2016 has been the year of talking animals. Most of the year's animated features have dealt with them, but the team behind Despicable Me will up the ante later this year. Their animals will sing. Sing will combine anthropomorphic animals with everybody's favorite pop songs to create, what they hope will be, the family entertainment event of the holiday season. Check out the newest trailer for Sing.
Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, is a koala bear who owns a theater going through financial difficulties. His big idea to get people to show up is to host an American Idol-style singing competition for the town, which will give average people the chance to be a star. As luck would have it, there are numerous animals of various shapes and sizes who dream of being great singers, all of whom are stuck in lives they aren't happy with.
There are two major selling points behind Sing. One is the voice cast. It's a solid list of talent including Reese Witherspoon, Wreck-It Ralph's John C. Reilly and Scarlett Johansson. The other thing Illumination Entertainment is hoping will draw people in is the music. The trailer makes it clear that the soundtrack to Sing will include a wide variety of popular music. It seems to cover both fairly current music as well as some slightly older material that will appeal to both kids as well as their parents.
Ever since the finale of the first Shrek movie made Smash Mouth relevant for 10 minutes, pop music and animated films have had a fairly strong relationship. Though Sing is the first to make the songs the focal point, we've seen pop songs become some of the most popular parts of some recent films. Shakira voiced a pop star character in Zootopia. The hit Pharrell Williams song "Happy" came from Despicable Me 2.
For what it's worth, we do know that at least a few of the voice actors are likely doing their own singing. Reese Witherspoon sang previously when she played June Carter in Walk the Line. Seth MacFarlane has even released a couple of albums, and has showed off his skill on both Family Guy and while hosting the Academy Awards. Scarlett Johansson also showed off her voice talents earlier this year in The Jungle Book
Sing will be the second animated feature film released by Illumination Entertainment in 2016. Their first entry, The Secret Life of Pets, hits theaters on Friday.