Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Offerman, Leslie Jones, Jennifer Saunders
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Story: Animated musical comedy written and directed by Garth Jennings. The story is set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals. A koala bear named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist (and yes, maybe a bit of a scoundrel) who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing 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. So hires a black sheep named Eddie (John C. Reilly), who is also his best friend, to help him run the show.
Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse, Mike (Seth MacFarlane), who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant, Meena (Tori Kelly), with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother, Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla, Johnny (Taron Egerton), looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine, Ash (Scarlett Johansson), struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.
Verdict: Charming enjoyable family movie with a lovely inspirational although cliched storyline, it just doesn’t come off as an instant classic.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 27)
[after waking up, getting dressed and getting out of his desk drawer in his office]
Buster Moon: And cue with the crazy old lizard.
[Miss Crawley enters the office]
Miss Crawley: Good morning, Mr. Moon. I got Judith from the bank on line two.
Buster Moon: Actually I’m going to have to call her back.
[after they’ve just managed to get away from stealing money from a bank]
Marcus: You were supposed to be keeping a lookout!
Johnny: Sorry, dad.
[Johnny visits his dad in prison]
Marcus: Where were you?
Johnny: I was at a rehearsal. Dad, I don’t want to be in a gang. I want to be a singer.
Marcus: How did I end up with a son like you?
[he turns and leaves in anger]
Johnny: I’ll get out! Dad, wait! I’ll get the money, I promise!
Buster Moon: My theater has been going through some pretty rough times lately, so what do I do?
Buster Moon: No. My next show is going to be, drumroll please… A singing competition! Just think your neighbor, the, the grocery store manager, that chicken, right there! Real talent from real life.
Buster Moon: My theater has been going through some pretty rough times, so what do I do?
Eddie: A carwash?
Buster Moon: No. My next show is going to be, drumroll please… A singing competition!
Eddie: Who wants to see another one of those!
Buster Moon: Everyone! Your neighbor, the, the grocery store manager, that, that chicken, right there! Real talent from real life, that’s what audiences want and I’m gonna give it to them!
Rosita: Norman, would you please tell them what a good singer I am.
Norman: Oh, yeah. You were great, honey. By the way, the bathroom sink is blocked again. Bye, honey.
Meena’s Grandpa: If I had a voice like Meena’s I’d be a superstar by now! Just singing, ooh, yeah, happy, ooh, yeah…
Meena: Sure you would, Grandpa. Now blow out your candles.
Buster Moon: How are we doing with those flyers, Miss Crawley?
Miss Crawley: Oh, goo…
[we see Miss Crawley holding a ton of flyers which suddenly get blow out the open window]
Mike: I’m here to win. That prize, it’s mine.
Buster Moon: This will be the biggest hit show this city has ever seen! Everyone gets a shot at being a star live on my stage.
[Rosita trips and falls on the stage as another pig is auditioning on the stage]
Buster Moon: Are you okay?
Gunter: Oh, yes, I’m fine, thank you. How are you?
Buster Moon: This is it, folks. You better be ready to work harder than you ever worked in your lives!
Eddie: [to Buster] This show is not going to save your theater! Maybe it’s time to just move on.
[to his hands as he’s about to play the piano]
Johnny: Come on! You know how much this means to us!
Gunter: You can’t just sing it; you’ve got to show the fire of desire!
Rosita: The fire went out a long time ago.
[excited to share her news with Norman, her husband]
Rosita: You are not going to believe what I did today!
[she finds Norman asleep, snoring loudly on the couch]
Johnny: I could really use some extra piano lessons.
[he tries playing but hits the piano keys in frustration]
Miss Crawley: Yes, that was very bad.
Buster Moon: A defining moment in all of our lives!
[getting ready for their audition]
Rosita: Are you ready, big guy?
Gunter: Yeah, I’m like totally ready.
Gunter: We’re going to be spicy, no?
Buster Moon: Yeah!
Buster Moon: [to Meena] Don’t let fear stop you from doing the thing you love.
Buster Moon: You know what’s great about hitting rock bottom, there’s only one way left to go, and that’s up!
Gunter: This stage is about to explode with major piggy power!
[over the speakers as Rosita finishes doing her shopping]
Store Announcer: This store will close in fifteen minutes.
[suddenly Bamboléo starts playing over the speakers and Rosita starts dancing to it in the empty store]
Store Announcer: The lady in aisle six, that was awesome.
[Rosita smiles in embarrassment as the guy over the speaker claps for her]
Buster Moon: If you want to become stars and win a hundred grand, then you’d better be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your lives!
Meena: I can sing, but I get so scared.
Meena’s Grandfather: Come on, be confident! Don’t you want this!
Meena: I can’t move! I’m terrified!
Buster Moon: Just sing.
Buster Moon: Why aren’t you rehearsing?
Frog: I’m through! They said I’m an intolerable egomaniac! I don’t even know what that means!
Total Quotes: 27