"Sing" is an interesting concept that has been done before but from a very different angle. It is a beautifully animated, textured and colored world with premium quality to its every facet. Where it trips on itself is the lack of any actual focus on the main characters of the film and their development. The animal contestants involved showcase a wealth of licensed you-probably-heard-it-on-the-radio music, and that can be a good or a bad thing depending on your taste.
Clearly the movie caters to a wide audience and that is the biggest problem with it. Appealing to wide audiences seemed to be the goal rather than telling a story. "Sing" doesn’t try to tackle the art of musicals or the themes of fame present on the social side of them in a unique manner.
It just throws an (albeit charming) animal aesthetic over a very simple story whose structure we’ve seen in countless films before. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t do the job it set out to do with all-star talents and a decent script because it does. But unfortunately it doesn’t do much more than that. It doesn’t so much as skim over any meaningful moral lessons, societal issues, or give any unforeseen twists. It’s just a “what you see is what you get” type of movie and for me that just wasn’t enough.
It’s a shame almost all the enjoyment of this movie could be experienced in the trailer besides a handful of gags. That is how thin the offering is beyond marketing material. With an all-star cast it is inexcusable to deliver anything short of a stellar, somewhat unique movie.
Playing it safe even when entertainment is aimed at younger audiences just doesn’t make sense when a movie like "Zootopia" took far more risks but benefited with narrative depth and matched or exceeded the quality in every other area I can think of. If you treat your audience like they can’t handle that, then what is the point of a movie like this besides pushing licensed tracks that the masses are already perfectly aware of?
The severe lack of risk taking with its characters just becomes more obvious as everyone is represented in this cast. The down on his luck entertainer, the jaded housewife searching for a dream, and an estranged son looking for acceptance from his selfish father among many other relatable personalities. But "Sing" stubbornly ignores every opportunity to make this journey through song and dance impactful and emotional through these potentially engrossing characters.
With solid art direction and well replicated pop songs paired with amazing production values "Sing" is a sensory marvel and that needs to be understood despite its issues. Just don’t walk in expecting more than the typical animated film as far as character arcs and narrative are concerned. You’d walk away entertained but very disappointed with the clear missed opportunities it turned away from.
Conceptually the movie is a charmer and it translates well to every facet besides the important part, the story. Give me something new! Stop recycling every "feel good" flick within a quarter mile of that blank stare the screenwriter of this movie probably had on his face trying to inject some meaning into this thing! It is well above average in every other category so I must give credit where it's due to those amazing digital artists and sound edits. But give me something original next time.
7/10 well above average in all but lacking story elements.