Sing (2016 American film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A group of anthropomorphic animals; consisting of a mouse, a koala, an elephant, a gorilla, a porcupine, and two pigs, are on a stage.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGarth Jennings
Written byGarth Jennings
Produced by
Edited byGregory Perler[1]
Music byJoby Talbot
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • September 11, 2016 (2016-09-11) (TIFF)
  • December 21, 2016 (2016-12-21) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million[3]
Box office$634.2 million[3]

Sing is a 2016 American computer-animated jukebox musical comedy film[4] produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the first film of the franchise of the same name. It was written and directed by Garth Jennings,[1]and co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet (in his feature directorial debut). It was produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy. The film stars the ensemble voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll, Beck Bennett, Jay Pharoah, Leslie Jones, Laraine Newman, Peter Serafinowicz, Nick Offerman, Rhea Perlman, and Jennifer Saunders.

Set in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, the film focuses on a struggling theater owner who stages a singing competition in an effort to prevent his theater from entering foreclosure, as well as how the competition interferes with the personal lives of its contestants.

The film features more than 60 songs from famous artists, mostly performed diegetically. It also has an original song by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande called "Faith", which was nominated for a Golden Globe.[5] Aside from these songs, Joby Talbot composed the film's score. Sing first screened during the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2016, followed by its premiere at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 3. It was then theatrically released in the United States on December 21, by Universal Pictures and grossed $634 million worldwide.

A sequel, Sing 2, was released on December 22, 2021.


In Calatonia, a city of anthropomorphic animals, koala Buster Moon owns a struggling theater, and is threatened with foreclosure by bank representative llama Judith. He decides to hold a singing competition with a prize of $1,000, but a typo made by his elderly assistant iguana Miss Crawly adds two extra zeros to the prize money. The misprinted flyers are blown out of the window by a fan before they can be proofread, and float across the city.

Crowds of animals gather to audition, and Buster selects his contestants. Among them are housewife and mother of 25 piglets Rosita; punk-rock porcupine Ash; teenage gorilla Johnny, son of a criminal gang leader named Big Daddy; street musician mouse Mike; and an exuberant pig named Gunter. Teenage elephant Meena fails her audition due to stage fright, Ash's self-absorbed boyfriend and co-auditionee Lance is upset to be dismissed from the contest, and Rosita is paired with Gunter for a dance routine. After Buster discovers the flyers advertise a prize of $100,000, he joins his friend sheep Eddie on a visit to Eddie's wealthy grandmother, former theater superstar Nana Noodleman. Nana is reluctant to sponsor the prize money, but agrees to attend a private preview of the show before making a decision.

Pressured by her grandfather, Meena attempts to request a second audition, but settles on being Buster's stagehand instead. After some acts withdraw from the competition, Meena is offered a spot in the show, but again struggles to overcome her fear. Further problems soon arise. Rosita flounders in her dance routine with Gunter, believing her motherly duties have caused her to lose her passion. Lance cheats on Ash, causing her to break up with him, and later to break down crying during a rehearsal. Mike, assuming he will win the competition, takes out a massive loan from the bank to buy a flashy car and swindles a group of bears in a card game. Johnny, forced by Big Daddy to partake in a heist as a getaway driver, sneaks away to a rehearsal. Traffic prevents Johnny from returning to the heist in time, resulting in the arrest and incarceration of Big Daddy and his gang, straining their relationship. After an accident causes stage lights to fall and break, Buster has the stage rebuilt and fills a glass tank with water so that luminescent squids can be used to light the stage.

Desperate, Johnny attempts to steal the prize money for his father's bail, but when he sees a note on Buster's desk praising his talents, Johnny resolves to focus on his musical career instead. At the same time, Rosita regains her passion for dancing while grocery shopping, and Ash composes a song that Buster likes. On the day of the preview, the bears Mike had cheated locate him, and demand their money back. Mike directs them to Buster; the bears break open the prize chest, but it is nowhere near $100,000. Shocked by the lack of money, the rest of the contestants question Buster, and the squid tank shatters under everyone's weight. The flooded theater implodes and Judith repossesses the lot, while a disheartened Buster takes up residence with Eddie and supports himself by washing cars.

Meena goes to the rubble of the theater and sings out loud to music on her headphones, inspiring Buster to stage an outdoor show. Despite attempts from Judith to halt the show, it takes place on the lot of the former theater, with Meena's and Rosita's families in attendance. More animals are drawn into the audience when the show is broadcast live on the local news. Rosita's husband Norman is roused by his wife's talent, Big Daddy breaks out of prison and travels to the lot to reconcile with Johnny and apologize, Lance is impressed by Ash's original rock song "Set It All Free," the bears find Mike and chase him away, and Meena overcomes her stage fright and gives an enthusiastic performance. The show is a success and impresses Nana who was in the audience. She purchases the lot, and the theater is rebuilt and reopened.

Voice cast[edit]

The voices of Rosita and Norman's piglet children were provided by Oscar, Leo, Caspar, and Asa Jennings, the children of Garth Jennings. Jennings had directors Edgar Wright (as a goat) and Wes Anderson (as Daniel, a giraffe who auditions with the song "Ben") provide "additional voices", continuing a tradition of the three friends appearing in each other's films.[13] An archival recording of Shooby Taylor, who died in 2003, singing "Stout-Hearted Men" was used for the singing voice of a hippopotamus.[14]


In January 2014, it was announced that Garth Jennings would write and direct an animated comedy film for Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, about "courage, competition and carrying a tune".[15] It was originally titled Lunch,[16] then retitled Sing.[7]

On January 14, 2015, Matthew McConaughey was cast in the film's lead voice role.[6] Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy produced the film.[6] On June 17, 2015, it was confirmed that McConaughey's character was named Buster and that John C. Reilly would voice Eddie, a sheep and Buster's best friend.[8] In November 2015, it was announced that Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly and Taron Egerton had joined the cast.[7]

According to a Hollywood Reporter interview and article, "The film contains 65 non-stop pop songs", the rights to which cost 15% of the film's $75 million budget.[17] The animation was created entirely in France by Illumination Mac Guff.[18]



The nearly complete[19] film was screened as a work in progress beginning September 11, 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival.[20] Universal Studios released the film on December 21, 2016.[21]

Home media[edit]

Sing was released on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on March 21, 2017. It includes three short films: Gunter Babysits, Love at First Sight, and Eddie's Life Coach.[22] The film made a revenue of $63 million with 3.3 million units sold, making it the seventh best-selling title of 2017.[23]


Box office[edit]

Sing grossed $270.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $363.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $634.1 million, against a production budget of $75 million.[3] Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $194.2 million, accounting for production budgets, marketing, talent participations, and other costs, with box office grosses, and ancillary revenues from home media, placing it seventh on their list of 2016's "Most Valuable Blockbusters".[24]

In North America, the film opened alongside Passengers and Assassin's Creed, and was expected to gross around $70 million from 4,022 theaters over its first six days of release.[25] The film made $1.7 million during its Tuesday night previews.[26] It went on to gross $35.2 million in its opening weekend (a six-day total of $75.5 million), finishing second at the box office behind Rogue One, which was in its second week.[27] It rose 21% in its second weekend to $42.9 million, remaining in second, and grossed $20.8 million in its third week and finishing third.[28] Sing holds the record for being the highest-grossing film to never finish first at the North American box office, beating My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.4 million in 2002).[29]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 188 reviews, and an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted – albeit familiar – storyline that lives up to its title."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[32]

Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars and wrote, "In a year full of talking-animal hits, Sing isn't quite as strong a number. It's a tale that might not be particularly thought-provoking but sure is toe-tapping."[33] In her review for the Los Angeles Times, Katie Walsh called Sing, "a cute movie with genuinely funny moments (keep an eye out for the koala car wash), and some great tunes to boot."[34] The Arizona Republic's Bill Goodykoontz was rather mixed about the film in his review and overall said, "Sing is like an album with a good song here and there, but too much filler and not enough hits."[35] Reviewing the version of the film screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Stefan Pape of the British website HeyUGuys gave the film a mixed review of 2/5, stating that "Garth Jennings's Sing effectively acknowledges early on that it's following a completely unoriginal formula, and yet carries on regardless."[36] While Peter Debruge of Variety, who also saw the film during the same festival, did not find the subplots to have any "profound life lessons", he overall praised Jennings' direction, the cast's voice performances and the film's silliness.[37]


Accolades received by Sing (2016 American film)
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards February 6, 2017 Best Movie for Grownups who Refuse to Grow Up Sing Nominated [38]
Annie Awards February 4, 2017 Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production Joby Talbot [39]
Golden Globe Awards January 8, 2017 Best Animated Feature Film Sing [40]
Best Original Song "Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite
Golden Trailer Awards June 6, 2017 Best Music "Dream On" (Motive Creative) [41][42]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2016 Best Song – Animated Film "Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite [43][44]
Best Soundtrack Album Sing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Outstanding Music Supervision – Film Jojo Villanueva Won
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 11, 2017 Favorite Animated Movie Sing Nominated [45]
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Reese Witherspoon
Most Wanted Pet
Favorite Soundtrack Sing
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Animated Film [46]


A month after the film's release, Universal and Illumination announced plans for a sequel with writer/director Jennings, producers Meledandri and Healy, and the original cast returning for it. The film was originally scheduled for release on December 25, 2020, but the date was pushed back to July 2, 2021, accommodating the release of The Croods: A New Age.[47][48] Sing 2's release date was further pushed back to December 22, 2021.[49]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Felperin, Leslie (September 11, 2016). "'Sing': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "Sing". British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on October 2, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Sing (2016)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  4. ^ Kenny, Glenn (December 20, 2016). "Review: 'Sing' Gives Animated Belters a Stage". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Amidi, Amid (September 9, 2016). "A Complete List of Every Song in Illumination's 'Sing'". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (January 14, 2015). "Matthew McConaughey to Star in Illumination Animated Film (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Truitt, Brian (November 10, 2015). "Sneak peek: A-list animals 'SING' together". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Hopewell, John (June 17, 2015). "Annecy: Chris Meledandri on Matthew McConaughey as a Koala Legit Theater Owner, 'The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d Trumbore, Dave (November 11, 2015). "Meet the Animated Animals of Illumination Entertainment's 2016 Musical Comedy, 'Sing'". Collider. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  10. ^ Buxton, Adam (April 14, 2016). "EP.16 - Pub Walk With Garth Jennings". Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  11. ^ Yuen, Jenny (September 11, 2016). "TIFF 2016: Matthew McConaughey optimistic about 'Sing'". Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  12. ^ "Sing - Full Cast and Credits". Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  13. ^ Weintraub, Steve 'Frosty' (December 19, 2016). "Garth Jennings on Getting Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson to Provide Voices in 'Sing'". Collider. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  14. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (December 20, 2016). "As crooning animals, Hollywood heavyweights give 'Sing' the boost it needs". Washington Post. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "'Despicable Me 3′ Set For June 2017 Release; 'Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas' Arrives Five Months Later". Deadline. January 15, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  16. ^ Hopewell, John (January 8, 2014). "France Fights Bidding War to Lure Hollywood Filmmakers". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2014. Universal now has "Max" and "Lunch" set up at Illumination MacGuff.
  17. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  18. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (December 2, 2016). "Oscar's French Animation Connection Draws on Deep Talent Pool". Variety.
  19. ^ Grobar, Matt (December 5, 2016). "'Sing' Director Garth Jennings On Working With "Wizards," The Learning Curve Of His Feature Animation Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  20. ^ Hammond, Pete (August 23, 2016). "Universal & Illumination To Launch 'Sing' With Live Jennifer Hudson And Tori Kelly Performances At Toronto". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  21. ^ McClintock, Pamela (January 15, 2014). "Universal Dates Despicable Me 3, New Grinch Who Stole Christmas". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 17, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  22. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (February 14, 2017). "Illumination Entertainment's 'Sing' Headed to Retail". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  23. ^ "Top Selling Video Titles in the United States in 2017". The Numbers. Archived from the original on December 3, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  24. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 28, 2017). "No. 7 'Sing' Box Office Profits – 2016 Most Valuable Movie Blockbuster Tournament". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  25. ^ "Will 'Rogue One' Vanquish The Christmas B.O. Competition?". Deadline Hollywood. December 13, 2016.
  26. ^ "'Sing's' Box-Office Debut Tops 'Assassin's Creed,' 'Passengers' in Tuesday Night Previews". The Hollywood Reporter. December 21, 2016.
  27. ^ "With 'Fences,' 'La La Land' Enter Top 10 As 'Rogue One' & 'Sing' Rule Holiday – Monday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. December 27, 2016. Sing* (Ill/Uni) 4,022 locations, 4-day $54.9M, 3-day: $35.2M, 4-day: $13,7K average, Total: $75.5M, 1 wk
  28. ^ "'Rogue One' Doesn't Want To Fall To 'Hidden Figures' As Winter Storm Helena Closes Theaters". Deadline Hollywood. January 9, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  29. ^ "Top Grossing Movies that never hit #1". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  30. ^ "Sing (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 1, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  31. ^ "Sing". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  32. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 22, 2016). "'Rogue One' Targets $221.7M Opening Week; 'Sing' Raises Voice To $20M Over Two Days – Noon Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  33. ^ Brian Truitt (December 20, 2016). "Review: Animated 'Sing' is a poppy treat (and Matthew McConaughey sings!)". USA Today. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  34. ^ Katie Walsh (December 20, 2016). "Packed with pop tunes, 'Sing' discovers the simple fun in putting on a show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  35. ^ Bill Goodykoontz (December 21, 2016). "'Sing' has too much filler, not enough hits". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  36. ^ "TIFF 2016: Sing Review - HeyUGuys". Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  37. ^ Debruge, Peter (September 11, 2016). "Film Review: 'Sing'". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  38. ^ Rahman, Abid (December 15, 2016). "Denzel Washington's 'Fences' Leads Nominations for AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  39. ^ "44th Annie Award Nominees". International Animated Film Society. November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  40. ^ "Golden Globes 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  41. ^ Hipes, Patrick (May 12, 2017). "Golden Trailer Awards Nominees: Warner Bros & Lego Batman Lead Pack". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 28, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  42. ^ McNary, Dave (June 6, 2017). "Wonder Woman Wins Top Prize at Golden Trailer Awards". Variety. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  43. ^ "Justin Timberlake & Alexandre Desplat Among Winners At Hollywood Music In Media Awards". Deadline (published November 18, 2016). November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  44. ^ McNary, Dave (November 2, 2016). "'La La Land' Scores Three Hollywood Music in Media Nominations". Variety. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  45. ^ "Justin Timberlake and Kevin Hart Lead Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards Nominations". Variety. February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  46. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  47. ^ Kilday, Gregg (January 25, 2017). "'Sing' Sequel Coming From Illumination and Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  48. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 12, 2019). "'Sing 2' To Croon Summer 2021; 'The Croods 2' Moves To Holiday Season 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  49. ^ "'Minions: Rise of Gru' Lands New Summer 2022 Release; 'Sing 2,' 'Wicked' Delayed". The Hollywood Reporter. April 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.

External links[edit]