You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Seth MacFarlane Serenade Crowd at ‘Sing’ Premiere

Music echoed through the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live Saturday evening for the premiere of “Sing,” the latest in star-studded, song-filled animated fare from Universal and Illumination Entertainment.

Cast members Jennifer Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Seth MacFarlane were among the celebrities who walked the red carpet, along with Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri and producer Janet Healy. NBCUniversal vice chairman, Ron Meyer, was seen snacking on popcorn prior to the film’s start.

Legendary recording artist Stevie Wonder, who sings the original track “Faith” in the singing competition-inspired film — which includes 103 tunes in total — was also on hand for the festivities.

“There’s Stevie Wonder, standing right there, and he is a legend,” marveled “Sing” director Garth Jennings. “And seriously, when Stevie Wonder says, ‘I love your movie, I love your songs, can I do another…?’ Things like that are miracles. That doesn’t happen very often in a lifetime, never mind a career. I’m about as grateful as I can get.”

Jennings, who notes that the filmmakers never could have predicted the outcome of this latest election, nonetheless considers “Sing” the perfect antidote to today’s trying times.

“It is a joy fest,” he says. “It is unashamedly joyful and that was, from the outset, our mission. There are weird coincidences, like the fact [the song] ‘Hallelujah’ features very prominently and, of course, we lost Leonard Cohen and that song has taken on a new meaning lately. But you can’t ever predict these things because you are making decisions about a movie three years before it’s finished. I’m so proud of it because of that reason, that people seem to really, really enjoy it as much as we always hoped.”

“Sing” composer Joby Talbot said he was hooked on the film’s premise from the moment he read the script.

“I’m an old friend of Garth Jennings,” says Talbot. “He asked me to come on board and when I read this script I was just like, there is no way I’m passing this up. It’s just such a beautiful thing.”

Talbot’s favorite composition was the one he penned for Witherspoon’s character, Rosita the pig, a frustrated, stay-at-home housewife with 25 piglets who longs to launch a singing career.

“There’s one for the bit where Rosita rigs up her whole house with this crazy invention to be able to feed the kids so she can go off and do the show, and I did this whole really kind of over-the-top, big orchestral number for that which I was really proud of,” said Talbot.

Welsh newcomer Taron Egerton, who plays Johnny the gorilla in the film, said that what attracted him to the role was Johnny’s determination to forge a different career path than his criminal dad.

“Johnny the gorilla is from the wrong side of the tracks,” said Egerton. “His dad is a bank robber, and, although he loves him very much, he’s trying to coax him into going down the same path that he has—he wants him to be the getaway driver for his gang. Johnny doesn’t want to do this. He just wants to sing.”

“Sing” is a movie “about real people who you really root for and really want the best for,” added Talbot.

“It’s about people pulling together and looking out for one another,” he continued. “And it’s about friendship and love and it’s just a beautiful message.”

Following the film, lucky guests were treated to a surprise concert by select cast members. McFarlane crooned Bing Crosby’s “Pennies from Heaven,” Tori Kelly performed a jazzy rendition of Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” before teaming up with Hudson on Leonard Cohen’s haunting and beautiful “Hallelujah.” Wonder also performed a medley that included bits from “Superstition” and “Sir Duke,” and Hudson later brought down the house with her deeply soulful, melancholic rendition of The Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road track “Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/The End.”

At the “Sing” after-party, guests had their choice of hotdogs, tater tots, baked ziti, Caesar salad, and an assortment of cupcakes, cookies and sweets. A make-your-own “Sing” character t-shirt station, balloons galore, karaoke and dancing kept both kids and adults entertained for hours.

“Sing” bows Dec. 21.

More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content