The energetic sequel to Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet’s 2016 computer-animated musical, Sing 2 is finally hitting cinemas this week.
But what is it about, who is in the star-studded voice cast, and is it any good?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What happens in Sing 2?
The story of Sing 2 is set following the events of the previous film, which centred around a race to save a theatre from foreclosure by inviting anthropomorphic creatures great and small to compete in a singing contest.
Koala protagonist Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) now spends his days hosting regular sold-out performances at the theatre, and all seems to be well.
That is until the impresario invites talent scout Suki (Chelsea Peretti) from Crystal Entertainment to appraise his reworking of Alice In Wonderland.
She walks out during the first half, saying: “You’re not good enough. You’d never make it in the big league.”
The koala is crestfallen until his mentor, retired sheep diva Nana Noodleman (Jennifer Saunders), inspires Moon to have “guts, stamina, faith”.
A plan is hatched to gate crash Crystal Entertainment’s auditions in Redstone City hosted by arctic wolf CEO Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale).
Porcupine punk rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson) reunites with the gang for the try-out but Crystal is unimpressed until Gunter (Nick Kroll) pitches the idea of a sci-fi extravaganza that would woo lion rock star Clay Calloway (Bono) back to the stage after a 15-year hiatus.
Who stars in it?
As with any big-budget animated feature worth its salt, the cast of Sing 2 features an impressive array of big names.
Matthew McConaughey returns to star as enterprising koala Buster Moon, who now hosts sold-out shows at the New Moon Theatre with his resident troupe of critters: Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) and dancing pig partner Gunter (Nick Kroll), gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton), and elephant Meena (Tori Kelly).
Scarlett Johansson also returns as porcupine punk rocker, Ash.
The sequel also features new characters voiced by the likes of Pharrell Williams, Halsey, Letitia Wright, Eric André, and Jennings’ long-time friend, British podcaster, Adam Buxton.
Oh, and U2’s Bono makes an appearance too, lending his voice to Clay Calloway, a lion rock star who is wooed back to the stage after a 15-year hiatus.
Is it any good?
Sing 2 was released in US cinemas in December 2021, so critics have had plenty of time to dissect it.
Thankfully, it looks as though the sequel matches the colourful fun of the first film, with it boasting a 69% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing (the first film currently holds a 71% rating).
CNN.com’s Brian Lowry said the Sing franchise ”doesn't really aspire to be anything more than fun”, and that “on the most basic level”, Sing 2 “delivers just enough of it.”
Peter Debruge from Variety has said that audiences should think of Sing 2 as “an elaborate machinery of joy”, a mindset that will make it easier to appreciate “how every choice seems designed to put a smile on people's faces.”
Ella Kemp of Empire Magazine said: “There's no questioning the high-octane energy of Garth Jennings' star-studded ensemble, but the cacophony grows a little tiresome. The show can go on, but that doesn't mean it must.”
“In this animalian world, there’s nothing more sacred than music,” said AV Club’s Charles Bramesco. “If only Jennings’ off-key karaoke party had that same reverence for its selections, or a fraction of the soul that was required to make them.”
When can I watch it?
Sing 2 actually had its VOD premiere on 7 January, and is available to stream right now through Now TV Cinema.
However, if you don’t have access to that service, or are just looking for an excuse to take the kids to the cinema for an evening out of the house, the film is also getting a theatrical release.
It is scheduled to be released theatrically in the United Kingdom on 28 January 2022.
It was originally due to release in cinemas almost a year earlier, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, work shifted, and was done remotely following the temporary closure of Illumination Mac Guff, the Parisian animation studio behind the film.
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