Sing (2016 American film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Garth Jennings|
|Written by||Garth Jennings|
|Narrated by||Michael Wallis|
|Music by||Joby Talbot|
|Edited by||Gregory Perler|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$634.2 million|
Sing is a 2016 American computer-animated musical comedy-drama film produced by Illumination. It was directed and written by Garth Jennings, co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet 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 who is trying 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. It screened on the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2016, premiered at Microsoft Theater on December 3, 2016 and was released in the United States on December 21, 2016, by Universal Pictures. The film received generally positive reviews and grossed $634 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. It was also the last film produced by Illumination Entertainment, under its original studio name, before it was renamed simply just Illumination in 2017, starting with their following film Despicable Me 3.
A sequel, titled Sing 2, is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2020.
In a world of anthropomorphic animals, in the happy little town of Calatonia, theater owner koala Buster Moon tells his cowardly and wealthy friend Eddie that he will host a singing competition with a prize of $1,000, to promote his theatre following financial problems brought up by grumpy and selfish bank representative llama Judith. A mishap involving the glass eye of Buster's assistant, elderly iguana Miss Crawly, leads to two extra zeroes being applied to the flyer's computer document, mistakenly saying the prize is $100,000. The misprinted flyers are then blown out the window into the street by a gust of wind.
Animals from all around the city gather for auditions. Those selected include: excitable and enthusiastic housewife and mother of 25 piglets Rosita; cheerful and wild punk-rock porcupine Ash; worrisome and dreamy mobster's son gorilla Johnny; and selfish and bitter street musician mouse Mike. Shy and soft-spoken teenage elephant Meena fails her audition out of stage fright, while Ash's no-nonsense boyfriend Lance is dismissed from the contest. Rosita is paired with another contestant, an exuberant and energetic pig named Gunter, the most positive animal in Calatonia, for a dance 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 short-tempered 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.
Pressured 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 due to her husband Norman's lack of help. After discovering Lance broke up with her for not being around anymore, with a new girlfriend named Becky and evicting them from her apartment, Ash is devastated and breaks down while singing 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 at 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 find a small wad of cash containing less than $1,000, plus other items Buster was planning to sell. The glass tank full of luminescent squids that Buster got to light up the theater breaks after an accidental smash on the glass floor, 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. Rosita and Gunter perform Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off", which finally prompts Rosita's husband Norman to pay attention to her singing talent. More animals are soon 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 an interruption by Judith, Ash sings her original rock song "Set It All Free," which her ex-boyfriend watches on TV and finally acknowledges Ash's talent. 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.
- Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an optimistic koala who plans to save his theater from closure by holding a singing competition.
- 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.
- Seth MacFarlane as Mike, a white mouse with a big Frank Sinatra-esque voice and an arrogant attitude.
- Scarlett Johansson as Ash, a teenage porcupine punk rocker who takes part in an alternative-rock music duo with her boyfriend Lance.
- John C. Reilly as Eddie Noodleman, a sheep and Buster's friend who doubts the future of the theater.
- Taron Egerton as Johnny, a teenage gorilla who wants to sing, though his father would rather have him follow his criminal footsteps.
- Tori Kelly as Meena, a teenage elephant with an exquisite voice and severe stage fright.
- Jennifer Saunders as Nana Noodleman, a sheep and Eddie's grandmother who was a singer in her glory days.
- Garth Jennings, the film’s writer and director, as Miss Crawly, an elderly iguana with a glass eye who is Buster's administrative assistant.
- Peter Serafinowicz as Big Daddy, a gorilla gang leader who wants his son Johnny to follow in his crime business.
- Nick Kroll as Gunter, a passionate dancing pig who is partnered with Rosita for the show.
- Beck Bennett as Lance, a porcupine and Ash's self-absorbed boyfriend.
- Jay Pharoah as Meena's Grandfather, an Indian elephant who pressures her to overcome her stage fright.
- Nick Offerman as Norman, a pig and Rosita's husband.
- Leslie Jones as Meena's Mother
- Rhea Perlman as Judith, 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 Baboon, whom Mike attacks for not donating more money to his street performances.
- Bill Farmer as Bob the News Reporter Dog, who documents Buster's singing competition
- Tara Strong as Becky, Lance's new girlfriend.
- Jim Cummings as the Russian bears.
The voices of Rosita and Norman's piglet children were provided by Oscar, Leo, Caspar, and Asa Jennings, the children of Garth Jennings, the film's writer and director. Jennings had directors Edgar Wright (as a goat) and Wes Anderson (as Daniel, a giraffe who auditions with the song "Ben") provide "additional voices", continuing a tradition of the three friends appearing in each other's films.
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," which was originally titled Lunch, and then retitled as Sing.
On January 14, 2015, Matthew McConaughey was cast in the film's lead voice role. Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy produced the film. On June 17, 2015, it was confirmed that McConaughey's character was named Buster and that John C. Reilly would voice Eddie, a sheep and Buster's best friend. 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.
A soundtrack album for the film was released on December 21, 2016.
The almost complete film was screened as a work in progress beginning September 11, 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Universal Studios released the film on December 21, 2016.
- 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.
Sing grossed $270.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $363.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $634.1 million, against a production budget of $75 million. Deadline Hollywood 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.
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. The film made $1.7 million during its Tuesday night previews. It went on to gross $35.2 million in its opening weekend (a six-day total of $75.5 million), finishing second at the box office behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was in its second week. It rose 21% in its second weekend to $42.9 million, remaining in second, and grossed $20.8 million in its third week and finishing third. 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).
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73% based on 168 reviews, and an average rating of 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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
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." 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." 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." 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." 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.
|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|||
|Annie Awards||February 4, 2017||Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production||Joby Talbot|||
|Golden Globe Awards||January 8, 2017||Best Animated Feature Film||Sing|||
|Best Original Song||"Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 17, 2016||Best Song – Animated Film|||
|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|||
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Reese Witherspoon|
|Most Wanted Pet|
|Saturn Awards||June 28, 2017||Best Animated Film||Nominated|||
Universal and Illumination have announced plans for a sequel, tentatively titled Sing 2, slated for December 25, 2020.
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Universal now has “Max” and “Lunch” set up at Illumination MacGuff.
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- "With 'Fences,' 'La La Land' Enter Top 10 As 'Rogue One' & 'Sing' Rule Holiday – Monday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. December 27, 2016.
Sing* (Ill/Uni) 4,022 locations, 4-day $54.9M, 3-day: $35.2M, 4-day: $13,7K average, Total: $75.5M, 1 wk
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