This is an advanced review, official release date is 8 December 2016

Theatrical release poster

‘Animal Idol’ or as the official title calls it, ‘Sing’, checks out all the boxes of what you would expect from a classic American Idol audition ten years ago – just that the contestants and Ryan Seacrest are now replaced with animated animals and an old iguana hag respectively. It has its fair share of laughable screw ups, pompous divas and humble crooners. Similar to Illumination Entertainment’s previous projects such as Minions and The Secret Life of Pets, Sing is enjoyable for most of its runtime (for which it should have been about 15 minutes shorter), but it adds nothing new to the table other than the fact that it is yet another business minded home run for the studio.

Optimistic koala bear Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) whose passion is in show business since he was a child, has finally fulfilled his dream of having his own grand theatre. But lately, his hall has been undergoing some financial trouble due to the poor quality of shows that he has been churning out. Determined to reignite the former glory of his theatre, Buster Moon decides to host a singing competition as a hail mary which will see seven animals compete against all odds to win the ultimate prize money.

Koala bear Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and iguana Miss Crawley (Garth Jennings) replace the likes of Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson as judges in a singing competition

A smattering of emotional notes throughout the movie are to be expected without a shadow of a doubt. But it is often executed in a corny way which will sap the sensation out of the scenes and leave grown boys like myself cringing till the hairs on our arse cheeks stand up. Not that that is a major problem anyway.

The third act of the film felt a bit unnecessary because of all the conveniently placed plot points which drove the story downwards to ground zero but thankfully the wait was not futile as the finale is an impressive musical spectacle which pays off for everyone in a fist-pumping-feel-good moment.

There is a good balance of classic tunes which your old folks used to waltz to and the familiar modern pop tunes for the teenager to get excited about. It was a smart move from director, Garth Jennings to incorporate an equal proportion of songs from both eras as at least the adults won’t have to spend most of their time wondering which artiste’s single was that or which radio station did they last hear it on.

Johnny (Taron Egerton) is a mountain gorilla whose dream is to sing, but is held back by his father’s life of crime

You do not have to sweat about consulting a shrink after the movie because there is absolutely nothing wrong with you if it suddenly dawns on you that you are chuckling at the excessively campy pig with overly zealous actions voiced by Nick Kroll. Overall, Sing doesn’t exactly possess a whole cup of heartiness, but at least it proves itself to be a delightful, fun family film for everyone to enjoy.

Directed by: Garth Jennings (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Written by: Garth Jennings

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll

Running time: 110 minutes

Genre: Drama/Musical