‘Sing 2’ Is a Musical Delight for the Whole Family

The lovable animal gang is back for “Sing 2,” the sequel to the 2016 animated musical centered around a singing competition. A few years after his theater reopens, koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) directs his talented friends, an assortment of anthropomorphic animals, in a rock musical production of “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s a fun, vibrant show, but scout Suki (Chelsea Peretti) is less than impressed. Determined to make it, Mr. Moon takes his act to Redshore City, but soon finds himself in over his head.

As soon as Moon arrives in Redshore City with his talent, including pig Rosalita (Reese Witherspoon), porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson), gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton) and elephant Meena (Tori Kelly), they cannot help but get stars in their eyes being in the glitzy Vegas-like atmosphere. Although Suki’s boss, media mogul and mobster Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale cracking us up with his best goodfella), almost immediately dismisses them, he changes his tune once pig Gunter (Nick Kroll) pitches an original sci-fi musical show. What seals the deal is when they tell him that reclusive rock star lion Clay Calloway (Bono) is attached. The only problem is, none of them actually know Calloway, who hasn’t performed since his wife’s death 15 years earlier.

Halsey provides comic relief as Porsha, Mr. Crystal’s spoiled daughter, an aspiring singer whom he forces Moon to put in the show. She ends up replacing poor Rosalita in the lead after nerves get the best of her. While Porsha has some impressive pipes, it turns out she can’t act to save her life. But the biggest challenge is convincing Calloway to come on board, which turns out to be a job for superfan Ash. This subplot includes not only tender scenes between Johansson and Bono, but also stirring renditions of a few U2 classics.

Tori Kelly also steals hearts as the shy Meena. She is paired with Darius (Eric André), an ego-driven yak, for a big romantic duet, but there is zero chemistry. To get through it, she imagines singing to Alfonso (Pharrell Willams), a sweetheart ice cream vendor. Rosalita also has a bit of awkwardness to get over, and both characters prove to be very relatable. The cast also includes Nick Offerman as Norman, Rosalita’s supportive husband who takes over looking after their 25 piglets so she can pursue her dream, and Letitia Wright as Nooshy, a lynx street dancer who helps Johnny with his own confidence issues.

Overall, “Sing 2” is an enjoyable ride that both kids and adults can appreciate. It has a nice balance of humor and heart. It’s also visually stunning, especially when it comes to the optics of the musical set in space. There’s also plenty of tension, as there’s more than Mr. Moon’s reputation and the performers’ careers on the line, as Crystal has his henchmen after the koala at one point, and he’s even willing to do his own dirty work when it comes down to it.

Finally, this being a movie called “Sing 2,” the music is the heart and soul of the film. Emotions and pivotal moments are amplified by a string of earworms. While the soundtrack contains few original songs, it does include high-energy versions of some recent and classic hits, such as Alicia Keys’s “Girl on Fire” sung by Halsey, Ariana Grande’s “Break Free” by Witherspoon, and Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” sung by the cast. 

Sing 2” releases Dec. 22 in theaters nationwide.