CGI Animated films are amazing, at one point you find yourself cheering a shy elephant, willing her to sing a pop song, in front of a full theatre full of assorted animals.
You may wonder, how did I get here?
“Buster Moon” (voice – Matthew McConaughey) has a love of theatre, he always wanted to own one from an early age, now an impresario he has a string of shows behind him but finances are poor and takings down, he badly needs a hit.
Did we mention he is a koala and his aged assistant is “Miss Crawley” (voice – Garth Jennings – also director) a lizard with a false eye.
A singing talent show might save the day and a modest prize is offered which surprisingly attracts a large talent pool, for reasons the film will make clear.
Various creatures try out before a line up is settled upon (subject to change….). “Johnny” (Voice – Taron Egerton) a gorilla who works as a getaway driver for his criminal dad but sure can belt out a tune.
“Ash” (Voice – Scarlett Johansson) a rock chick porcupine who struggles to stand away from the long shadow of her song writing fickle boyfriend. Then there is “Mike” (Voice – Seth MacFarlane), a Sinatra like crooner despite his diminutive size when measured against the microphone, being a mouse and all.
“Rosita” (Voice – Reese Witherspoon) a mother of many, many piglets can also knock out a Katy Perry song but cannot bust the moves. However with fellow pig “Gunter” (Voice – Nick Kroll) by her side, they are hot to trot, see what we did?
Finally the previously mentioned shy gospel singer “Meena” (Voice – Tori Kelly) will be great, if only she can forget her stage fright, which may be difficult being an elephant, if stereotypes are to be believed.
As you would expect the animation is state of the art, which almost goes without saying. The voice talent is exceptional, clearly enjoying every moment. The film is not all light and frothy, it takes a darker tone at one point, which is commendable. This presents real challenges for the characters to overcome and it’s surprising how much you want the show to go on.
Overall the film is a real sugar rush of colour and songs, from start to finish. But there is a story hidden in there about following your dreams and not being distracted from fulfilling them.
Faults and flaws? When you have pigs dancing choreographed moves, belting out top twenty hits, cheered on by a koala, elephant and piano-playing gorilla getaway driver, it’s difficult to remain critically objective.
Great fun and if you do not get to Elton John’s “I’m still standing” with at least half a smile on your face, maybe check your facial muscles are actually working.
Oh and kids will probably quite like it too…remember to include them