“SING” is released across UK cinemas on the 21st & 22nd of January 2017. Entertain The Kids were lucky to be invited for a sneaky preview, at the press screening on December 4th at the famous Odeon Cinema on Leicester Square, London. We sent Ali and her tribe along to review Sing and this is what they had to say…

Three teenagers, plus one adult is never a particularly “easy” audience to keep entertained, so Illumination Entertainment had a tricky task ahead, especially with quite a huge reputation to live up to – as they are responsible for the infamous “Despicable Me” productions.

The story-line is a very “all turns out right in the end” type theme, (as always!), but focuses around the rather precarious world of “show business.”

The main character is a koala called Buster Moon, voiced by the rather lovely Matthew McConaughey, who is obsessed with “making it big” with his completely run-down theatre.

In a desperate last measure to save his beloved theatre, he decides to hold a talent contest, with a prize of $1000.  Unfortunately his rather elderly assistant, Ms Crawley, (a half blind lizard!), voiced by the very clever Garth Jennings, manages to add two extra “00s” to the prize fund on all the leaflets…..

So, of course, every animal under the sun turns up for the auditions and the main characters of the film emerge as the final show performers.

These include Rosita the pig, who is a housewife and mum to 25 piglets, (the mums in the audience will identify with her 100%!), voiced by Reece Weatherspoon, (who knew she had such a lovely singing voice?!)

Meena the elephant who is terrified of performing in front of an audience and prefers to stay back-stage if she can, voiced by Tori Kelly – and WOW! Once she does get singing: what a voice!

Johnny the gorilla, who was most definitely our favourite character of the bunch, voiced wonderfully “Eastender-ish” by Taron Egerton (Johnny-Gorilla needs to have his own film!)

Ash the punk-porcupine, who is more or less, the “moody-teenager” and flits between heavy metal to love songs, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

The baddy of the crew is smarmy ole Mike the mouse, voiced very cleverly by Mike MacFarlane: you can’t help but hate him as soon as you see him!

We can’t forget Gunter the pig, who is paired with Rosita to choreograph a dance routine with her for their joint performance, voiced by Nick Kroll.

And then there’s Buster’s faithful friend, Eddie the sheep, who stands by him in all his efforts to keep the theatre up and running, voiced by John C Reilly.

Eddie has a hugely famous opera singer grandmother, Nana Noodleman, voiced by our very own Jennifer Saunders, (although in all honesty – she does play it very much like the Fairy Godmother in Shrek! Close your eyes & you are back there), who does help to come to the rescue in the end…..

Without revealing too much of the plot, it all goes horribly wrong and all ends up fabulously good!

As the name suggests: it is very music orientated, so if that’s not your “thing” – this film is not for you!  There are quite a few comical moments, mainly supplied by the supporting cast characters, (such as the lizard assistant to Buster Moon), although Rosita and her huge litter of piglets had us giggling and I would imagine anyone with more than one child will do the same!

It’s certainly a “watchable” film, the main characters are very “likeable” in general, (apart from Mike-the-Mouse, who you will love to hate!), but in our opinion, this production is not anywhere near the same scale of the “Despicable Me” films, which was a little disappointing.  It was a “nice” film, but in all honesty – not a particularly memorable one.

All 3 teenagers, Sam (14), Heather, (13), George, (13) said they enjoyed the film, but it would not be one they would “rush” to see again….   As an adult: I have to agree, (for once!), with the teenage view on “Sing.”  Perhaps it may appeal more to a younger audience.

Maybe we will have a different view if they make a film for Johnny the gorilla!

Reviewed by Ali Hedley, her children Sam (14yr). Heather (13yr) and family friend George (13yr)


SYNOPSIS


Illumination has captivated audiences all over the world with the beloved hits Despicable Me, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, now the second-highest-grossing animated movie in history. Following the release of The Secret Life of Pets in summer 2016, Illumination presents Sing at the holidays. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly star in a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us.

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.

Featuring more than 85 hit songs, Sing is written and directed by Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy. Sing will be released by Universal Pictures.

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