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'Sing' first teaser trailer

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Here is the first teaser trailer for Illumination Entertainment’s Sing, from the studio that brought us two (so far) Despicable Me features and one (so far) Minions feature, and that is going to bring us The Secret Life of Pets.

Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets are all set in the human world. Sing takes place in a totally anthro world, like Disney's Zootopia. Are any of us planning theater parties, like there are to see Zootopia, when Sing comes out on December 21, 2016?

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Your rating: None

So, who had the worst timing of the three confirmed "anthro world" furry movies of 2016 (and that's ignoring the still waiting on the release date trio of Spark, Rock Dog and Sly Cooper)?

First, Kung Fu Panda 3, who flinched when it realized it was up against freakin' Star Wars, then flinched again when it realized its new date put it up against freakin' Avengers 2.5 (even if we call it a Captain America movie), and for the third time in a row, despite quite easily arguably the best furry franchise, is looking to release in a year where someone else has either a more popular movie (Bolt versus the original) or a just better movie (Rango versus 2), and we'll find out in a week which one Zootopia is.

Second, Zootopia, who advertises specifically its anthro world status in the one year in American cinematic history where that doesn't make it unique for the year.

Third, Sing, which would probably look fine any other year, releases those character designs while Disney is doing a highly detailed, semi-realistic look in Zootopia and DreamWorks is doing the stylish designs of Kung Fu Panda, so that it looks like a cheap knockoff, even though it really isn't (also, Fred, even if we were going to do Sing parties, that Christmas release date makes it kind of awkward).

Your rating: None

The only thing that I can figure (besides Sony and Illumination's losing its collective minds) is that the December 21st release date is designed to attract everyone who is totally sick of the Christmas hype by then, and who considers a thoroughly non-Xmas family movie just four days before Christmas as a welcome exception.

Besides, if the theaters are otherwise empty then, that will make it easier for furry "Sing" theater parties. Some theater managements may even welcome the furry trade.

Still, how difficult would it have been for Sony to delay its "Sing" release for a couple of weeks, until after Christmas and New Year's Day? What other new movies are scheduled for January 2017 that "Sing" would be up against?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

January and February are dump months; it doesn't look good to have a movie there (unless, maybe, you pass it off as "for the Chinese New Year"). It may not be about box office; maybe Illumination feels like this is the one, and they can finally win (or at least be nominated for) the animation Oscar (at the very least, though the trailer doesn't seem to bear it out, a movie called Sing has to have at least one possible Original Song nominee, right?), and a late year release may be about that.

However, since the trailer apparently premiered during the Grammys, at least one box office pundit I both respect and follow is pretty sure its going to do boffo box office (even if he, admittedly, was not exactly clear it is coming Christmas 2016). Also, off topic, but why in the hell is anybody excited about another literal Star Wars prequel? I liked the director's last movie, and the last Star Wars movie, and I hope this thing bombs so badly they insta-cancel all future crappy spinoffs (wishful thinking, but I wishfully think it).

But, getting back on topic, that release date may be a "counter-programming" against Star Wars; also, Christmas is actually a busy time at the theaters. Big movies come out, and it gives people a chance to break from all the holiday rigmarole. I think this is hoping for people sick of Star Wars, not the holidays; also, family audiences of the "I've got the nieces, and Star Wars is sold out, Qualifying Run For Oscar sounds boring to me, so singing pig movie, it is!" set. Empty theaters isn't the problem with furry parties; Christmas parties and general holiday stuff is the problem.

Your rating: None

That time period (end of December) might be favored for "family" films on account of the number of families with children who are looking for fun things to do during the week or more that children are out of school.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I'm extremely torn.

I really like Anthropomorphics.

I really despise "American Idol" shows.

Your rating: None

This is just a teaser trailer. I'm hoping that the movie will turn out to have a plot within it. After all, the first teaser for "Zootopia" didn't indicate anything more than a fox/con man and a rabbit/policewoman rivalry. This "Sing" trailer hints at having a gorilla criminal; something more can be done with that.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

To be really blunt, I wasn't excited for this film when it was first announced in November and I'm sure not changing my opinion now.

Something that has to be mentioned, is Illumination has been touting that the film will feature 85 "Hit Songs" that'll be sung by the cast. For me that's a massive red flag, not only this is a Jukebox Musical, but one that's trying to cram as many different songs as it can into the film.

On another forum in reaction to this trailer someone said it best. "When older audiences say they don't like kids/animated movies, this is what they mean." Ouch.

Your rating: None

This movie would be hard to get super excited for if Norm of the North was its main competition of the year, furry wise. But its not. It's so not. Maybe memories will fade come December, but releasing your first trailer right in between the similar but much better looking Kung Fu Panda 3 and Zootopia's releases is not doing it any favors.

Your rating: None

Hmm. I think this might get lost a bit in the shuffle, and it seems almost every month has an animated movie now except February and October. I wonder when Rock Dog will open.
I really don't know much about this movie. It's not quite like Secret Life Of Pets which just looks horribly bland, this looks at least kind of unique. I'll probably see it but I really can't say much for the quality of it from the trailer so far.

I'm a different furry with different opinions.

Proud Staffer of VancouFur 2017~

Your rating: None

I wonder how much story they'll attempt to cram into what appears to be a "Ooh, I remember that song!" nostalgia type movie. Really looks like they're banking on celebrity power to bring in the audience, hopefully that won't be in lieu of good writing... but hey, looks cute at least.

This far in advance with little to go on, no idea how it'll do but my guess is it won't do too well in theaters but may find some life on dvd.

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but hey, looks cute at least.

No, it doesn't.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Snooze Ya Lose... I had a concept running through my head for years, an ensemble anthro movie called "Battle Bands"... Oh well. If you've got an idea kids, make it. NOW.

Your rating: None

I can't cancel this.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

Here is the second trailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qc9-cdIWxk

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

This is the first time I've heard of this movie. I'm digging the anthro aesthetic but a little disappointed not to see any of the popular furry species. The gorilla looks cool, though.

It looks like the hip-hop singers are not part of the credited main cast, which is odd. Even if you don't like hip-hop, part of what makes a singing contest interesting is the variety of musical styles being performed. And hip-hop is still incredibly popular so to see it unrepresented seems weird to say the least.

Also I'm betting money that the elephant wins the contest. They're obviously setting up the "shy singer finds her true voice" arc with that character.

Your rating: None

"Sing" and "The Secret Life of Pets" are being made by Illumination Entertainment, the studio that made the two "Despicable Me" and the "Minions" movie. It wants to prove that it can make something besides those. (It made "Hop" earlier, but nobody wants more Easter Bunny animation.)

The first "Sing" trailer just showed a montage of different singing styles and animals. This second trailer shows more of the plot, which seems to emphasize the more sympathetic characters who 'deserve' to win the contest. Will it be one of them, or will it be a Dark Horse? (or elephant?)

Illumination is an example of the new kind of animation companies today. Its movies are planned, written, storyboarded, and voice-recorded in Hollywood. Its animation production studio is in Paris.

"Sing" is probably wise if it concentrates on emphasizing sympathetic characters. I think the real reason that "Ratchet and Clank" is failing while Disney's "Zootopia" and "The Jungle Book" are big successes is that none of the characters in "Ratchet and Clank" are sympathetic. Ratchet comes across for too long as a liar or someone who's unaware of his own faults (or who won't admit them). Do any of the characters in the "Sly Cooper" trailer look any more sympathetic?

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

One of the things you tend to hear about these days is that Hollywood is incredibly risk-averse, putting more money into safe products rather than spreading the money around a variety of original-but-untested ideas. Obviously the problem with this trend is that the variety of Hollywood movies is much smaller than it used to be, but the upside is that the movies we ARE getting are polished to a shine. There is so much good film-making talent concentrated on tried-and-true character arcs and story beats that even movies that would have been considered impossible to do well years ago, like Captain America Civil War, are finding critical and commercial success.

And if anyone embodies that transition in Hollywood, it's John Lasseter. With regards to themes, characters and humour, Toy Story is still the model for almost every movie that has come out of Pixar in the twenty years since. And the moment that John Lasseter started overseeing Disney Animation Studios, their films also began adopting those same traits. I've lost count of the number of films that are about two mismatched characters going on a journey where they encounter a string of whimsical places and characters. But that all said, the formula has lasted this long because it works very well. While not every Disney/Pixar film is a success, they're still putting out a fairly reliable string of commercial and critical hits.

Still, it's nice to see Dreamworks and Illumination offering some alternatives to the John Lasseter formula. Watching the How To Train Your Dragon films, I miss the days when Disney would regularly adapt novels because they were a good source of original ideas and different character dynamics. And while I'm not particularly impressed by the idea of an animated singing contest movie (reality TV has made the contest formulas way too obvious at this point), I still appreciate that it's something different. But I think what Hollywood animation is sorely lacking now is animated drama. I can't recall a single CGI animated movie that wasn't a comedy (Wall-E is less jokey but still not really a drama). Thankfully we still have foreign films to fill the gap, such as Song of the Sea, but I would like to see the Hollywood animators take a stab at drama again. It feels like a lost art.

Your rating: None

Here is the third trailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_jxPEwJNeA

Fred Patten

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics