This animated offering taps into our continued fascination with shows like “American Idol” and “America's Got Talent”---we just love music.  And who doesn't want to be a star?

            A koala named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) is the owner and promoter of a theater that's rapidly going out of business, with the bank on the phone and angry unpaid employees banging at the door.  But Buster Moon is not yet ready to give up.  He feels like he has one more great idea in him:  a talent show, open to everyone, with a grand prize of $1,000, which is all he has.  But his dutiful long-time secretary, the bug-eyed Miss Crawly (voiced by writer and director Garth Jennings) mistypes the flyer, and it comes out $100,000:  which brings out a line around the block.  Along with a few ambitious thugs.

            The opening sequence gives us a preview to some of the talent:  a pig with 25 piglets named Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a Rat-pack-like mouse named Mike (voiced by Seth McFarland), a shy elephant with low self-esteem named Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly), a singing gorilla from a family of criminals named Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton), a would-be punk-rocker porcupine named Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).  The great part is that we get just a little character development here, which makes us root for them when they're performing.  But including the tryouts and the voiceovers, we hear more than 85 popular songs from decades past and present, and well, we just love the music.

            It's upbeat, it's exuberant, it's funny, it's a toe-tapper, and it's a crowd-pleaser.  If you have any music at all in you, you'll enjoy it. 


Quesions for Discussion:

1)                  Name five of your favorite pop songs.

2)                  Name five of your favorite pop artists.

3)                  Ever wanted to perform music to a live audience?


Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association