Why Sing 2 is a great ensemble film

Animated musicals for kids have been popular ever since Walt Disney figured out a way to bring audiences Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While Disney continues to be a leader in animated musical releases, other production companies have begun to compete. The genre is shifting from fun adventures to deep, moving, and mature films that are brilliantly animated. Sing 2 is the perfect example of that growth by taking a great ensemble film with real-life consequences and placing them in an anthropomorphic world.

Illumination released the animated family film To sing in 2016. The film follows Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a koala bear who makes one last effort to restore his theater to its former glory. He produces a singing contest that brings together a housewife pig, a shy elephant, a troubled teenage gorilla and a punk-rock porcupine. As the contestants face off, a misunderstanding puts Moon on the hook for more money than he has.


When the film was a box office success, Sing 2 was quickly greenlit and released in 2021. After the events of the first film, the theater is a hit with the contestants as regular recurring cast members. When Buster Moon is turned down by a talent scout, he and the crew head to Redshore City. In the entertainment capital of the world, catching their big break seems harder than expected when they have to coax a reclusive rock star out of retirement. None of them know that entertainment mogul Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale) is a dangerous wolf who doesn’t like when things don’t go his way. The team must work together to pull off a grand space opera, otherwise they may face disastrous consequences.

wonderful characters

The first film introduced a great lineup of characters. Rosita, played by Reese Witherspoon, was a housewife who wanted to get out of her routine to pursue her passion for singing. When paired with the eccentric Gunter, played by Nick Kroll, she is able to open up to stardom. Rosita and Gunter are seen in the brilliant second film as themselves unafraid or embarrassed. Johnny (Taron Egerton), the gorilla who wanted to break away from his father’s criminal lifestyle, goes his own way with the support of his newly rehabilitated father. Ash, a punk-rocker porcupine, played by Scarlett Johansson, was a bright star held back by a bad relationship in the first film. In the second, she is seen as a real rock star without complex.

The elephant Mina, played by Tori Kelly, overcomes her stage fright and learns to try new experiences in life. Buster Moon learns from his mistakes in the first movie and pursues his dreams with everyone’s support rather than on his own. These characters had their own flaws and were relatable on some level. This gave the film an edge in connecting with audiences.

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Individual struggles

While the characters overcame a lot in the first film, the second film changed the setting. It opened up the world and took the characters out of their comfort zones. Each of the characters found themselves in a battle with a new struggle.

Mina is part of a romantic duo although she has never had a boyfriend. Then, while trying to act like she’s in love, she develops a crush on a local ice cream parlor. Johnny is sent to dance class with a renowned choreographer in Redshore City; however, her inexperience leads the choreographer to bully her rather than teach her. Rosita, finally having her chance to play a leading role on the biggest stage of her career, finds herself unable to perform a key stunt due to an extreme fear of heights.

Ash moves from being held behind to the task of convincing reclusive rocker Clay Callaway (Bono) to come out of hiding. As her struggle focuses on an external issue, she must help Callaway see that he is hiding from his emotions. He had locked himself away for 15 years following the death of his wife and had even refused to sing again. This gave a heavy subject to treat for the film.

The real risks

While most of the character stories deal with personal risk of failure, the entire show carries a much greater risk. When Moon throws the musical to Crystal, it was like making a deal with the devil. Moon struggles to keep Crystal satisfied with the production, even going so far as to give her daughter, Porsha played by Halsey, in the main role. However, when Porsha shows she has no acting skills, Moon has to change her role, bringing out Crystal’s true colors. Crystal is a dangerous elite who has the ability to put the entire cast in danger. It even puts Moon’s life in jeopardy.

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The goal as a distribution

The depiction of how a tightly knit cast works together was extremely accurate. When the cast traveled to Redshore City, they went as a group of individual minds, all focused on a common goal. They were going to audition for Crystal and have their show produced on a large scale. When Moon exaggerates his affiliation with Callaway, it sets off a snowball of risk that they all must bear together. The risks of personal failure and mortal peril were aimed at individuals; however, the entire cast faced the dangers together. When one was threatened, they all felt it and took it as an attack on all of them. This gave the public the impression that all the characters were a family. Seeing everyone with their own arcs and struggles, but still working in unison, is what made this a great ensemble film.