The folk at Illumination Entertainment, a French animation house, have had a stellar run of late. They made Despicable Me and its sequels and Minions off-shoots, as well as The Secret Life of Pets. So they are in the Billion Club and then some.
Add another. Their latest, Sing, has made a quarter bil and counting. DVDs, sequels and merch will push it into billion on its own in years to come. Sacre blue!
Their style is more ramshackle, eccentric and, well, French than Pixar or Dreamworks, and Sing is no exception. A Koala tries to save his foreclosed-upon theatre by hosting a singing competition. Various animals compete. Matthew McConaughey plays the Koala, which suits his hucksterish persona, and there are a lot of pop hits – across all decades – referenced, with a fair few sung in their entirety by hippos, lllamas, porcupines, pigs and others. It’s all incredibly colourful.
This was the first feature film I took my not-quite-yet three-year-old daughter to at the cinema. She made it through the whole thing and loved it. That’s rave enough. For my money, the middle act, lacking songs, dragged a bit, and the concept of not having enough money to save one’s property seemed to me to be a boring – and hopefully alien – concept for teeny kiddies (Princesses, you’ll notice, don’t carry wallets). But the animals are cute, the songs great, and… well, my daughter loved it, so yours probably will too.