A clef-er movie – SING

February 21, 2017


Plot Summary

Sing is an animated film produced by Illumination Entertainment following the story of Buster Moon, a dapper and charismatic Koala who’s theater is failing. In order to get the money he needs for the theater to survive, he holds a singing competition where the winner will receive $10,000, despite there being no real prize money. Five contestants are selected. There’s Johnny, a gorilla played by Taron Egerton, who’s father is a crime boss. His father wants him to take up in the ‘family business,’ but he wants to be a singer. Because of his constant dream chasing though, he wasn’t there to alert his father of the cops during a robbery and so landed his father in jail. Upon finding out about his son’s wish, he disowns him. Johnny promises to get him out which is his main motivation for the competition. Next, we have Rosita, a pig played by Reese Witherspoon. A mother of 25 with a husband who never gives her attention, her main arc is her self-esteem. At the competition, she bombs at first, even tripping during her audition. Buster encourages her to try again to which she declines. However, she eventually finds her spark, doing a dance number while shopping for groceries. She tries again and then gets a spot in the finals, but is still consumed by her want for attention. Next, we have Ash, a porcupine played by Scarlett Johansson. Ash is a guitarist in her boyfriend Lance’s band. They both play well, however, Buster picks Ash over Lance. Distraught, Lance neglects Ash. They both fight but the breaking point for Ash is finding out Lance is cheating with another girl. Her main over-arcing story is finding yourself and being true. Now we have Mike, a mobster-esque mouse played by Seth MacFarlane. Mike is a violent con-man who’ll do anything for cash or money. There’s not much to his character arc aside from learning to be kind. Finally, we have Meena. Meena is a painfully shy elephant played by Tori Kelly. Meena is a wonderful singer and is forced to audition by her grandfather. However, she bombs her audition and is instead moved to help with production. Her overarching story is about learning to overcome fear. As the story progresses, Buster’s lie about the prize money is unfurled but the contestants help him anyway. Each plot is eventually resolved and a happy ending achieved for each character.

There are several over-arcing plots that eventually tie up together. But let’s pick this apart.

High Notes

In terms of character design, the movie is pretty original. Johnny, while he’s not a complete trope or stereotype, is a re-used plot figure of the offspring of some big powerful figure not wanting to follow the footsteps of that person. His personality, however, allows the viewer to look over that fact. Rosita, in my opinion, was the most unique character. A story arc about a mom who’s a former talent icon isn’t one that’s heard of. If it is, it’s usually played in movies as a very small side story and has little to no effect on the actual plot. Mike and Meena are basic arch characters, the mob boss, and the shy girl. Ash is no exception. visually, though, the characters fit a modern yet unique style that matches their own personality. Even some of the side character are memorable because of this.

The best thing about the plot is that it fits in the music without making it too awkward or too annoying and even spreads across a few genres like from pop to rock.

In general, the visual aesthetics are pretty good as well as CGI.


There are a few things that need to be worked on. Stop if this has been heard before: a huge failing business or organization put out a competition or something, promising fake money to entice people to join in on the competition. Everyone who joins has some sort of issue back at home. Eventually, everyone’s issues are resolved and the business/organization is resolved. This kind of plot follows quite a few films. Even if it’s not exact, it’s often subverted as well like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Blues Brothers, The Breakfast Club, both movies about characters who have home issues who come together for a common goal or are brought together through a common event. The plot is overdone. There were unique, untapped elements that could’ve easily been applied, like what if someone lost their voice and Meena voiced for them? What if Ash broke her wrist and was unable to play guitar? Each character has a certain quality about them that can easily be turned around as a plot device.

As far as the plot goes, it’s so rehashed, some scenes are too predictable. A lot of characters are very predictable when it comes to reactions if enough movies have been seen, and the general ending is too predictable.


Opening weekend, Sing made 500.8 million with a budget of 75 million, easily making up for any cost. Compared to other animated movies in 2016 such as Zootopia and Secret Life of Pets, it’s actually the smallest grossing animated animal film produced out of the three.


While sing was, in general, a nice film that’s good for the family, it’s not extremely recommended for hardcore fans of any genre in particular, it’s just a feel-good movie that does the job. An easily forgettable musical that will probably have another rehash in years time.

TL;DR 7/10, a little generic but some originality here and there enough to get past everything.

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