Sing might have all of the elements to make a good kids movie but in a year that set the bar so high it is barely passable.
Director: Christopher Lourdelet and Garth Jennings
Summary: A koala named Buster Moon has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world's greatest singing competition.
While 2016 has been a terrible year all around, there is no doubt that in one place we've had something good; animation. This year we got some truly powerhouse animated movies that deserve all the praise they are getting. Finding Dory, Zootopia, Moana, and Kubo and the Two Strings were all fantastic. Sing seemed keen to slide in at the end of the year to showcase the two things that audiences seem to love more than anything; talking animals and singing competitions. Movies are not built on formulas, though, and just because all of the pieces are there doesn't mean that it's going to work, and unfortunately Sing does not work.
Sing feels like the offspring of Zootopia and American Idol without any of the things that made Zootopia so good. The movie doesn't have anything interesting to say aside from the same tired cliches of 'believe in yourself' and 'achieve your dreams' and everything else that we've seen/heard done a million times over in other competition movies. There aren't any interesting gags when it comes to the animals talking like they did in Zootopia and the various subplots with all of the competitors are exactly what you think they're going to be. They also resolve themselves in every possible way you think they could. The housewife gets a chance to shine, the shy one breaks out of her shell; these stories are so predictable the audience could almost recite the script from memory.
All of this could be excused if there were some interesting songs here but it all seems to be taken from whatever was on the top of the pop charts at the time and the kind of songs you hear at every open mic night. While all of the various performers are fine they aren't anything really interesting to listen to. Illumination seems to be on a weird road after their success of The Minions. While Pixar and Laika seem keen to push boundaries and dare to be different, or at least challenge the audience, Illumination is trying to reach everyone by appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Sing might be passable in a lesser year of animation but the fundamental flaws in the film kneecap it from the beginning. The target audience is likely going to love this so expect to see Sing 2 as soon as possible.