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The animated film Sing hits cinemas on the Chinese mainland
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If you take Walt Disney's Zootopia and American musical La La Land and put them together to make a film, it may look like Sing, which hit cinemas on the Chinese mainland on Feb 17.

The animated film, set in a world inhabited by animals, is about a singing competition to save a once-grand theater.

The film was made by Illumination Entertainment, which is owned by Universal Studios. Its production team was also responsible for creating the Minions, the main characters in the Despicable Me franchise.

The film, which premiered on Dec 21 in the United States, earned over $500 million there before hitting the Chinese mainland.

It had earned about 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) in the country as of Tuesday.

In the movie, Buster Moon, a koala, is the theater manager, while the singing-competition contestants are Mike, a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena, a timid teenage elephant; Rosita, an exhausted housewife taking care of 25 piglets; Johnny, a young gorilla looking to escape from his family; and Ash, a punk-rock porcupine struggling to leave her arrogant boyfriend.

Garth Jennings, a British filmmaker best known for his sci-fi comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), wrote the script and directed the film. It's his first feature-length production since 2007.

The film, featuring more than 65 hit songs from recent years, including Firework, Call Me Maybe and Shake It Off, also features Meledandri's longtime collaborator, Janet Healy, on the production roster. The duo has jointly produced all of Illumination's films so far.

Meanwhile, the ratings for Sing on Douban.com, China's main website for filmgoers, climbed from 7.9 out of 10 on Feb 17, to 8.3.

A comment by Xu Zheng, a famous Chinese actor and director, on his micro blog account, says: "I have not laughed so loudly in a cinema for a long time.

"The songs gave me goose pimples. I recommend the film and give it 10 stars."

The English voices in the film are done by Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson, all household names for Chinese filmgoers.

In the Chinese version, the stars who lend their voices to the film are Dong Chengpeng, a popular comedian, and Wu Mochou, a pop-singer known overseas as Momo Wu.

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