WRITER’S NOTE: This year, my WYSK (What You Should Know) series is getting an overhaul. As part of this upgrade, two movies I missed out on (Sing and The LEGO Batman Movie) will be the first installments of what will now be called ‘WYSK Discussion’ articles.
To learn more about the changes to the WYSK formula, click here. The discussion article for The LEGO Batman Movie will arrive shortly.
The last film to close out the 2016 year in animation was Sing, the seventh film from Illumination Entertainment and Garth Jennings’ directorial debut in animation.
To be quite honest, I secretly had high expectations for this movie. With Garth Jennings taking the helm as both director and writer, with no trace of the usual Illumination consortium at the wheel, my hope was that Sing would break away from the Illumination Entertainment ‘formula’ in lieu of a central creative vision that expands the company’s horizons beyond the usual crutches that it constantly relies on.
Did the movie succeed? Only to an extent.
Yes, the film diverges from the telltale ticks and tricks of Illumination’s model, but it does so by embracing one of Hollywood’s more well-tread plot lines: saving the rec center (or in this case, saving the theater). So in that respect, it shares the same story flaw as The Secret Life of Pets. We’ve seen this story before, and the odds are pretty great that we’ve seen it done better.
That’s not to say that the movie was bad (far from it). A solid voice cast, surprisingly well-developed characters, and a smattering of well-executed musical numbers made for an entertaining hour and forty-eight minutes and, more importantly, a welcome addition into the category of ‘good’ Illumination Entertainment films.
So…a bit close, but no cigar. Illumination Entertainment has yet to deliver a film that shows us what else it is capable of, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Now, as will be the custom with these articles, I hand the microphone to our readers. What were your thoughts on Sing? Was the writing strong enough to overcome familiar themes? Were the musical numbers entertaining, tolerable, or downright grating? Were the various plot lines natural and well-developed or was it too much ground to cover in an hour and a half? Any thoughts on that finale performance (slight spoiler: an admittedly fun visual finish set to Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing”).
Sound off below, and remember that this is a SPOILER discussion thread. If you’ve seen the movie, don’t hold back!
Final warning: there will be SPOILERS beyond this point! Don’t scroll down if you haven’t seen the movie!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes