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Sing

(Universal Studios)

 

In a last ditch effort to keep his theater open, Buddy holds open auditions for a singing contest, unaware that his secretary inadvertently upped the reward from $1,000 to $100,000.

 

Rated PG, for some rude humor and mild peril.

Genre: Animated comedy

Viewer Appeal: Family

 

Have you ever had a dream that came true? Buddy Moon (Matthew McConaughey), the owner and operator of the Moon Theater has: as a young koala bear, he was taken to the theater and his life was changed. He didn’t want to star in a production, but create a place for others to escape. And his dream came true, except that his theater wasn’t very successful. None of his plays made any money, so not only was he unable to pay his stage hands, but the bank and electric companies want their money as well.

 

What is a koala to do? Ever the optimist, Buddy decides to hold a singing contest, offering $1,000 for prize money. Except that his assistant, Miss Crawley (Garth Jennings), a chameleon who has momentarily lost her glass eye, accidentally types $100,000. A small error that isn’t caught until after the auditions and finalists have been selected. Oops.

 

Ever the optimist, Buddy decides to keep forging ahead, thinking, “If you’re at the bottom, the only place to go is up.” Besides, he’s chosen some great acts. There’s Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), the mother of 25 piglets, who Buddy has teamed up with Gunter (Nick Kroll), a sequined leotard wearing pig who loves to dance; Ash (Scarlett Johansson), a teenaged porcupine who is caught up in the drama of young love; Mike (Seth MacFarlane), an over-confident and unpleasant Sinatra sounding mouse; and Johnny (Taron Egerton), a young gorilla whose father wants him to follow in the family trade of being a gangster. Johnny just wants to sing.

 

Buddy still isn’t sure how he’s going to raise the money he needs, until he has a brilliant idea. He’ll hold a special preview for Nana Noodleton (Jennifer Saunders and Jennifer Hudson), an old-time actress who Buddy saw perform when he was a kid. If she likes the show, maybe she’ll   back the production and get him out of this predicament. But just when it seems like Buddy’s problems are over, it all comes crashing down on him. Literally, as his precious theater crumbles beneath his feet.

 

Like Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets, Sing is made up entirely of animals whose personalities almost make you forget they’re animals. Buddy truly takes on the personality of Matthew McConaughey, whose distinctive voice and cadence are absolutely recognizable. But what is most enjoyable is the actual singing that takes place, and the songs chosen for the soundtrack, which includes classics such as True Colors, Jump, and My Way, along with Fireworks and Hallelujah. It’s as fun a movie to listen to as to watch.

 

Sing doesn’t seem to have a message it’s trying to sell, except maybe, “Follow your dreams.” In one scene, Buddy encourages Meena (Tori Kelly), a shy elephant who has an amazing voice but is petrified of singing in public, to do what she loves and the rest will just happen. All she has to do is start singing. He also tells about his father who saved all his extra money to help Buddy buy his theater, so he could follow his dream. All it takes is a little courage and a lot of optimism, no matter how impossible the dream may seem.

 

Sing might not be the movie your teenage son might choose to see, but really it’s a movie everyone in the family will enjoy.

 

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• What is a dream you would like to pursue? Is there a dream you regret no following?

 

• Are you an optimist or pessimist? How does this add something positive to your family?

 

• Rosita’s husband didn’t seem to see or appreciate all she did, and Mike’s father was disappointed in him until he saw him on tv. What is something you appreciate about the members of your family?

 

--JW

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