Paris based animation studio Illumination Mac Guff, a subsidiary of Illumination Entertainment, may have produced several notable feature films since their establishment in 2011. Their archive of animated features was all produced under the leadership of American CEO, and film producer, Chris Meledandri in partnership with Universal Pictures. Illumination’s debut film was a 3D computer animated comedy feature Despicable Me; since the release of Despicable Me, Illumination continued to release several animated feature films, each aiming to tell a new story. To date, Illumination has released five films, which include Dr Suess’ The Lorax, Minions and a sequel to their original film, Despicable Me 2. Most recently, Illumination released their fifth production in the summer of 2016, The Secret Life of Pets. Following the worldwide distribution of The Secret Life of Pets, it seems Illumination began work on their sixth, and latest, production.
Featuring a cast of animated and talking animals once again, Illumination’s 6th film release aims to be the musical comedy Sing. Universal Pictures may, like Illumination’s previous titles, distribute Sing, worldwide. Chosen to direct Illumination’s latest animated feature is writer/director Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Accompanying director Garth Jennings during the production of Sing, and marking their first collaboration together, is Illumination Entertainment’s CEO Chris Meledandri. Sing aims to tell the tale of a grand theatre owner who decides to produce a singing competition one day, with the aim of restoring the theatre to its former glory. The owner of this grand theatre is a Koala named Buster, voiced by Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, The Wolf of Wall Street). When Buster sets out to establish his singing competition the audience may be introduced to a cast of anthropomorphic animals who each seem to exude personality.
Buster’s search for talent narrows as five singers seems to make an impression on the Koala with their vocal talents. There’s Johnny the cockney gorilla, voiced by Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle), who’s passion for soulful singing leads him to become involved in Buster’s singing competition. A teenage porcupine named Ash, voice by Scarlett Johansson (Avengers Assemble, Lost in Translation), also joins the competition and seeks to bring her passion for punk-rock to the stage. The cast if Sing also adds a pig named Rosita, voiced by Academy Award Winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Legally Blonde), who is also a mother to 25 piglets. Seth MacFarlane (Ted, Family Guy) also makes an appearance as Mike, the mouse with a penchant for jazz, and rounding out the lead contestants is the shy teenage elephant Meena, voiced by Tori Kelly who makes her cinematic debut with Sing.
With this dynamic cast of animals, each representing a different genre of music, Sing aims to be a musical comedy which appeals to a wide audience. These relatable characters seem to all arrive at Buster’s grand-theatre hoping to seize an opportunity which may change the course of their lives. The man responsible for creating the look of Sing’s animals is character designer Eric Guillon, who’s work with Illumination may have been seen since the company’s debut animated feature, Despicable Me. With a varied team, working on animation to voicing characters, Sing aims to pull together a talented crew and develop a film which may capture how it feels to be a creative person in the entertainment industry. “For the past several years, Sing has been a labour of love for everyone at Illumination, as well as the tireless performers who have poured their hearts into this movie” said Chris Meledandri, founder, and CEO of Illumination.
Sing aims to release in the UK 27th January 2017.
How does Illumination aim to tell an emotive tale featuring animals with Sing?