Bursting onto the scene with 2010 hit Despicable Me - which grossed a staggering $543.1 million worldwide on a budget of only $69 million - animation production house Illumination Entertainment has quickly carved out a space for itself as one of the premiere sources of animated features. Outside of introducing the world to the still highly profitable Despicable Me franchise and its lovable Minion characters, Illumination has also released the Easter Bunny comedy Hop, and the Dr. Seuss based The Lorax. The company's next project is The Secret Life of Pets, which is projected to knock off Pixar's Finding Dory after three weeks of aquatic box office dominance.
Illumination is riding a wave of positive buzz into Secret Life, and hopes to continue that momentum with Sing, another animal centered family-friendly romp.
Illumination released a new trailer for Sing (above), which takes place in a world populated entirely by animals and stars Matthew McConaughey - in only his second animated feature - as the voice of an optimistic koala named Buster Moon. Buster's theater business has hit hard times, and he's come up with the idea of holding an American Idol-style singing competition in the hopes of generating interest and turning things around. Auditions for the contest are open city-wide, leading many residents to take a shot at fulfilling their dreams of stardom.
As is usual for high-profile animated projects, the cast supporting McConaughey in Sing is full of other big name stars. Reese Witherspoon plays contest hopeful Rosita, a pig who gave up her teenage ambitions of a singing career in order to start a family that now includes 25 piglets. Seth MacFarlane plays Mike, a mouse with a Sinatra-esque voice and an ego to match. Real life singer/songwriter - and former American Idol contestant - Tori Kelly plays Meena, a teenage elephant with stage fright who finds herself pressured to succeed by her family. Other members of Sing's packed cast include John C. Reilly as Buster's doubting sheep best friend, Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as a gorilla who would rather sing than join his family's criminal empire, and Scarlett Johansson as a alternative-rocking porcupine.
While one could argue that the idea of a movie based around a singing competition would have been more timely ten years ago, it's hard to argue with Illumination's track record so far. Even their least successful movie to date - that being Hop - made nearly $200 million on a $63 million budget. In short, they seem to know what they're doing. With Secret Life of Pets garnering mostly good reviews, here's hoping Sing is able to end Illumination's year on a similar high note.
Sing serenades theaters on December 21st, 2016.
Source: Illumination Entertainment