SING is a pleasant surprise. It may be a clichéd underdog/competition story retold with singing animals, but it’s got a lot of pep and ends up being the most soulful and best-realised animations Illumination have produced so far. The characters are appealing archetypes: the overworked stay-at-home pig mum (Reese Witherspoon) liberated only by her her passion for singing, the prickly (get it? Because she’s a porcupine) rock chick (Scarlett Johansson) stuck as a supporting player despite prodigious talent and the sensitive and talented gorilla son of a gangster (Taron Egerton) who never wanted to be a hard man. As a jukebox musical, the song selection is crowd-pleasing and the singing is great, with Egerton wowing in particular belting out Elton John. There’s a bit too much forced jeopardy in the final stretch, and you’re not going to win any prizes for guessing every single story beat, but more like this and fewer minions from Illumination would be welcome, as would lots more from director Garth Jennings. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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