4K UHD Blu-ray Review: Sing Universal Studios / 2016 / 108 min / Rated PG / Mar 21, 2017

In Blu-Ray’s by Rebecca Wright Comments

Boasting a nice balance of showmanship and heart, Sing is tailor made for the sizable audience glued to the various vocal talent shows that have filled the airwaves in recent years–America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and The Voice. Sing a toe tapping good time, but also the story of people, albeit people as animals, and the value of friendship and family. Granted, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff, but it’s executed pretty well, here.

A fan of live theater since he was a boy, Koala Bear Buster Moon’s (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) dream in life was to own a showplace of his own. With help from his father who saved every penny he could, Buster became the proud owner of a theater. Unfortunately, after a series of flops, the theater is facing it’s final curtain. In a bid to bring back the crowds, Buster decides to stage a singing competition, with the winner receiving $1,000. Whole Buster looks cute and cuddly, he’s just smarmy enough in his business dealings so you don’t exactly root for him, but are curious about the outcome.

The contest ends up drawing far more contestants than Buster ever imagined. Unbeknownst to him, his loyal assistant (voiced by director Garth Jennings) and her wobbly glass eye mistakenly had the prize money printed as $100,000 on the flyer. Broke, Buster doesn’t have the $1000 he intended to offer, forget about $100,000! Anyway, the line to audition is out the door, including a stay-at-home mama pig named Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) saddled with an uncaring husband (Nick Offerman), a small mouse named Mike (Seth MacFarlane), with big dreams of becoming a crooner, a punk porcupine named Ash (Scarlett Johannson), Meena (Tori Kelly) an elephant with stage fright, and a gorilla named Johnny (Taron Egerton) who has been forced into a life of crime. Who will win? How will Buster pay them? will a lesson more important than money rule the day?

There’s music from start to finish in Sing. Whether being sung by the contestants, heard on the radio, in restaurants, etc., From Frank Sinatra to Elton John to Taylor Swift, there are songs almost everyone should recognize. Directed by Garth Jennings, this is his first feature since 2005’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. However, as one half of the duo Hammer & Tongs, he’s directed several music videos, and that experience shows here. The last third of the film where the animals put on a show, is pure unadulterated fun.

The voice work is superb. The main cast seems to understand their characters very well, giving them real heart, and a sense of being. Their love of music comes shining through, and what drove them to the competition (aside from the prize money), is clear. While Sing isn’t quite on the level of the greats of animation, the filmmakers and cast have done a fine job creating an enjoyable family film.

Presented in the 1.85 aspect ratio, Sing doesn’t particularly impressive in 4K.  It’s not that the disc is universally terribly, but we are talking about 4K here. pop in the 1080p Blu-ray for comparison as is my procedure, and there’s very little difference between the two. Clarity is okay, some parts of the image displayed better than others. I would have expected more. Depth is the one area where this disc shows a clear improvement over the Blu-ray. Movement is more fluid. Black levels look consistently appropriate. There doesn’t appear to be any crushing. Colors are strong, but not particularly brilliant in the way that the best 4K discs can be. There is no noise or artifacts to speak of.

The Sing 4K UHD disc has the same Dolby Atmos track as the standard Blu-ray. While the overheads aren’t used as much as you would expect, they are engaged in key moments to create a satisfying experience. Clarity is superb, delivering crisp, clean sound throughout, be it music or ambient sounds. Bass is put to good use here, with a bit of a bump, but not enough to overwhelm. Surround sound is simply awesome. Sound travels accurately, be it a song performance or the car chase in the film. Dialogue is clean, clear, and concise throughout.

English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles are included.

The following extras are available:

Three mini-movies and a making-of:

  • Gunter Babysits (4K UHD, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, 3:47) Gunter looks after Rosita’s children, craziness ensues.
  • Love at First Sight (4K UHD, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, 4:18) Miss Crawly gives online dating a try.
  • Eddie’s Life Coach (4K UHD, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, 4:16) Eddings mother makes him use a product sold via an infomercial.
  • The Making of the Mini-Movies (HD, 5:56) The filmmakers discuss the fun process of creating the shorts.

These additional extras are included on the 1080p Blu-ray:

  • The Making of Sing (HD, 4:40) A quick look at the origins of the film, director Garth Jennings contributions, the voice work, the basis for the animals, the digital animation process, etc.
  • Finding the Rhythm: Editing Sing (HD, 2:44) This very quick piece is more about what is kept in the film, rather than what is taken out.
  • Character Profiles (HD, 12:25 total runtime) Quick interviews with the cast, discussing how they got involved with the project and thoughts on their respective characters. Includes Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, Reese Witherspoon as Rosita, Tori Kelly as Meena, Taron Egerton as Johnny, Nick Kroll as Gunter, and Garth Jennings as Miss Crawley.
  • “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” Music Video (HD, 3:11)
  • Making A Music Video with Tori Kelly (HD, 2:52) The Voice of Meena discusses making the video for “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.”
  • Faith” Music Video (HD, 2:46) Stevie Wonder featuring Ariana Grande.
  • “Faith” Lyric Video (HD, 2:49)Animated with lyrics on the screen so you can sing along.
  • Lyric Video (HD, 3:40) “Set it all Free.”
  • The Sing Network (HD) A five-part feature that is a collection of TV ads for various venues, doodads, and services. The final of the five offers character profiles from the Sing Included are Gunter’s Dance Studio (1:22), The Moon Theater (0:43), Rosita’s Babysitting Gizmo (1:03), Miss Crawly’s Matchmaking Service (0:55), and In the News (9:09 total runtime), which highlights the following characters: Buster Moon, Gunter, Rosita, Johnny, Meena, Ash, and Mike.
  • The Best of Gunter (HD, 1:03) A series of clips featuring the zany character.
  • Blu-ray.
  • Digital HD.
  • Movie
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3.6

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