Ever since debuting their first movie Despicable Me in 2010, Illumination Entertainment has managed to release a financially successful string of movies, including The Lorax, Despicable Me 2, Minions and The Secret Life of Pets. The reviews weren’t as positive though, because after their first movie the Metactric score has never been above 62 points for any of their films, usually because the movie might have fun moments, but lack an emotional depth. The studio isn’t able to measure up to the greats like Pixar and Disney yet. Sing is their latest film and the question is whether this is any good.
If there is one thing I absolutely hate, then it iss talentshows on television. Whether that’s singing, baking, tattooing or standing or your head (ok, I might have made up the last one, but wouldn’t be surprised if it actually exists), it’s better to keep me away from them. They usually give me a sense of disgust, as often contestants are often there to be made fun of and treated without respect. As Sing is also about a similar competition I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I’ll admit it is slightly different in its tone. Koala Buster Moon is the owner of a theater which has financial issues. He decided to organise a talent show where the winner can take home a $1000. Because his secretary is a bit clumsy an error is made and the amount is turned into a 100.000. It means a lot of people show up for auditions, including a criminal gorilla who is part of a family gang, a stay-at-home-mom who dreams of singing, a shy elephant and an experienced musician. Buster doesn’t yet realize what he has started and quickly runs into issues.
Illumination shows it is still good at creating funny moments and also visually they regularly show some nice feats. The lighting towards the end of the film is beautiful. Unfortunately they still have not managed to tell a moving story yet and this remains their weakness. Characters are introduced in quick moments and don’t have enough development to make you care for them. The ideas are there, but not enough is done with them unfortunately. It makes Sing a movie which is a joy to watch and lets you hear a couple of catchy tunes, but has as much depth as the screen it is projected on. So this is a movie about a talent show, but a show I managed to enjoy because of the jokes.