Sing is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment.[3] It was directed and written by Garth Jennings and co-directed by Christophe Lourdelet.[1] The film stars the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly. The plot involves a group of animals that enter a singing competition, hosted by a koala hoping to save his theater.

The film includes more than 60 classic songs from famous artists, and also has an original song by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande called "Faith".[4] It was released by Universal Pictures on December 21, 2016 and has grossed $502 million worldwide.

A sequel has been announced for a Christmas 2020 release.[5]


In a world of anthropomorphic animals, koala Buster Moon owns a theater, having been interested in show business since his father took him to his first music show as a child. Facing financial troubles, he tells his friend Eddie Noodleman that he will host a singing competition with a prize of $1,000. But Buster's assistant Ms. Crawley mistakenly appends two extra zeroes, and the promotional fliers showing $100,000 are blown out of Buster's office into the city streets.

Animals from all around the city gather for auditions. Those selected include: housewife and mother of 25 piglets Rosita; street musician mouse Mike; mobster's son gorilla Johnny; and punk-rock porcupine Ash. Shy teenage elephant Meena bombs her audition out of stage fright, while Ash's boyfriend Lance is dismissed from the contest. Rosita is paired with another pig contestant named Gunter for a dancing routine. Although Buster discovers the flyers show a prize of $100,000, money he does not have, he remains optimistic. Buster convinces Eddie to arrange a visit with Eddie's grandmother and former opera singer and theater actress Nana Noodleman to persuade her to sponsor the prize money. She is hesitant to contribute, but agrees to see a private screening of the show.

Encouraged by her grandfather, Meena tries to ask Buster for another chance, but becomes his stage hand instead. When some of the other acts quit, Meena is added as an act. The performers' individual problems begin to hinder rehearsals. Rosita flounders in her dance routine with Gunter, having been distracted by her parenting duties that have fallen into disarray. After discovering Lance with a new girlfriend Becky and evicting them from her apartment, Ash is heartbroken and in no mood to sing her assigned song "Call Me Maybe". Johnny is torn between having to help his father as the driver of the getaway car in a heist and making the practices. When Johnny tries to do both, he does not show up for the planned pickup, and his father and his gang are arrested. Meena still has stage fright. Mike, assuming the prize money is as good as his, buys a fancy car to impress a girl mouse, and swindles a group of bears in a card game at a nightclub.

The day of the screening, the bears interrupt the show, demanding the money from Mike, who in turn, points to Buster. The bears open the chest containing the prize money, but it is nowhere near $100,000. The glass tank full of luminescent squids that Buster got to light up the theater breaks, and floods the theater, which then comes crashing down. With the lot repossessed by the bank, Buster, who had been living in his theater's office desk, takes up residence at Eddie's place (his parents' pool house). Although the contestants (besides Mike, who saw Buster as a fraud) visit him and try to cheer him up, Buster is too despondent to listen to them. He tries to start over by opening a car wash, using the same bucket that his dad had used to earn money for Buster's theater.

When Meena goes to the theater's rubble lot and sings Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Buster hears her and is inspired to reinstate the show without the prize money. They perform in front of Rosita and Meena's family members. As Rosita and Gunther perform "Shake It Off", more animals are attracted to the scene as the show is broadcast on the news. Johnny's rendition of "I'm Still Standing" impresses his father, who then escapes from prison to reconcile with him. Ash sings her original rock song, "Set It All Free", impressing Lance. Mike returns when his peers make fun that he wasn't able to sing like the ones on TV, and sings "My Way". Meena finally overcomes her fears and sings Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing," which brings down the house.

The show becomes a success and impresses Nana, who was in the audience. Nana buys the lot, and the theater is rebuilt and reopened.


  • Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an optimistic koala who plans to save his theater from closure by holding a singing competition.[3][6]
  • Reese Witherspoon as Rosita, a pig who gave up her teenage music dreams to become a devoted wife to Norman, and mother to their 25 piglets.[6]
  • Seth MacFarlane as Mike, a small white crooning mouse with a big Frank Sinatra-esque voice and an arrogant attitude with a passion and talent for singing swing jazz music and making money by working as a street musician, for he plays the saxophone. [6]
  • Scarlett Johansson as Ash, a teenage porcupine and punk rocker who takes part in an alternative-rock music group with her boyfriend Lance until she rejects[1] him, and there is strife when she makes it into the competition and he does not.[6]
  • John C. Reilly as Eddie Noodleman, a sheep and Buster's rich partner who doubts the future of the theater.[6][7]
  • Tori Kelly as Meena, a teenage elephant with an exquisite voice and severe stage fright.[6]
  • Taron Egerton as Johnny, a teenage Cockney-accented gorilla who wants to sing, though his father wants him to follow his criminal footsteps, and also plays the piano. [6]
  • Nick Kroll as Gunter,[8] Rosita's German, optimistic, and bubbly sing-and-dance pig partner.[9]
  • Garth Jennings as Ms. Crawly, an elderly iguana with a glass eye who is Buster's assistant and offers Johnny piano lessons.[1]
  • Nick Offerman[9] as Norman, a pig and Rosita's workaholic husband.Script error
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Big Daddy, Johnny's gang leader father who wants him to follow in his crime business.[1]
  • Beck Bennett as Lance, a porcupine and Ash's rejected boyfriend.[1]
  • Jennifer Saunders as Miss Nana Noodleman, a sheep and Eddie's grandmother, who was a singer in her glory days.[9][10]
  • Jennifer Hudson[1] as Young Nana Noodleman
  • Rhea Perlman as Judith,[1][11] a brown Llama from the bank who warns Buster that his theater will be repossessed if he does not pay.
  • Leslie Jones as Meena's mother
  • Jay Pharoah[9] as Meena's grandfather who pressures her to overcome her stage fright.
  • Laraine Newman as Meena's grandmother
  • Bill Farmer as Bob, a news reporter dog who documents Buster's singing competition.
  • Brad Morris as a baboon that Mike attacks for not donating more money to his street performances.
  • Adam Buxton as Stan

Rosita and Norman's piglets are voiced by Garth Jennings' own children: Oscar Jennings, Leo Jennings, Caspar Jennings, and Asa Jennings.Script error

Directors Wes Anderson, Chris Renaud, and Edgar Wright appear in voice cameos, amongst additional voices.[12]


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,"[13] which was originally titled Lunch,[14] and then retitled as Sing.[6]

On January 14, 2015, Matthew McConaughey was cast in the film's lead voice role.[3] Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy produced the film.[3] On June 17, 2015, it was confirmed that McConaughey's character is named Buster and that John C. Reilly would voice Eddie, a black sheep and Buster's best friend.[7] In November 2015, it was announced that Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly, and Taron Egerton had joined the cast of the film.[6]


The soundtrack album for the film was released on December 21, 2016. The film features 65 pop songs, the rights to which cost 15 percent of the film's $75 million budget.[15]


The almost complete[16] film was screened as a work in progress beginning September 11, 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival.[17] Universal Studios released the film on December 21, 2016.[18]

Home media

Sing will be released on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD on March 21, 2017. It will include three short films: Gunter Babysits, Love at First Sight, and Eddie's Life Coach.[19]


Box office

As of February 16, 2017, Sing has grossed $265.9 million in the United States and Canada and $236.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $502.5 million, against a production budget of $75 million.[2]

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.[20] The film made $1.7 million during its Tuesday night previews.[21] It went on to gross $35.3 million in its opening weekend (a six-day total of $75.5 million), finishing second at the box office, behind Rogue One.[22] Sing holds the record for being the highest-grossing film to never reach the No. 1 spot at the North American box-office.[23]

Critical response

On the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73%, based on 150 reviews, with 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."[24] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[25] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[26]

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".[27]


List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards February 6, 2017 Best Movie for Grownups who Refuse to Grow Up Sing Nominated [28]
Annie Awards February 4, 2017 Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production Joby Talbot Pending [29]
Golden Globe Awards January 8, 2017 Best Animated Feature Film Sing Nominated [30]
Best Original Song "Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2016 Best Song – Animated Film "Faith" – Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite Nominated [31][32]
Best Soundtrack Album Sing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Outstanding Music Supervision – Film Jojo Villanueva Won


Universal and Illumination have announced plans for a sequel, slated for December 25, 2020.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Felperin, Leslie (September 11, 2016). "'Sing': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Sing (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Kit, Borys (January 14, 2015). "Matthew McConaughey to Star in Illumination Animated Film (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  4. Amidi, Amid (September 9, 2016). "A Complete List of Every Song in Illumination's 'Sing'". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kilday, Gregg (January 25, 2017). "'Sing' Sequel Coming From Illumination and Universal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Truitt, Brian (November 10, 2015). "Sneak peek: A-list animals 'SING' together". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hopewell, John (June 17, 2015). "Annecy: Chris Meledandri on Matthew McConaughey as a Koala Legit Theater Owner, 'The Grinch'". Variety. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  8. Yuen, Jenny (September 11, 2016). "TIFF 2016: Matthew McConaughey optimistic about 'Sing'". Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 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. "Sing - Full Cast and Credits". Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  12. Goldberg, Matt (October 26, 2016). "Directors Wes Anderson, Edgar Wright, and Chris Renaud Provided Their Voices for 'Sing'". Collider. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  13. "'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. 
  14. 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. 
  15. Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  16. Grobar, Matt (December 5, 2016). "'Sing' Director Garth Jennings On Working With "Wizards," The Learning Curve Of His Feature Animation Debut". Deadline. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  17. Hammond, Pete (August 23, 2016). "Universal & Illumination To Launch 'Sing' With Live Jennifer Hudson And Tori Kelly Performances At Toronto". Deadline. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  18. McClintock, Pamela (January 15, 2014). "Universal Dates 'Despicable Me 3,' New 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  19. Wolfe, Jennifer (February 14, 2017). "Illumination Entertainment's 'Sing' Headed to Retail". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  20. "Will 'Rogue One' Vanquish The Christmas B.O. Competition?". 
  21. "'Sing's' Box-Office Debut Tops 'Assassin's Creed,' 'Passengers' in Tuesday Night Previews". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  22. "With 'Fences,' 'La La Land' Enter Top 10 As 'Rogue One' & 'Sing' Rule Holiday – Monday AM Update". 
  23. "Top Grossing Movies that never hit #1". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  24. "Sing (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  25. "Sing reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  26. "CinemaScore". 
  27. "TIFF 2016: Sing Review - HeyUGuys". Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  28. 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. 
  29. "44th Annie Award Nominees". International Animated Film Society. November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  30. "Golden Globes 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  31. "Justin Timberlake & Alexandre Desplat Among Winners At Hollywood Music In Media Awards". Deadline. November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  32. McNary, Dave (November 2, 2016). "'La La Land' Scores Three Hollywood Music in Media Nominations". Variety. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 

External links

Template:Illumination Entertainment Template:Garth Jennings Script error

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