Talkin’ Nerdy: Sing – Why Animals?

For a moment, let’s talk about Illumination Studios’ latest (at the time of this writing) movie, Sing.

sing-movie-title-cardJust a quick heads-up; This isn’t going to be a review of the movie. We don’t do movie reviews on this site, and I couldn’t review the film anyway, since I haven’t seen it yet. This isn’t a movie review, it’s just pointless rambling.

Now I’m sure that we all know the story of the film by now; a singing competition, contestants each have their own little drama going on, yada-yada-yada, but the one thing that I’ve been wondering since I saw the first trailer for the movie…


Why is the cast made up entirely of animals?

This is especially curious considering that Sing was released right after Illumination’s last movie, The Secret Life of Pets, in which the animals were, well, pets owned by humans. Compare this to Disney’s Zootopia.


In Zootopia, the animal society made sense because the producers were using different animal species to represent different races and classes, and to show how those different races and classes reacted toward each other.


In Sing, by contrast, this seems to be a parallel to our society, except that everybody’s an animal, and there’s no reason for them to be animals. They just are because it’s a kids movie and kids like talking animals.

Plus, the Sing animals wear shoes. I don’t like it when cartoon animals wear shoes.

My guess is that Illumination felt that kids wouldn’t want to watch an animated movie about humans. I might have, but at this point I’d be willing to sit through any Illumination movie that didn’t have the Minions in it.


We get it. You’re Illumination’s biggest cash cow, but we can’t miss you if you don’t go away.

There’s a belief among my friends and colleagues that I dislike anthropomorphic animals. This isn’t the case. I like anthropomorphic animals, there are just a very specific set of conditions in order for me to enjoy them. Generally, I prefer it when animal characters are in a recognizable human environment as opposed to just turning human characters into animals for no reason. I prefer when the people are people and the animals are animals and you don’t mix the two. First, I’m OK with animals that talk or occasionally walk like humans, just as long as said animals don’t live under the delusion that they are human! Referring to other animals as “animals” as though they’re something different and such.


I’m looking at you, Beary Family!

Second, if you’re going to have a society where there are no humans and the characters are essentially human characters in animal guise, then don’t have them interacting with “real” animals!


Anthros and non-anthros existing in the same universe is just plain weird. It’s impossible for me to get my mind around it.

Another question comes to mind: In a universe where all of the animals are intelligent, what do they eat?

I think that ideally, I prefer a world like the one in Warner Brothers’ movie Storks


In which the animals live in a recognizable human environment and  are acknowledged as animals, despite their being intelligent and being to talk directly to the humans.

So it’s not that I dislike anthropomorphic animals in cartoons, it’s just that the situation has to make sense. I still may see Sing at some point. I’ll probably rent it when it comes to Blu-Ray. Also, from a personal observation…


Judy Hopps is far cuter than the rabbits in Sing.


One thought on “Talkin’ Nerdy: Sing – Why Animals?

  1. Cats Don’t Dance also used anthropomorphic animals allegorically; they represented foreign actors struggling for fame and recognition in Golden Age Hollywood, but it’s also worth mentioning that CDD features talking animals alongside of cartoon humans (with the humans representing the Caucasian starlets who got the bulk of the fame and were the toasts of the town, as embodied by the Shirley Temple parody who was the villain of the piece), it was another case like Storks.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s