Sing 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
The first trailer for SING told you exactly what it was; an excuse to get some cute, animated animals singing recognizable pop songs for 90+ minutes. I remember groaning over the obvious tactic from Illumination, but a part of me had hope that maybe there was something more to this than just a bunch of animals singing. Although they tried at times to make a singing competition deeper than it really is, SING is really just a bunch of animals singing. I know that SING has gotten mostly positive reviews from other critics and it was somewhat of a hit when it came out, but for me, there are only so many singing animals I can stomach and SING managed to find that limit and bulldoze past it.
The story focuses on a koala named Buster Moon (McConaughey). He owns a theater and after a run of bad plays and musicals, is desperate to try and save his building. He gets the idea to have a musical competition, very, very similar to American Idol. He sends out flyers and then we follow a handful of other characters that are competing for the top prize. We have a grumpy rat named Mike (MacFarlane) that likes to sing Sinatra, a pig named Rosita that’s a stay at home mom, a gorilla named Johnny (Taron Egerton) that’s trying to breakaway from his dad’s criminal lifestyle and an elephant named Meena (Tori Kelly) that’s really shy despite her encouraging family. Together, they rehearse and dream of making it big.
And that’s really all there is to it. We have about 15 minutes dedicated to the various auditions in the beginning, another 20 minutes or so to the big finale performances and then several rehearsal or impromptu performances in the middle and the rest is filler spread out among the characters. This makes the film hard to review from a critical standpoint because it more closely resembles a concert. I thought the most interesting character was Johnny (this is the character that some found racist, which I find ridiculous), who had a Billy Elliot-like thing going on and had he been the focus of the film, I think it would have played better, but even then, the filmmakers probably wouldn’t have gotten away from what they knew was going to sell tickets, which was getting the animals to sing. However, I think they overvalued the draw of the performances because it got really old, really quick.
As with most animated films, I am not the target audience for SING, but I believe my four year-old and two year-old would be. It should be noted that the film didn’t hold their attention either and they ended up bored pretty early on. I’d like to think it’s because their musical tastes are more sophisticated than a 2010 Katy Perry song, but the truth is that the characters weren’t interesting enough, the plot wasn’t funny enough and the music was boring for everyone.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is another animated 4K video transfer that, in my opinion, looks almost exactly like the Blu-ray. I’ve said this before, but there’s not much you can upgrade when it comes to animated films, but it kind of feels like they’re not even trying with SING. I don’t want to be too harsh on it, however because the Blu-ray video looks fantastic and that’s essentially replicated on the 4K, but for those considering shelling out extra cash for a 4K upgrade, I might suggest putting that towards the 3D version instead.
Audio: We do get a nice Dolby Atmos track, but I didn’t feel like it was used to its fullest capacity. In its defense, SING isn’t really the type of film to utilize overhead or surround speakers.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Mini-Movies (12:21): Three movies total, all of which are pretty cute and none of them feature more singing.
Making of the Mini-Movies (5:55): The directors talk about making the mini movies.
The Making of Sing (4:40): A very short featurette covering the basics of the film.
Finding the Rhythm: Editing Sing (2:45): Another too short featurette focusing on the editing of the film. This probably should have been added to the previous featurette.
Character Profiles (12:20): Six characters get a featurette that talks about the actors voicing them.
The Sing Network (11:12): Five featurettes that is a hodgepodge of fake TV ads and sort-of character profiles of the smaller characters.
The Best of Gunter (1:00): My guess is that Gunter tested well at audience screenings, but they didn’t have enough time to add more of him into the finished product. That would be why he gets way too much marketing attention even though he wasn’t in the film a whole lot.
Music/Lyric Videos (15:38): Four videos and one making-of video featuring Tori Kelly. Little kids might enjoy singing along while watching the lyric videos.
Sing and Dance – Faith (6:31): Dancers teach kids how to do their moves.