You get the feeling that we are in the golden age of animated movies. While we will always have the Disney classics from the past, and the birth of Pixar in the nineties, everything seems to be just clicking now. If you look at the films the last few years it is just sprinkled with so many good and entertaining films, it can be hard to come up with a favorite. Even though most of them go the talking animal route, because who doesn’t like to see a cute bunny talk. The question though is what would be better then talking animals? How about ones that sing?
Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) knew what he wanted to do the moment his father took him to the theater for the first time. While most would aim to be the star of the show, Moon wanted to be the one who put on the show instead. Moon’s father made that wish come true, as he bought the theater for him to live out his dream. That dream soon became closer to a nightmare as Moon’s shows didn’t do well and the debt collectors were circling his theater. It was in that time that Moon came up with the idea of a singing contest, one that gathered lots of attention because of a cash prize. Moon, who never looks at the bad, selects his singers and like any good show, it must go on, and Moon puts on a show that no one will forget.
So does singing animals take animated movies to the next level? Well if you ask me it take a step back. To me these films are at the place they are at because they have found what works to entertain. It’s can be easier to keep a kids attention, but how about the parents, or even non-parents. That is what so few of these movies do well, you now see childless people running out to the theater to watch these films. “Sing”, which is written and directed by Garth Jennings, doesn’t do that. Sure it looks good, but in the age of computers, which animated film doesn’t? It isn’t the looks but the soul that is missing. There may be plenty of catchy pop hits you can sing along with, but there is not much humor to go along with that. And that is not the only thing lacking, such as a memorable character. You will find no Woody or Judy Hopps, instead the movie is filled with what feels like cardboard cutouts as characters. The kids sitting around me seem to enjoy it, but talking animals can do that. “Sing” is not a bad movie; it is just not at the level of animated movies we have gotten accustomed to. As a parent though this will not be one of your favorites, as you might tire of it rather quickly. Fear not though, attention spans are not like they use to be, and it won’t take long for you to find you and your kid’s next favorite that you can actually sing about.