Unlike the other big companies like Pixar, Disney, or Dreamworks Animation, Illumination Entertainment is a company that’s only been around for a short nine years. Nine years it’s been around, and in that limited time, they’ve managed to make quite a name for themselves. They first landed on the map with their first flick, Despicable Me — a movie that capitalized on the strengths of its heart and, of course, the marketability of the Minions.
Since its 2010 debut, Illumination has made five more films, four of which were one hundred percent animated. The production company may not have the same reputation as the more established companies, but generally, their films tend to be fun crowdpleasers that manage to make bank at the box office. As such, it was inevitable that they’d start to churn out films at a faster rate.
This year, they released The Secret Life of Pets, a film with a fascinating premise, and a whole lot of appeal to kids and pet-lovers alike. The movie itself was fairly well received, even if it didn’t quite fully deliver on its potential, but it continued Illumination’s nearly-flawless streak of box office successes. And when I mean successes, I mean SUCCESSES. They make their films for a paltry $70-80 million apiece, and have most recently raked in over $850 million for each film.
The continued success certainly seems to put the pressure on their latest film, Sing. So far, this one has sort of stayed hidden in the shadow of The Secret Life of Pets, but with that film out of the way and Sing’s release date approaching, the studio knows that the time to promote it is now.
And they came out swinging. This second trailer of the film gives us nearly four minutes of content from the film. Check it out below.
I’m a bit torn on this one. I’ve generally not liked Illumination’s movies. While they tend to be fun, more often than not, I feel they rely far too heavily on immature, lazy jokes and cutesy imagery.
Sing certainly seems to have the “lazy” jokes category covered. Not only is the idea of a talent competition about fifteen years too late, but the overabundance of pop songs looks like one hell of a cringeworthy creative decision.
That being said, more than any of their movies before, this one has the potential to rely the most on its character development and heart. Yes, it has the dumb guise of a played-out talent competition, but at the end of the day, it’s about a group of characters who have long since given up on their hopes and dreams, and who have this last, hail Mary opportunity in front of them. It’s a universal core emotional story that can pretty much resonate with any average audience, and as such, I can see this turning out to be one of their strongest movies yet.
Whether or not they stick the landing on the script front remains to be seen, but in the meantime, enjoy some of the material their marketing threw together.
Below are a series of photos of the main characters of the film along with their real-life actor counterpart.
Nick Kroll on his character, Gunter:
“Gunter knows what we all should: Everything is better in a gold track suit. He is the yin to Rosita’s yang. If she’s hesitant, insecure and brilliantly talented…then Gunter is the one who’s first to hit the stage and shake his piggy patootie; he’s a legend in his own mind. When I first experienced Reese and myself as Rosita and Gunter on the screen, I honestly couldn’t stop grinning.”
Taron Egerton on his character, Johnny:
“I think that one of the biggest fears we all have is that we will disappoint our parents. All you want is their acceptance, but as you come into your own, you begin to realize that your dreams don’t always intersect with theirs. Johnny’s relationship with his father epitomizes this. He only needs Big Daddy to listen, to actually hear him, just once. If that happens, Johnny believes he can become his own man and really soar.”
Tori Kelly on her character, Meena:
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a bit of Meena inside. She’s that timid kid who desperately wants to share her gifts with the world, but is always second guessing herself. As an artist, I went to that place of insecurity inside teenage Tori to find my inner Meena. Then you take a deep breath, shake off the nerves and just let the music take over.”
Seth MacFarlane on his character, Mike:
“What I like about this character is that he has zero concept of just how small he is. Mike is a whirlwind mix of bravado, swagger and showmanship, and he genuinely believes he has nothing to prove. He needs the contest money because he’s made some very poor decisions, and he’s certain that his larger-than-life personality and stage persona hold the ticket to winning.”
Matthew McConaughey on his character, Buster Moon:
“I’ve always regarded Buster as the ultimate creator…a showman who refuses to accept defeat and a guy who will accomplish the impossible through sheer force of will. Others may see his theater collapsing around him, but not Buster. Through his eyes, you’ll begin to imagine the crown jewel of this incredible town…a place where people can truly transform.”
Scarlett Johansson on her character, Ash:
“Once Ash understands that all of the attention, effort and energy she’s been giving her worthless boyfriend has been standing in the way of her own musical gifts, she transforms into a badass. Ash eschews outdated expectations that she should deliver a pop-princess act on the stage and just rocks it out with original music. I adore her.”
Reese Witherspoon on her character, Rosita:
“Ever since she was a girl, Rosita has held on to this tiny part of herself she’s been hesitant to share with the world. But once she genuinely owns who she is, this shy mom and wife realizes that it would be criminal not to unleash her talents. In fact, it’s the love and passion Rosita’s given and received that pours out of her when she embraces her inner diva and lets loose.”
Below is the synopsis for Sing:
“Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.”
“Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.”
“Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.”
What did you think of this latest trailer? Do you think this one has the potential to be a genuinely good film, or is it too hard to get past the overabundance of pop culture references?
Let us know your thoughts down below!
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SOURCE: Illumination Entertainment