Posted at 6:46 AM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 08:46:44-05

"Sing" makes you feel good. It's a nonstop jam session with adorable animals voices by crooning catchy songs. The message is upbeat and the characters are sweet and earnest.

The flipside is that the movie is as hollow as Justin Timberlake lyrics.

The movie's biggest drawback is that its trailer is so good that it's impossible for the movie to top. It also hurts that the full film does very little to push past the inspiration or content provided in the trailer. What you see in the preview is what you get in the film. Most of the 10-second song clips aren't expanded into 45-second or full versions in the actual movie. The trailer gives you a Whitman's Sampler of the music, and so does the movie.

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Nick Kroll and Tori Kelly all lend their voice talents. The setting is a "Zootopia"-style world in which pigs, gorillas, snails, rabbits and other animals all talk, dress and work dull day jobs. Just about everyone in the community harbors secret dreams of becoming a singing star. But alas, "American Idol" has been canceled and no one watches "The X Factor." If only a Koala club owner would come along to hold a competition that would allow all the crooning animals to strut their stuff on stage!

That opportunity comes, and all the animals line up to audition for the big show. Spoiler alert: That is pretty much all there is to the movie, despite a few inconsequential plot lines that pop up and fade away as everything funnels toward the big finale.

"Sing" is always fun and entertaining, but it takes the "always leave them wanting more" sentiment way too far. This is cotton candy in movie form, with no nutrition or resonance. Its sole purpose is to get animals on stage singing, and although there are hints at emotional resonance, none of it follows through. This is basically "Barney & Friends" in movie form. 

If the filmmakers bothered to go beyond the minimum requirements and record full song performances from each of the characters, maybe they'll put them on the Blu-ray and let you hop back and forth through them like a music album. That would be something far more fulfilling than what the movie as it stands offers. 

RATING: 2.5 stars out of 4.