The Gustavian Weekly

Sing a different tune, please

By Ben Keran - Staff Writer | April 7, 2017 | variety

“Sing” is all right, but you’re better off watching a Disney flick if you want singing animals done right.

“Sing” is all right, but you’re better off watching a Disney flick if you want singing animals done right.

What plays eerily similar to a season of American Idol, Sing is the most passable movie out right now.

Sing is about Buster Moon, a koala who owns a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Faced with his life’s goals on the verge of destruction, he has one final chance to restore his theater by creating the world’s greatest singing competition.

There’s not a whole lot to Sing as far as the script is concerned. Any and all conventional methods of screenwriting are present: a son trying to prove himself to his father, a stay at home mother who is trying to show she’s more than just a mother, and a failing business relying on one final show to save it. If you think Sing is not going to impress you with its music selection, it certainly is not going to impress you with its storytelling ability.

As previously mentioned, the comparison to a season of American Idol is the only relevant critique for Sing because of how uninteresting the story is. Visually, the only time the movie works is during the songs, which is because the songs are when the animation seems to be most focused on clever visual gags, such as how different animals sing and what songs they choose to sing.

The song choice of the film lends to a combination of problems. For instance, a larger audience who listens to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift would much rather prefer the original as opposed to an extremely average version by some Hollywood actor using auto-tune.

Another problem is that a decent portion of the songs they do include and to which the audience is meant to sing along with, aren’t recognizable. The audience is unable to sing along with the movie because it can’t identify the song, nullifying any musical connection the film also wanted.

Sing also uses footage of other characters reacting during a different character’s performance as a clear attempt to cut down on animation costs. It becomes more obvious when the reaction shots last for 30 seconds each during the final performances, which seem to be the most complex and difficult animations in the entire film. This creates an extremely boring effect that not only provides a layer of separation from the story we have been expected to connect with, but also doesn’t give us anything interesting to look at. Anything the film wants us to get from it becomes irrelevant.

If that wasn’t enough, the actual singing in Sing is awful! There’s a significant difference between each character’s singing voice and speaking voice, and it’s clearly auto-tuned. None of the voice actors seem to be able to sing as well as the film wants, so it changes their voices. It creates an unnaturalness to the characters we are meant to relate to in the story.

Another important detail to note about Sing, is that it opened in between both Zootopia and La La Land. When considering Sing, it becomes hard to separate these other superior films from it because they do everything Sing wants to do, but significantly better.

In summary, Sing is fine. It uses some songs that most people know and some that absolutely nobody knows. It uses cameos as a source of humor, which tires very quickly. It is full of color and fun little dancing animals that will make you smile, but not much more.

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