Illumination Entertainment, the studio that created Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets, released their latest animated film, Sing, on December 21, 2016.
Sing features a star-studded cast to voice a plethora of talking (and musically gifted) animals. The premise of the film is a $100,000 grand prize singing competition hosted by struggling theater owner and cuddly Koala, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), which culminates in a grand performance finale.
Pop 5 Performances In Sing:
5. Ash – “Set It All Free”
As punk-rocking crested porcupine Ash, Scarlett Johansson performs the original pop/rock song “Set It All Free,” accompanied by some wicked guitar solos.
While upbeat and flashy, it seemed that Ash’s final performance wasn’t the perfect fit for her character. Throughout the film, Ash is portrayed as a pop-hating punk-lover with a remarkable singing voice. During rehearsals, she continually rejects Buster’s suggestion to perform Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” in the big show in favor of her own original song.
Ash delivers a knock-out performance of her song, “Set It All Free”, on the big stage, but, despite her edgy style, it seemed Ash’s song was more Paramore than Sex Pistols.
4. Rosita & Gunter – “Shake It Off”
As Rosita the pig, an under-appreciated housewife and mother of 25 piglets, Reese Witherspoon teamed up with Nick Kroll, who voices the flamboyant Gunter, to perform Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” at the big show.
Although Rosita is a gifted singer, she struggles to keep up with Gunter’s dance moves throughout the film. She spends the majority of her rehearsals trying to learn the steps as rigidly as possible, despite Gunter’s advice to just “let the music take over your body parts.”
In their final performance, Rosita and Gunter bust out an intricately choreographed version of “Shake It Off.” While wildly entertaining and inspirational, Rosita and Gunter’s performance was more theatrical than musical with a larger focus on dancing and set design than singing.
3. Mike – “My Way”
As Mike, a hot-tempered and arrogant mouse, Seth MacFarlane gets in touch with his inner crooner to sing the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way” on the grand stage.
Mike is introduced as a miniature sax-playing panhandler without much remorse for his fellow animals. About halfway through the film, Mike, assuming he will be winning the $100,000 grand prize, buys a sports car and an expensive new suit on credit in order to impress a female mouse. Later, Mike incurs the wrath of a mob of Russian bears after he cheats at a card game, and he intends to use the prize money to pay them off.
During his final performance of “My Way,” Mike’s stage presence is nearly sabotaged by the angry bears and an array of police helicopters. However, things take a turn for the better when the wind produced by the helicopters lift Mike and the microphone into the air, inadvertently creating an extravagant finish to his performance to the delight of the crowd.
Mike’s final performance is one Sinatra would be proud of.
2. Meena – “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”
As Meena, the stage fright-stricken elephant, Tori Kelly delivers a phenomenal performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” during the final act of the show.
Early in the film, Meena’s audition goes poorly when her stage fright gets the better of her. After her parents and lovably obnoxious grandfather talk her into it, she returns to Buster in order to ask for a re-audition. Before she is able to plead her case however, Buster recruits her as a stagehand. Humbly, Meena accepts and excels in her new role — until Buster hears her sing an impromptu rendition of “Hallelujah.” Afterward, Buster convinces her to perform in the big show.
Meena overcomes her stage fright and allows her vibrant voice to shine through in her performance. In fact, Meena’s singing is so strong that it may have been considered the best of the film — if it weren’t for our number one performer.
1. Johnny – “I’m Still Standing”
Taron Egerton‘s portrayal of Johnny the mountain-gorilla is stellar throughout the film, and his performance of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” is spectacular.
Early in the film, audiences learn that Johnny’s father is the leader of a bank-robbing gang of gorillas who wishes for his son to follow in his criminal footsteps. To prepare Johnny for this, his father trains him to be the getaway driver on the gang’s next big robbery. Believing he has enough time, Johnny bails on his father’s heist to attend rehearsal, but he fails to make it back in time. Johnny’s father and the rest of the gang are arrested and thrown in prison, an event that leads to Johnny’s father disowning his son.
Despite being heartbroken, Johnny continues to work on the piano piece that will accompany his performance. After spending several nights practicing until dawn, Johnny feels he is ready to go on.
Johnny’s performance of “I’m Still Standing” is so outstanding that his father, after seeing the television coverage of the concert, breaks out of prison to see his son in person. Although he arrives late to the show, Johnny’s father owns up to his mistakes and tells Johnny that he is proud of his wonderful talent.
Johnny’s character and performance is well deserving of our number one spot.