In a world of anthropomorphic animals, optimistic koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is the owner of a music theater, having been interested in show-business ever since his father took him to his first music show when he was a child. His assistant is a slightly senile green iguana named Ms. Karen Crawley (Garth Jennings), who has a glass eye (which pops out at times). Lately, Buster's theater is in financial trouble due to showing productions that have bombed, and his theater is in danger of closing down. Buster tells his friend, Suffolk sheep Eddie Noodleman (John C. Reilly), that he will try and save his theater from closure by hosting a singing competition, with the prize being $1000 dollars, despite having only random stuff in his briefcase.
Buster isn't the only one in a crisis, as other animals in the city have issues of their own. Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) is a talented singer, but has given up her dreams of performing to raise 25 unruly children and is constantly neglected by her workaholic husband, Norman (Nick Offerman). Meena (Tori Kelly) has a great singing voice, but has severe stage fright, causing her pushy grandfather (Jay Pharoah) to pressure her to face her fear. Mike (Seth MacFarlane) is a street musician who plays the saxophone but doesn't make easy money, prompting him to threaten people into giving him cheap profits. Johnny (Taron Egerton) is the son of mobster Big Daddy (Peter Serafinowicz) who wants him to follow in his criminal footsteps, but Johnny aspires to be a singer. Punk-rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson) is in a band with her boyfriend Lance (Beck Bennett) who is critical of her rocking style.
While printing fliers for the competition, Ms. Crawley's glass eye causes her to accidentally print $100,000 instead of $1,000. Before the fliers can be checked, they are accidentally blown out of Buster's office and make it to many animals around the city including Johnny, Meena, Ash, Rosita, and Mike. After holding auditions with a turnout greater than expected, Buster picks Mike, Johnny, Rosita, Ash, and a few others to be in the contest. Meena's stage fright causes her to bomb her audition, Lance is dismissed from the contest when he auditions with Ash, and Rosita is partnered with another pig contestant named Gunther (Nick Kroll) to be in a dancing routine. Soon enough, Buster discovers Ms. Crawley's error when Eddie shows him the flier, but instead of telling the contestants of the mistake and of the true prize of $1,000, he tries to get enough money for the promised reward.
Convinced by her grandfather, Meena tries to get Buster to give her another audition, but due to some technical difficulties, she is hired as a stage hand instead. After some of the animals quit, Rosita, Mike, Johnny, Gunther, Ash, and (eventually) Meena are the only ones left in the show. However, their individual problems begin to hinder rehearsals, such as Rosita floundering in her dance routine with the glory hog Gunther, Ash suffering from immense heartbreak when she thinks Lance cheated, Johnny inadvertently letting his dad be arrested during a heist in the shipping lanes, Meena's stage fright, and Mike owing money to a mob of bears when he cheats in a card game. Buster visits Eddie to convince him to get his grandmother Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Saunders) to host the reward money for the show. When they visit Nana, she accepts their offer, but in a snobbish manner. On the day Nana Noodleman comes, the bear mob who Mike earns the ire from come and demand the money from Buster, but his suitcase is full of junk, leading the others to turn on Buster for his deception. Before Buster can face anyone's wrath, a glass tank full of luminescent squids shatters and floods the theater, evicting everyone from it. After Nana leaves in a huff, the theater literally comes crashing down.
Homeless and crestfallen, Buster takes up residence at Eddie's house. News of what transpired at the theater hits the airwaves and Buster is ridiculed, further diminishing his confidence. The contestants visit him and try to cheer him up, but Buster is too despondent to listen to them, so they leave. Buster tries to earn his keep by opening a car wash, using the same bucket that his dad used to pay for Buster's theater. Eddie, unwilling to see Buster so miserable, reminds him of what Buster had told him before: "Once you hit rock bottom, there's nowhere else to go but up."
After hearing Meena sing in the remains of the theater, Buster's confidence is renewed and he reinstates the show, leading everyone (including Rosita and Meena's families) to come. Mike bails out when he learns that the prize money is omitted, but soon returns to show his stuff. Throughout their acts, Johnny, Rosita, and Meena amaze their families with Big Daddy breaking out of jail to see Johnny and Lance getting a crush on Ash again after seeing her on TV. The show becomes a success and Buster gains the money to rebuild the theater.
Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an optimistic koala who plans to save his theater from closure by holding a singing competition.
Reese Witherspoon as Rosita, a domestic pig who gave up her teenage music dreams to become a devoted wife of Norman and mother to 25 piglets.
Seth MacFarlane as Mike, a small white crooning mouse with a big Frank Sinatra-esque voice and an arrogant attitude.
Scarlett Johansson as Ash, a crested porcupine punk rocker who takes part in an alternative-rock music group with her boyfriend Lance until she rejects him for cheating on her with another crested porcupine.
John C. Reilly as Eddie Noodleman, a Suffolk sheep and Buster's partner who doubts the future of the theater.
Tori Kelly as Meena, a teenage Indian elephant with an exquisite voice and severe stage fright.
Taron Egerton as Johnny, a Cockney-accented mountain gorilla who wants to sing, but his father wants him to follow his criminal footsteps.
Nick Kroll as Gunter, a domestic pig and Rosita's German-accented, optimistic and bubbly dance partner.
The soundtrack album for the film was released on December 21, 2016.
The almost complete film was screened as a work in progress on September 11, 2016, at the Toronto International Film Festival.Universal Studios scheduled the film for a December 21, 2016, release.
As of February 12, 2017, Sing has grossed $265.4 million in the United States and Canada and $236.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $502 million, against a production budget of $75 million.
In North America, the film opened alongside Passengers and Assassin's Creed, and was expected to gross around $70 million from 4,022 theaters over its first six days of release. The film made $1.7 million during its Tuesday night previews. It went on to gross $35.3 million in its opening weekend (a six-day total of $75.5 million), finishing second at the box office, behind Rogue One.Sing holds the record for being the highest-grossing film to never reach the No. 1 spot at the North American box-office.
On the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73%, based on 150 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted – albeit familiar – storyline that lives up to its title." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Reviewing the version of the film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Stefan Pape of the British website HeyUGuys gave the film a mixed review of 2/5, stating that "Garth Jennings's Sing effectively acknowledges early on that it's following a completely unoriginal formula, and yet carries on regardless".
List of awards and nominations
Date of ceremony
February 4, 2017
Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production
In December 2016, a feature related to Sing was added to Xfinity's X1 platform. Users could say commands to the voice remote such as "Show me Ash", "Show me Mike", etc. Upon saying these commands, a graphic of the requested character would show up on screen for a moment before displaying more information about Sing. For a limited time, Xfinity X1 users could also view a special interactive menu including trailers, clips, character profiles, and more from the movie. This feature was quietly removed a few months later.
In the 2017 movie Despicable Me 3, another Illumination Entertainment film, Gru's Minions can be seen performing a song on a competition show called "SING!". This may be a reference to Sing, as both movies were made by the same company.
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