The animated comedy “Sing” has one big thing going for it: movie stars playing singing animals. There’s a second appeal if you follow such television shows as “The Voice” and “American Idol.” The movie is set during an amateur vocal competition.
Still, the sight and sound of British heartthrob Taron Egerton as a crooning gorilla named Johnny – and Reese Witherspoon as the pig Rosita, Seth MacFarlane as the mouse Mike and Scarlett Johansson as the punk porcupine Ash, all singing their little hearts out – is just charming enough to keep anyone looking for a family-friendly movie option this holiday season happy. The naughty jokes never stray very far from the realm of flatulence, and the sounds coming out the other ends are surprisingly easy on the ears. Former “Idol” contestants Tori Kelly and Jennifer Hudson also provide voices for, respectively, an elephant with stage fright and a young sheep diva.
The story, insubstantial as it is, revolves around the efforts of a koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) to revive the fortunes of his dying theater. Hence: the singing contest. Problems arise when the prize offered is mistakenly advertised as $100,000, which Buster doesn’t have.
The animation is serviceably cute, adding the eye-popping delights of bioluminescent squid to the strange allure of a menagerie of animals rendering everything from such contemporary chart-toppers as Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” to Shocking Blue’s 1969 hit “Venus.”
“Sing” ends, predictably and without straining, on a high note, with everybody’s problems resolved. If only real life could so easily be realigned, by a singing pig.