Sing

singEver since Illumination hit the animation scene with ‘Despicable Me’ they have proven that they are the top competitor to the animation crown that has long been held by Disney, either on their own or with Pixar. While not always hitting perfectly, there is no denying their blossoming box office power. Such is the case with 2016’s ‘Sing’.

One of the great things about the breakthroughs in computer animation has been the ability for studios to increase their output and 2016 was just that for Illumination as they not only released ‘Sing’ but also ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ during the summer. While ‘Pets’ has the ability to appeal to both children and adults alike, ‘Sing’ was clearly designed for children first and formost.

With bright animation, tonnes of music and an easy to follow story, ‘Sing’ is a film that is destined to be played over and over again by young children in their homes, but a downfall to the film is the lack of a catchy original song. Still the domain of Disney films, a song to tell the story of a film is something that really does take away from this film.

I will say that the animation looks great, the voice casting takes nothing away from the film, and the as I mentioned, the story is easy to follow and easily does the job required of it. All of this adds up to a great kids film, but at 108 minutes, has a few moments that drags for adults.

If you have kids, this is a film that you should sit down and watch with them, and then let them watch as they will, but I highly doubt you will need more than one or two viewings to be tired of the kid-friendly-ness of ‘Sing’.

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer for all this and much more. Cheers for now.

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Minions

minions

When ‘Despicable Me’ was released in 2010 it essentially came out of nowhere and introduced another player in Illumination Entertainment to the animated film field. What it also did was introduce some yellow pill-shaped characters to the general populace in general and children in particular.

Fast forward five years and we have a spin-off prequel to ‘Despicable Me’ in ‘Minions’. Clocking in at a brisk 91 minutes, ‘Minions’ takes the titular yellow pill-shaped inelligible characters that have become a favourite of Facebook posters, and sets them in an origin film.

In the past week I have discovered just how polarizing the Minion characters have become. Many a person I have talked to despise how the Minions have been corrupted on Facebook, and others have compared them to the Penguins from ‘Madagascar’ fame, as supporting characters that work just perfectly in that role, as support, but not main characters.

Having watched ‘Minions’, I would have to agree one hundred percent with that take on the characters. What worked amazing as a silly break from the original ‘Despicable Me’, and even to a slightly lesser degree in ‘Despicable Me 2’, at times overwhelmed the film this time around.

Now, there are definitely some laughs, but for the most part ‘Minions’ is fully aimed at younger children, and I personally found that it lacked the extra dimension of also having some jokes aimed at parents. This is a hallmark of a truly successful film and as a result this film is severely lacking at times.

I do have to say that ‘Minions’ does prove yet another win this year for Universal Studios, who may be having their best year ever at the theater. Also, for Illumination Entertainment, it continues their good start to delivering animated fare as I will admit that the film does look good.

In the end, Stilt-Bob was not enough for me to fully fall in love with ‘Minions’. The film does its job of selling merchandise and toys to kids, while also giving us a throwaway bone at the end. I won’t mention what happens at the ending, but the ending at least gives us hope that there won’t be a sequel, albeit a small hope.

As always, for all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer, and also take some time to read older reviews of other films. Cheers.