of themselves they’ve denied. That stuff was really like delightful. There are also these human stories, but as animals”.
The talented voice cast actually do most of their own singing in the film, something which was important to Jennings. “We always wanted our cast to sing their own parts. It would feel really great and authentic if you knew that it really was Reese singing, that really was Scarlett singing,” he says. “We knew that Reese could sing, we saw her in Walk the Line, and the same goes for Seth MacFarlane, without a shadow of a doubt. But Taron, we’ve heard that he could sing and we knew loved his acting voice, but what he did was he auditioned for us, and he was amazing. They’ve all risen to the challenges. The reason it works is because musical director Harvey Mason Jr. would work every one of them up until that recording. They didn’t just come in and start singing. There were rehearsals and all kinds of voice training stuff for people if there was a high point to get to. It meant that when they came in they felt insightful and comfortable and confident”.