There are a lot of characters involved in Illumination’s Sing movie both on and off the screen. For starters, the animated film was written by an unlikely partnership between Garth Jennings, known for writing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Chris Meledandri, the founder and CEO of Illumination. Then there are many characters, all of them animals, featured in the movie and the human actors who portray them. Today, Illumination released new images that show Sing’s various characters and their actor counterparts, including Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, and Nick Kroll.
Sing centers on Buster Moon (McConaughey), whose grand theater is not seeing the business that it used to. He needs to make some money quickly or he is going to lose it. Acting like the eternal optimist, Buster has no fear and plans the “world’s greatest singing competition,” where characters from all walks of life show up for a chance to change their lives.
“I’ve always regarded Buster as the ultimate creator… a showman who refuses to accept defeat and a guy who will accomplish the impossible through sheer force of will,” McConaughey said in today’s press release. “Others may see his theater collapsing around him, but not Buster. Through his eyes, you’ll begin to imagine the crown jewel of this incredible town… a place where people can truly transform.”
As the movie goes on, Buster learns the harsh truth that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that needs to be saved.
One of the contestants who audition on Sing is Rosita, the mother of 25 piglets. The character is played by Reese Witherspoon, who has done some singing before. She played Johnny Cash’s wife, June Carter, in 2005’s Walk the Line. Rosita is a happy yet harried mom who doesn’t feel appreciated by her kids or her husband and in the trailer, we see a glimpse of who see really is when she lets loose. In Sing, Rosita sings Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and Bananarama’s “Venus.”
“Ever since she was a girl, Rosita has held on to this tiny part of herself she’s been hesitant to share with the world. But once she genuinely owns who she is, this shy mom and wife realizes that it would be criminal not to unleash her talents,” Witherspoon explained.
Pop singer Tori Kelly portrays an elephant teenager named Meena, whose stage fright is bigger than she is. However, she manages to squeak out a few lines from Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in the movie. The Grammy Award-Nominated singer, who recently did a cover version of Amy Grant’s “Baby, Baby,” says that she can relate to Meena.
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a bit of Meena inside,” explained Kelly. “She’s that timid kid who desperately wants to share her gifts with the world, but is always second guessing herself. As an artist, I went to that place of insecurity inside teenage Tori to find my inner Meena. Then you take a deep breath, shake off the nerves and just let the music take over.”
Taron Egerton plays Johnny, a kid with a great voice who is living in the shadow of his father forced to work alongside his dad’s bank-robbing buddies.
“I think that one of the biggest fears we all have is that we will disappoint our parents. All you want is their acceptance, but as you come into your own, you begin to realize that your dreams don’t always intersect with theirs. Johnny’s relationship with his father epitomizes this,” said Egerton.
In the movie, Taron sings Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” John Legend’s “All of Me,” and Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.”
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Sing is Illumination’s sixth film. Beginning in 2010, Illumination began its string of hit movies with Despicable Me, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Despicable Me 2, Minions, and this summer’s big hit, The Secret Life of Pets, which has already received approval from Universal to work on a sequel.
When does the Sing movie come to theaters? The film hits theaters on December 21, 2016. You will find all the character/actor portraits on the official Sing movie website.
[Featured Image by Illumination]