SingSing isn’t just for fans of musical competitions. It’s for fans of music. And singing. And the theater. And of dreams. Sing, which opens in theaters December 21, is one of those dual movies that attract kids on one level and adults on another. Sure, there are cute animal characters, great music and lots of funny parts everyone would enjoy. But would a child relate to a would-be-thug gorilla wanting to break from the family crime business to sing? Or the mamma-pig of 25 little squealers who put her dreams of singing aside to raise a family? Definitely grown-up stuff.

Anyone who loves to sing will love Sing. Whether you freely and bravely sing at every opportunity or keep your performances solo within your car or shower, you’ll enjoy the movie. The similarities to human, televised singing competitions are there only in theory, thank goodness. Whereas the human versions are very staged and contrived, the animated, animal version in this family movie actually seems much more sincere. Yes, I’m comparing humans to animation.

With a plethora of stars voicing the characters, Sing tells the story of a theater owner, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey, sans southern drawl and with a youthful, bright sound), who comes up with the idea of a singing competition to save his theater. His koala-father had worked for years as a car washer (literally, AS the car washer) to make enough money for his son to buy the theater years ago. It is the love of the theater and the allegiance to his father that keeps Buster going, even as the theater is crumbling around him.

Naturally, each of the competitors has their own back-story and reason for being in the competition. When they are rehearsing and performing for money, things go wrong. But when they do it for their own joy and for the love of the music, everything goes right. The big, musical takeaway? Follow your dreams and only be afraid of not having tried.

Big names (and singing voices) in the movie also include Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly.

Sing opens Dec. 21.

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