CERT: U / PLATFORMS: CINEMA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
When Illumination Entertainment released Sing back in 2016, despite its star-laden voice cast, many did not really have many expectations for what appeared to be X-Factor with animals. Yet, director/writer Garth Jennings’ film was a rather delightful musical romp, with a good old classic heart on its sleeve, in its story of a struggling theatre owner fighting to save the old building that meant so much to him as a child, with a singing contest. Now, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) is back and he’s aiming for the big time!
Sing 2 catches back up with Buster and his loyal performers/friends, as Buster believes with all his heart that their shows deserve to be seen on the grand Redshore City stage. A talent scout says otherwise, but this passionate crew will not be deterred in following their dreams, and as they head to the big city, they get a huge break to create a sci-fi musical show unlike any other but there’s a catch, Buster kind of suggested he had some connections, and the wolf calling the shots Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale) wants rock star legend Clay Calloway (U2’s Bono) on the card. Problem is, he has not been seen or heard from in years!
While Sing 2 lacks some of the old fashioned magic that the first surprisingly harnessed, it does have a strong statement on how the biggest and best tunes come from the smallest and most passionate places. And in making the leap to the grander stage, it arguably makes that theme stronger. Indeed the story itself takes a little time to get its footing, and does borrow from the formula rulebook but, appropriately enough, when the show itself comes together you are fully won over and rewarded with a lovely time for the entire family.
Sing 2 is unashamedly showy and full of beautifully animated dance numbers that the kids will undeniably love, meanwhile the adults just might feel something a little more come the finale and when show stealing new character Clay Calloway's story comes full circle. In fact it is really quite poignant, especially for any of us out there who have felt loss and know what it can do to our drive, our passion and our motivation.
The cast is again crammed with stars both returning (Taron Egerton, McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tori Kelly, Scarlett Johansson) and brand new (Letitia Wright, Pharrell Williams), who really bring to life this roster of colourful, tuneful, animal characters. Though again, it is perhaps Garth Jennings himself as Buster’s faithful lizard assistant Miss Crawley who is the biggest delight.
It may not be quite as well rounded as the first film, and no doubt this follow-up had a tougher task, as it has a level to live up to, where the first one came out of seemingly nowhere with all singing and all dancing success. That being said, Sing 2 still accomplishes its mission of being a splendidly toe-tapping burst of animated fun for all ages. If you loved the debut, you'll enjoy this second album.