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Matthew McConaughey stars as dapper koala Buster Moonó, who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times in the event film "Sing," from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures.Illumination Entertainment

A venerable old theatre has fallen on hard times, and so the cry goes up: "Let's put on a show!" The animated children's feature Sing lightly updates a tired premise by making the show a singing contest, but the main attraction here are the characters: well-observed animals of the zoo or the barnyard. Matthew McConaughey makes a bland figure out of Buster Moon, the koala who owns the fading theatre, but the surrounding ensemble is cleverly cast and produces some excellent voice work, including Taron Egerton as a British Invasion gorilla, Scarlett Johansson as a crested porcupine rocker babe, Seth MacFarlane as a Frank Sinatra-wannabe mouse and Garth Jennings (who also wrote and co-directed the film) as the theatre's incompetent secretary, a wizened old iguana. Kids will like the animals and the mayhem and won't mind the predictable plot. Adults should appreciate the entertaining musical pairings.