Best movie about crooning animals

Talking animals in animated movies is nothing new, so as the title suggests, expect these critters to do some singing.

Opening just before Christmas Day, “Sing” could very well take place in the same world as Disney’s “Zootopia,” except that British writer/director Garth Jennings (“Son of Rambow”) gives the humor in this comedy a very different sensibility. It looks and feels different even from Illumination Entertainment’s other movies like “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Matthew McConaughey voices Buster Moon, the koala bear owner of a failing theater who needs to find a way to save it. He gets the brainstorm to hold an “American Idol” style singing competition. Due to a clerical error, the supposed $1,000 prize turns into $100,000, which gets the Moon Theater swarmed with suitable (and far less suitable) candidates entering Buster’s contest.

Rosita is a pig, voiced by Reese Witherspoon, and a housewife who has to care for 25 piglets while her husband brings home the bacon. Meena (Tori Kelly), an elephant, has a beautiful voice, but is too shy to perform for others. Then there’s Johnny (Taron Egerton from “Kingsman: The Secret Service”), a gorilla with a soulful voice whose father wants him to take part in the family crime business, and porcupine punk rocker Ash (Scarlett Johansson), who ends up breaking up with her boyfriend and going solo in the competition. Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) voices Mike the mouse, an old-fashioned crooner who just wants the money so he can live the high life.

It’s how these creatures from different walks of life interact while being “trained” by Buster that makes the film so strange and funny. Lots of visual humor coming from Buster’s one-eyed lizard assistant Miss Crawley (voiced by Jennings) and Rosita’s exploits with her eclectic dance partner Gunter (Nick Kroll).