MOVIE REVIEW: Singing the praises of a joyous animated film
IF YOU'RE looking for a toe-tapping good time in the air-conditioned relief of the cinemas over the school holidays, then Sing is your movie.
The animated film, from the creators of Despicable Me and Minions, hits all the right notes when it comes to family entertainment.
The story follows a koala named Buster who recruits his best friend to help him drum up business for his theatre by hosting a singing competition.
McConaughey is charming as Buster, whose infectious optimism is nearly his downfall, but it's a shame the character isn't voiced by an Australian actor in an Aussie accent.
International audiences probably won't even notice, of course, and to be fair the setting of Sing is a nondescript animal metropolis - most likely modelled after Los Angeles.
Despite some similarities, Sing doesn't delve into the more serious undertones of Zootopia.
Instead, it plays off our familiarity with reality talent competitions, highlighting stereotypes and physical humour in the audition scenes before doing away with the carrot of a cash prize to show that finding something you love and doing it is one of life's greatest rewards.
Sure, that sounds a bit sappy and at times this film is sappy - but it is also joyous.
For most of the finalists, the talent competition becomes a vehicle for self-discovery and expression.
Another talking animal film, The Secret Life of Pets, was a huge hit for Illumination earlier this year.
I liked Sing much more than Pets, perhaps because some of the best moments weren't spoiled in the trailer.
Tori Kelly's powerhouse voice (as teenage elephant Meena) is another big highlight - from her touching rendition of Hallelujah by the late Leonard Cohen to Stevie Wonder's feel-good song Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing.
Sing has some great takeaway messages for younger cinema-goers, too. Most importantly, it celebrates talent in all shapes and sizes.
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, Scarlet Johansson, John C Reilly, Taron Edgerton.
Directors: Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet.
Verdict: 4/5 stars
In cinemas: Boxing Day