LOVE TO SING
When a Koala called Buster Moon is on the brink of losing his beloved theatre, he organises a music competition. ‘All animals great and small’ come out of their lives and participate, but fate (and a trio of angry bears) intervene. Will the cute Koala and his singing menagerie save the theatre? This film is meant for children, but when they play Cohen and Sinatra, you know it’s a win-win for grown-ups too!
Have you harboured secret ambition to be the next star on a TV reality music show? Or participate and win dance championship show? Or simply live dreaming of ‘big things you will do some day’? Then this tug-at-heartstrings film is for you.
The Koala is in so much trouble and yet he is so cute, you begin to root for him and hope the bank does not foreclose on his theatre.
You tap your feet to the music and forget that these are animals. Overworked and under-appreciated housewives, sons who do not wish to follow their father’s footsteps, daughters so shy their talent remains hidden… You have seen these people in your lives. To watch an anthropomorphic film makes those familiar hurts less painful. The film deals with these emotions with very light, deft strokes.
Very small children may not find too much in the film that will keep them engaged, because the treatment of the film is rather adult. And grown up kids may not find the choice of songs like Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Girl From Ipanema’ on Saxophone, or Paul Anka’s ‘My Way’ to their liking. Yes, Ash does compose and sing ‘Freedom’ but the choice of songs still seems a tad more for grown ups with a sense of nostalgia rather than young and hip. In fact, the little kids this generation are not even listening to ‘Call Me Maybe’
The most fun parts are the auditions of course! The Japanese ‘Kira Kira Killer’ and ‘Koi Koi Koi’ performed for a group that refuses to go away, and the lone sheep belting out, ‘Baaaaayyybeee’ from Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ make you smile and you feel in sync when Rosita discovers her inner dancer when she hears Gypsy Kings sing ‘Bamboleo’.
The plot is predictable, but the songs and the way the plot unfolds holds movie magic. What else is there?
(the review appears on nowrunning dot com)