Sing (2016 American film)

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Sing
Sing (2016 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Garth Jennings
Produced by
Written by Garth Jennings
Starring
Music by Joby Talbot
Edited by Gregory Perler[1]
Production
company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • December 3, 2016 (2016-12-03) (Microsoft Theater)
  • December 21, 2016 (2016-12-21) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million[2]
Box office $632.4 million[2]

Sing is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment.[3] It was directed and written by Garth Jennings, co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet,[1] and starring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, and Tori Kelly. The film is about a group of anthropomorphic animals that enter a singing competition, hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater.

The film includes more than 60 songs from famous artists and also has an original song by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande called "Faith," which was nominated for a Golden Globe.[4] It was released by Universal Pictures on December 21, 2016, the film received generally positive reviews, and grossed $632 million worldwide. Along with The Secret Life of Pets, it marked the first time that Illumination Entertainment released two feature films in the same year.

A sequel, entitled Sing 2, has been announced for a release on December 25, 2020.

Plot[edit]

In a world of anthropomorphic animals, koala Buster Moon owns a theater, having been interested in show business since his father took him to his first music show as a child. Following financial problems brought up by the bank representative Judith, he tells his wealthy friend Eddie that he will host a singing competition with a prize of $1,000, but Buster's assistant, Miss Crawly, accidentally appends two extra zeroes, and the promotional fliers showing $100,000 are blown out of Buster's office into the city streets.

Animals from all around the city gather for auditions, those selected include: housewife and mother of 25 piglets Rosita; street musician mouse Mike; mobster's son gorilla Johnny; and punk-rock porcupine Ash. Shy teenage elephant Meena fails her audition out of stage fright, while Ash's boyfriend Lance is dismissed from the contest. Rosita is paired with another contestant, an exuberant pig named Gunter, for a dancing routine, although Buster discovers the flyers show a prize of $100,000, money he does not have, he remains optimistic. Buster convinces Eddie to arrange a visit with Eddie's grandmother, former opera singer and theater actress Nana Noodleman, to persuade her to sponsor the prize money, she is hesitant to contribute, but agrees to see a private screening of the show.

Encouraged by her grandfather, Meena tries to ask Buster for another chance, but becomes his stage hand instead. When one of the acts quits, and another is injured, Meena is added as an act, the performers' individual problems begin to hinder rehearsals: Rosita flounders in her dance routine with Gunter, after having been distracted by her parenting duties that have fallen into disarray. After discovering Lance with a new girlfriend and evicting them from her apartment, Ash is heartbroken and in no state to sing her assigned song, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Johnny is torn between having to help his father as the driver of a getaway car in a heist and making the practices. When he tries to do both, he does not show up for the planned pickup in time, and his father and his gang are arrested. Meena does not get any help in overcoming her stage fright, and Mike, certain that the prize money is as good as his, buys a fancy car to impress a female mouse, and then swindles a group of bears in a card game in a nightclub.

The day of the screening, the bears interrupt the show, demanding the money from Mike, who in turn, points to Buster, the bears open the chest containing the prize money, but it is nowhere near $100,000. The glass tank full of luminescent squids that Buster got to light up the theater breaks under all their weight, flooding the theater, which then comes crashing down, with the lot repossessed by Judith, Buster, who had been living in his theater's office desk, takes up residence at Eddie's place (his parents' pool house). Although the contestants (besides Mike, who saw Buster as a fraud) visit him and try to cheer him up, Buster is too despondent to listen to them, he tries to start over by opening a car wash, using the same bucket that his father had used to earn money for Buster's theater.

When Meena goes to the theater's rubble lot and sings Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Buster hears her and is inspired to reinstate the show without the prize money, they perform on a makeshift stage on the lot in front of Rosita and Meena's family members. As Rosita and Gunter perform Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," more animals are attracted to the scene as the show is broadcast on the news. Johnny's rendition of Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" impresses his father, who then escapes from prison to reconcile with him, despite interruption by Judith, Ash sings her original rock song "Set It All Free." Mike returns to the show and sings Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Meena finally overcomes her fears and sings Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing," which literally brings down the house.

The show becomes a success and impresses Nana, who was in the audience. Nana buys the lot and the theater is rebuilt and reopened.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an optimistic koala who plans to save his theater from closure by holding a singing competition.[3][5]
  • Reese Witherspoon as Rosita, a pig who gave up her teenage music dreams to become a devoted wife to Norman, and mother to their 25 piglets.[5]
  • Seth MacFarlane as Mike, a white mouse with a big Frank Sinatra-esque voice and an arrogant attitude.[5]
  • Scarlett Johansson as Ash, a teen porcupine and punk rocker who takes part in an alternative-rock music duo with her boyfriend Lance.[1][5]
  • John C. Reilly as Eddie, a sheep and Buster's friend who doubts the future of the theater.[5][6]
  • Tori Kelly as Meena, a teenage elephant with an exquisite voice and severe stage fright.[5]
  • Taron Egerton as Johnny, a teenage gorilla who wants to sing, though his father wants him to follow his criminal footsteps.[5]
  • Jennifer Saunders as Nana Noodleman, a sheep and Eddie's grandmother who was a singer in her glory days.[7][8]
  • Jennifer Hudson[1] as Young Nana
  • Garth Jennings as Miss Crawly, an elderly iguana with a glass eye who is Buster's administrative assistant.[1]
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Big Daddy, a gorilla gang leader who wants his son Johnny to follow in his crime business.[1]
  • Nick Kroll as Gunter, a passionate dancing pig who is partnered with Rosita for the show.[9][7]
  • Beck Bennett as Lance, a porcupine and Ash's boyfriend.[1]
  • Jay Pharoah[7] as Meena's grandfather who pressures her to overcome her stage fright.
  • Nick Offerman[7] as Norman, a pig and Rosita's husband.
  • Leslie Jones as Meena's mother
  • Rhea Perlman as Judith,[1][10] a brown llama from the bank who warns Buster that his theater will be repossessed if he does not pay.
  • Laraine Newman as Meena's grandmother
  • Adam Buxton as Stan, a gorilla who is a member of Big Daddy's gang.
  • Brad Morris as a Baboon, whom Mike attacks for not donating more money to his street performances.
  • Bill Farmer as News Reporter Dog, who documents Buster's singing competition.
  • Oscar, Leo, Caspar, and Asa Jennings as Piglets.

Production[edit]

In January 2014, it was announced that Garth Jennings would write and direct an animated comedy film for Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, about "courage, competition and carrying a tune,"[11] which was originally titled Lunch,[12] and then retitled as Sing.[5]

On January 14, 2015, Matthew McConaughey was cast in the film's lead voice role.[3] Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy produced the film.[3] On June 17, 2015, it was confirmed that McConaughey's character is named Buster and that John C. Reilly would voice Eddie, a sheep and Buster's best friend.[6] In November 2015, it was announced that Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly and Taron Egerton had joined the cast of the film.[5]

The film features 65 pop songs, the rights to which cost 15 percent of the film's $75 million budget,[13] the animation was created entirely in France by Illumination MacGuff.[14]

Soundtrack[edit]

A soundtrack album for the film was released on December 21, 2016.

Release[edit]

The almost complete[15] film was screened as a work in progress beginning September 11, 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival.[16] Universal Studios released the film on December 21, 2016.[17]

Home media[edit]

Sing was released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD on March 21, 2017. It includes three short films: Gunter Babysits, Love at First Sight, and Eddie's Life Coach.[18]

  • In Gunter Babysits, Gunter offers to watch over Rosita and Norman's piglets while they are away as he works to prove himself to be a good babysitter.
  • In Love at First Sight, Johnny sets Miss Crawly up with an online dating website where she manages to score a date with a lizard named Herman.
  • In Eddie's Life Coach, Eddie's mother sets Eddie up for a digital training seminar where he will be assigned to a dachshund named Garry "The Winner" Wishman.

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Sing grossed $270.3 million in the U.S. and Canada and $362.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $632.4 million, against a production budget of $75 million.[2] Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $194.2 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenue for the film, making it the 7th most profitable release of 2016.[19]

In North America, the film opened alongside Passengers and Assassin's Creed, and was expected to gross around $70 million from 4,022 theaters over its first six days of release,[20] the film made $1.7 million during its Tuesday night previews.[21] It went on to gross $35.3 million in its opening weekend (a six-day total of $75.5 million), finishing second at the box office behind Rogue One, which was in its second week.[22] Sing holds the record for being the highest-grossing film to never finish first at the North American box office, besting My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.4 million in 2002).[23]

Critical response[edit]

On the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73% based on 157 reviews; the average rating is 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted – albeit familiar – storyline that lives up to its title."[24] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[25] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[26]

Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars and wrote, "In a year full of talking-animal hits, Sing isn't quite as strong a number. It's a tale that might not be particularly thought-provoking but sure is toe-tapping."[27] In her review for the Los Angeles Times, Katie Walsh called Sing, "a cute movie with genuinely funny moments (keep an eye out for the koala car wash), and some great tunes to boot."[28] The Arizona Republic's Bill Goodykoontz was rather mixed about the movie in his review and overall said, "Sing is like an album with a good song here and there, but too much filler and not enough hits."[29] Reviewing the version of the film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Stefan Pape of the British website HeyUGuys gave the film a mixed review of 2/5, stating that "Garth Jennings's Sing effectively acknowledges early on that it's following a completely unoriginal formula, and yet carries on regardless."[30] While Peter Debruge of Variety, who also saw the film during the same festival, did not find the subplots to have any "profound life lessons," he overall praised Jennings' direction, the cast's voice performances and the film's silliness.[31]

Accolades[edit]

List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards February 6, 2017 Best Movie for Grownups who Refuse to Grow Up Sing Nominated [32]
Annie Awards February 4, 2017 Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production Joby Talbot [33]
Golden Globe Awards January 8, 2017 Best Animated Feature Film Sing [34]
Best Original Song "Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2016 Best Song – Animated Film [35][36]
Best Soundtrack Album Sing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Outstanding Music Supervision – Film Jojo Villanueva Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 11, 2017 Favorite Animated Movie Sing Nominated [37]
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Reese Witherspoon
Most Wanted Pet
Favorite Soundtrack Sing
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Animated Film Nominated [38]

Sequel[edit]

Universal and Illumination have announced plans for a Sing 2, slated for December 25, 2020.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Felperin, Leslie (September 11, 2016). "'Sing': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sing (2016)". Box Office Mojo. May 29, 2017. Retrieved July 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Kit, Borys (January 14, 2015). "Matthew McConaughey to Star in Illumination Animated Film (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ Amidi, Amid (September 9, 2016). "A Complete List of Every Song in Illumination’s ‘Sing’". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Truitt, Brian (November 10, 2015). "Sneak peek: A-list animals 'SING' together". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Hopewell, John (June 17, 2015). "Annecy: Chris Meledandri on Matthew McConaughey as a Koala Legit Theater Owner, ‘The Grinch’". Variety. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d Trumbore, Dave (November 11, 2015). "Meet the Animated Animals of Illumination Entertainment’s 2016 Musical Comedy, ‘Sing’". Collider. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ Buxton, Adam (April 14, 2016). "EP.16 - Pub Walk With Garth Jennings". soundcloud.com. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  9. ^ Yuen, Jenny (September 11, 2016). "TIFF 2016: Matthew McConaughey optimistic about 'Sing'". Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Sing - Full Cast and Credits". Hollywood.com. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  11. ^ "‘Despicable Me 3′ Set For June 2017 Release; ‘Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ Arrives Five Months Later". Deadline. January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ Hopewell, John (January 8, 2014). "France Fights Bidding War to Lure Hollywood Filmmakers". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2014. Universal now has “Max” and “Lunch” set up at Illumination MacGuff. 
  13. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  14. ^ https://variety.com/2016/film/spotlight/the-little-prince-netflix-sing-secret-life-of-pets-illumination-1201931793/
  15. ^ Grobar, Matt (December 5, 2016). "‘Sing’ Director Garth Jennings On Working With "Wizards," The Learning Curve Of His Feature Animation Debut". Deadline. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  16. ^ Hammond, Pete (August 23, 2016). "Universal & Illumination To Launch ‘Sing’ With Live Jennifer Hudson And Tori Kelly Performances At Toronto". Deadline. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  17. ^ McClintock, Pamela (January 15, 2014). "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  18. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (February 14, 2017). "Illumination Entertainment’s ‘Sing’ Headed to Retail". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (March 28, 2017). "No. 7 ‘Sing’ Box Office Profits – 2016 Most Valuable Movie Blockbuster Tournament". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Will ‘Rogue One’ Vanquish The Christmas B.O. Competition?". Deadline.com. 
  21. ^ "'Sing's' Box-Office Debut Tops 'Assassin's Creed,' 'Passengers' in Tuesday Night Previews". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  22. ^ "With ‘Fences,’ ‘La La Land’ Enter Top 10 As ‘Rogue One’ & ‘Sing’ Rule Holiday – Monday AM Update". Deadline.com. 
  23. ^ "Top Grossing Movies that never hit #1". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  24. ^ "Sing (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 26, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Sing reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  26. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. 
  27. ^ Brian Truitt (December 20, 2016). "Review: Animated 'Sing' is a poppy treat (and Matthew McConaughey sings!)". USA Today. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  28. ^ Katie Walsh (December 20, 2016). "Packed with pop tunes, 'Sing' discovers the simple fun in putting on a show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  29. ^ Bill Goodykoontz (December 21, 2016). "'Sing' has too much filler, not enough hits". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  30. ^ "TIFF 2016: Sing Review - HeyUGuys". Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  31. ^ Peter Debruge (September 11, 2016). "Film Review: ‘Sing’". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  32. ^ Rahman, Abid (December 15, 2016). "Denzel Washington's 'Fences' Leads Nominations for AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  33. ^ "44th Annie Award Nominees". International Animated Film Society. November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Golden Globes 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Justin Timberlake & Alexandre Desplat Among Winners At Hollywood Music In Media Awards". Deadline. November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  36. ^ McNary, Dave (November 2, 2016). "‘La La Land’ Scores Three Hollywood Music in Media Nominations". Variety. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Justin Timberlake and Kevin Hart Lead Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards Nominations". Variety. February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  38. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  39. ^ Kilday, Gregg (January 25, 2017). "'Sing' Sequel Coming From Illumination and Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 

External links[edit]