Look, you can’t blame a studio for taking notice when something is working and wanting to replicate their own success. Sequels wouldn’t get greenlit unless someone, somewhere, wanted them. It makes perfect fiscal sense for upstart animation studio Illumination to follow up on their blockbusters Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing. But, god, did they have to announce them all at once like that?
It has long been a fine American tradition to escape the awkward enclosure of your parents’ house over your holiday vacation and spend a few hours in the local movie theater, where everyone can shut up about politics and stop swapping passive aggressive comments on each other’s lifestyle for a few hours. 2016 was no different, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Sing drawing in the big crowds while La La Land and Fences impressed in limited release. Not so impressive: Passengers, Why Him?, and Assassin’s Creed, each of which underperformed.
Here’s the thing: After this election, many of you will undoubtedly endure awkward and possibly contentious Thanksgiving dinners with your families. And after that, some of you will get up before the sun rises the next day to participate (either willingly or as the reluctant hostage of a loved one) in the harrowing tradition known as Black Friday. By Saturday, you will find yourself in dire need of a reminder that there is still joy in this world. Lucky for you, AMC Theatres and Universal have your back with free screenings of Sing.
Since the introduction of the Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002, we’ve seen a steady exponential increase in animated movies over the years. Pixar, and, by extent, Disney, has usually dominated the competition, with eight wins out of ten nominations, followed by DreamWorks and Disney’s animation studio. This year, we have a record 27 movies eligible for the award, and while the Academy can pick only five to nominate, for now it’s anyone’s game.
With a summer movie season as bad as this one, the closer we get to fall festivals, the better. In a little over a month we’ll get our first look at the the fall movie season when the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival kicks off on September 8. TIFF is the major fall festival, following Venice and Telluride, that gives us our first glimpse at major awards season players.
This is a big year for animated movies featuring talking animals: Zootopia, Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets and now, Sing. But what sets the latest adventure apart from its animated brethren is right there in the title, and you can get a taste of what’s in store this Christmas thanks to a new extended trailer, featuring the voices of Matthew McConaughey and a whole bunch of other people you really like.