By Catholic News Service
Generally amiable but flawed musical cartoon, populated mostly by animals, in which the koala bear owner (voice of Matthew McConaughey) of a failing theater aims to revive his business by staging a singing contest. The quintet of finalists in the competition comprises a conceited mouse (voice of Seth MacFarlane) who croons in a Sinatra-like style, a gifted teenage elephant (voice of Tori Kelly) afflicted with stage fright, a harried pig housewife (voice of Reese Witherspoon) run ragged by her 25 children, a gorilla gangster’s son (voice of Taron Egerton) who would rather belt out Elton John tunes than help his dad steal and a porcupine punk rocker (voice of Scarlett Johansson) coping with the selfishness of her live-in boyfriend.
Friendship and loyalty are triumphant amid plot complications that include a typo escalating the winner’s prize a hundredfold. But writer-director Garth Jennings, who also provides the voice of the good-hearted but dimwitted lizard secretary responsible for that error, incorporates into his film not only a living arrangement that has no place in a movie aimed at children but a German-accented male stage partner (voice of Nick Kroll) for Witherspoon’s character who exudes swishy enthusiasm and favors glitzy leotards.
Probably acceptable for mature teens. Cohabitation, some scatological humor, scenes of peril. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.