It’s no secret I have a guilty fondness for the original Sing movie (2016). In fact, I set my Alexa to wake me up with the chipper, highly singable tunes I play imaginary karaoke to in the privacy of my shower. The movie narrative itself is charming and upbeat, with a great message about inclusivity. These top five songs from the movie make up a nice mini-playlist to have on repeat in the background, while you do whatever to get ready around the house.
Spoiler Warning: Go see Sing 1 first, or just use these notes as a refresher before seeing Sing 2. (Yes, there is a sequel no one asked for coming to the theaters on Dec. 22, 2021. I’m excited anyway.)
It doesn’t hurt that the singing cast includes such luminaries as Scarlette Johanssen (Ash Porcupine), Taron Edgerton (Johnny Gorilla), Seth McFarlane (Mike Mouse), Reese Witherspoon (Rosita Pig), Tori Kelly (Meena Elephant), and Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon the Koala._
Here’s a quick list, with added YouTube videos of the top hits from the animated Sing.
- The top spot HAS to go to Taron Edgerton in what amounts to an audition for his Elton John role in Rocketman. Edgerton is uncanny at being John in a smash piano performance that ultimately allows his father to see him as who he really is — as a singer — not an armed robbery getaway driver for the family “business”. The reunion scene between them gets me misty-eyed every time. Here’s Edgerton’s powerhouse performance as Johnny Gorilla in I’m Still Standing.
2. The second spot has to go to the absurdly unexpected performance by Mike Mouse, played by none other than Seth McFarland. That man has a voice. He sounds better than Frank Sinatra, until the end of the song, where he’s forced to finish under trying circumstances at best. Who knew the man behind American Dad, Family Guy, and The Orville had this kind of powerfully smooth singing voice beneath his usual low-brow humor? His consummate skill was a huge shock in the story, especially because of Mike’s continual dismissal of the amateur hour he disdainfully saw around him.
Here’s Mike singing My Way to an awed crowd.
3. The 3rd spot rightfully belongs to Tori Kelly, as Meena Elephant, in a rendition of Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing that LITERALLY brought the house down. After hiding her voice for most of the movie, this moment was revelatory and really important to the tale. It’s a crowd-pleaser. Enjoy!
4. It’s getting harder to hand out these awards in order because everyone is excellent. Here we’ll give the 4th slot to Scarlett Johanssen. Didn’t know she could sing? Neither did we. It’s not fair to be beautiful and talented and famous all at once. Maybe she isn’t a great dancer? (Hard to say with all those choreographed superhero moves — maybe she really is an Avenger).
Her role as the ‘prickly’ teen rocker Ash Porcupine is sweet, and most of us can relate to her powerful song of self-affirmation in the wake of an ugly breakup. It’s also the only original song on the Sing docket. I love her spines flinging all over the audience in her zeal. The other animals didn’t seem to mind, after all. Set It All Free is really Sing’s answer to Gloria Gaynor’s classic 1978 female-empowerment anthem I will Survive.
5. Gunther and Rosita’s (Nick Kroll and Reese Witherspoon, respectively) porcine performance might feature the most amusing and engaging song in the entire movie. It’s easy to be surprised at how ‘Piggy Power’ actually works in this fun rendition of Shake it Off. I like it better Taylor Swift’s original. Playful and cute as this is, we’ll give it the 5th spot, with a big old smile from viewer’s hearts, judging by public adoration of this surprisingly competent dynamic duo.
Do you agree with my rankings? Comments are below and we for sure read all of them. I’d love to know what you think of this underappreciated little film and encourage you to at least give it a look with your family.
So, Sing 2 premiers December 22 of 2021
You know I’ll be there with my notes to find Peetimes opening night. It looks like the whole interspecies crew is back. With higher stakes. It seems more than satisfactory. Yeah!
Here’s the Sing 2 trailer to get you pumped for this ‘Children’s movie” that adults can unashamedly sing along to.
Hey, this is America’s Got Talent: Animal Edition, after all!
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)