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Holiday Cheer

Saturday, December 31, 2016
By Deepa Gahlot

Garth Jennings
Cast (Voices): Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, and others
Rating: * * *

Sing is the kind of movie that may not be great, but is perfect for the holiday season kids are bound to like this animated version of a music reality show. It has the cutest animals imaginable and a zesty soundtrack.

Buster Moon, a koala theatre-owner, (voiced by Matthew McConaughey), struggling to keep his house open. He comes up with the old but always fail-proof idea of staging a music contest to raise funds. Unfortunately for him, his secretary, one-eyed lizard Miss Crawl (by Jennings himself ) makes a typing mistake that announces a prize of $100,000, not $1,000 which is all Buster has.

So a bunch of animals turn up to audition. Scarlett Johansson voices a punk porcupine Seth McFarlane a mouse with a smooth voice, Reese Witherspoon is a sow with 25 piglet and so on—an array of animals with vocal and behavioral quirks.

After the characters and their stories are introduced, the plot does get a bit serious (there a flood too), but the mood of the film remains highspirited, and it helps that the line-up of songs includes hits by such icons as the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Stevie Wonder—65 odd songs, snippets and whole--to keep audience of all ages humming.

There are quite a few laughs, and annoyingly syrupy bits too—that can be expected in an animated film—and the predictability of the proceedings would disappoint the grown-ups if not the kids, but Sing is so eager to please that it would be churlish to nit pick. What’s more, the actors apparently did their own singing, which counts for something.

Seen as a big karaoke bash, Sing is worth a look. Keep expectations low, and it is as enjoyable as can be.

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