Director Garth Jennings, known for the marvelous film The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, has brought us another holiday season blockbuster, with the animated Sing. The multi award winning cast stars Matthew McConaughey, as Buster Moon, a theatre owner who just happens to be a koala bear. Reese Witherspoon is the voice behind hardworking mom and pig, Rosita, who pushed her singing and dancing ambitions when she was a teenager, to devote her time to the task of raising twenty five baby piglets. John C. Reilly, (a black sheep called Eddie) is on board as Buster’s best friend, although is pragmatic and discouraging as Buster is a big personality and feels he can save his failing theater company and revive his career, by holding a singing competition. In turn, Buster also means to reignite the spirit of his small town.
Scarlett Johannson plays a porcupine named Ash, who struggles with her confidence when she lands a spot in the competition, but her boyfriend doesn’t. Seth MacFarlane is the embodiment of Mike, a tiny, albeit arrogant mouse, who knows he has the talent of Sinatra. And rounding out the top chosen competitors is Taron Egerton, a Brit who plays Johnny, a young gorilla, torn between his familial duty to carry on his father’s life of crime or realize and own his true nature, which is to be a performer.
Jennings recalled that the project started to take shape when co-director Christophe Lourdelet saw Son of Rambow in 2007. Lourdelet had previously worked in the animation department on many films, such as Despicable Me 2, and Balto. When the two met, they talked effortlessly for hours and their ideas snowballed. Jennings exclaimed that he actually “couldn’t resist directing the film.” Indeed, he and his wife and four children moved to Paris to work on what would become a five year project. “At least three and a half years was for solid production work alone, and the kids are now bilingual!” he added proudly.
Working on the animated film piece by piece, Jennings tried to approach his work in a tactical way and saw the whole of their efforts come together like a jigsaw puzzle. Having Lourdelet’s support and guidance along the way was key in fleshing out the animals’ unique stories and making them all relatable. The movie is not just for kids, but genuinely emotional. By the end of the story, the audience truly roots for each character to succeed. We have all at one point had a crises of confidence in our lives, and Jennings’ main goal in this film was to say, “Don’t let fear stop you from doing the things you love.”