Sing is Illumination Entertainment's seventh film to be produced and it's due to be released on December 21 of this year. Its premise entails a koala named Buster (Matthew McConaughey) hosting a singing competition to promote business for his theater. The movie will shift focus from Buster to five contestants: Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Mike (Seth Macfarlane), Meena (Tori Kelly), Johnny (Taron Egerton) and Ash (Scarlett Johansson). I was initially putt-off by the teaser trailer, because I thought the modern music was insufferable (yet, that's my personal taste) and its American Idol-esque scenario was a manipulative marketing strategy to lure the younger crowd. However, when I read about the movie I was surprised by how promising it sounded. I'm sad that I preemptively judged but, glad to see that it could potentially become a great movie. Now, if you're as hesitant as I was I believe these four reasons can convince you otherwise.
4. It's Written and Directed by Garth Jennings
It's integral that a movie has a competent director and decent story/script, otherwise the film will have no direction and lack substance. Fortunately, director and screenwriter Garth Jennings has a good track record. His two previous films, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Son of Rambow were praised by critics and have high marks on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacrtic. On a side note, Jennings also has experience directing music videos with his former partner Nick Goldsmith. The duo were formerly known as 'Hammer and Tongs' and they collaborated on over thirty music videos together; a few of these include "B Line" (Lamb), "Coffee and TV" (Blur) and "Lotus Flower" (Radiohead). This makes him perfect for the job, as he knows how to work with singers and envision/write stunning visuals for the film's musical scenes.
3. The Cast Can Sing
Often times in animated musicals, there's two performers to portray a character--one serves as the character's speaking voice while the other provides their singing voice. However, the majority of the cast in this feature have a vocal repertoire; Resse Witherspoon sung in Walk the Line, Seth MacFarlane regularly sings on his shows Family Guy and American Dad, Tori Kelly tours across the nation, Taron Egerton sung in Lewis and Scarlett Johansson produced an album. This doesn't summarize all of their musical achievements, but it's sufficient enough to prove they have the capability and skill to belt their vocal cords.
2. Variety of Music Genres Dating Back from the 1940s to Present
One of the few aspects I was pleased with in the teaser were the diversity of songs, in seconds we could go from Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" (1994) to Bananarama's "Venus" (1969). The movie plans to incorporate music from the 1940s all the way to present day. This is a clever move considering adults and anyone else will be able to hum along the classics, while children can rock out to relevant tunes.
1. The Characters have Interesting Backgrounds
If a character's bland, and has nothing about them that we can sympathize with then we're not going to be invested in them. Fortunately, this movie seems to be wary of this and has fleshed out intriguing descriptions for their cast, particularly the contestants. Starting out with Rosita, a single mom who sees this competition as fulfilling her teenage dreams of becoming a pop star-Mike, who wants to scam his opponents and win the cash prize-Meena, a timid, but talented songstress who has stage fright and Ash, a vocalist who's looking to flourish her career after her band and boyfriend broke up with her. Another detail I love about these backstories are the fact it's made decisive on who I'd root for to win.
Despite initial judgments I'm happy to say that I can't wait for its release. I'm especially proud of Illumination Entertainment for branching out creatively and not depending on their ubiquitous cash cow--the minions (besides The Secret Life of Pets). The Lorax doesn't necessarily count as the critters were basically carbon copies of the minions. I don't intend to over-hype this film or set it up for failure, but hearing all of this news has makes me anticipate its arrival. And I honestly believe if the directing, writing and acting hits all the right beats it could turn out to be a delightful family flick.