Buster Moon is History’s Greatest Monster

If you want an animated movie that teaches all the wrong lessons to kids, Sing will fulfill your desire. The film pulled in more than $600 million worldwide and garnered positive reviews from critics who seemed to miss something very important: Buster Moon is a monster who must be stopped.

Taking place in a discount Zootopia, the film follows Buster Moon, a koala whose theater is failing. To movie tries to deliver a moral about the importance of following your dreams, but it actually presents us with a criminal who defrauds multiple people, endangers dozens of lives, and then gets rewarded in the end.

Buster Moon is a Deadbeat

Sing tries to paint Buster Moon as an underdog struggling against an unforgiving business world, but he’s really just a total deadbeat. He tells us in his opening voiceover that he’s always wanted to succeed in show business and own his own theater. However, his actions indicate that he’s too selfish and lazy to succeed.

Buster is the type of asshole who goes into a fancy diner and brings his own sandwiches. I’m not exaggerating – he literally does that, then acts indignant when they throw him out. He runs flop after flop but refuses to adjust his business model because of some vague bullshit about following his dreams.

Buster Moon Diner

When the electric company shuts off his theater for failure to pay his bills, he doesn’t work something out with them. Instead, he steals power from the building next door. When his sheer incompetence misleads people to believe he’s offering 100 times the prize money he actually has on hand, he doesn’t correct the misconception. Instead, he commits fraud while trying to con an old actress out of her money.

Basically, Buster Moon is the worst kind of shiftless dreamer – the one who believes that because he has a dream, the world is entitled to just give him what he wants. He spouts empty platitudes, but he refuses to earn his success. When external forces do cause him to act, he does so in a dangerously stupid way that nearly kills everybody.

Public Enemy Number One

Things look darkest for Buster when he tries to woo the former diva Nana Noodleman into putting up the prize money for his event. He arranges a trial run of the contest that falls apart in a cataclysmic disaster that nearly kills everybody and utterly destroys the theater.

Sing Theatre Destruction
Thank goodness everybody made it out alive…except for the hundreds of tiny squids Buster enslaved to serve as his lighting crew.

Am I being unfair in my assessment of the situation? Maybe. After all, the disaster only happens because the fast-talking mouse Mike winds up getting in deep with some mobsters, who attack him at the theater and cause a glass wall holding thousands of gallons of water to break.

But why are the mobsters there? To catch Mike. Why is Mike there? Because Buster promised a prize of $100,000. I’m not saying Buster should be held accountable for the actions of idiots and criminals (except when he’s the idiot and criminal), but he attracted that element through his own shady dealings.

Moreover, there’s no way a deadbeat like Buster acquired the licenses necessary for such a massive renovation. He definitely didn’t have anybody assess the safety of his project. With such carelessness, it was only a matter of time before disaster struck. Luckily, it happened when there were only a handful of people in the theater.

Everybody is an Enabler

The last act of the movie begins with Buster at what is supposed to be his lowest point: earning an honest living. He follows in his father’s footsteps of washing cars for a living. Not surprisingly, he sucks at that, too. He puts in zero effort and has to be bailed out by a friend.

Sing Car Wash
I mean…it’s funny, but if he used a bucket and rag he’d get this done much faster.

This is Buster’s MO: half-ass everything, then wait for other people to bail you out. And bail him out they do. Despite the fact that he should be in jail, Buster gets a save from the people he lied to, who gather together on the rubble of the old theater and put on a performance.

It should be noted that the property has been seized by the bank, so we can add trespassing to Buster’s growing list of crimes. At one point during the performance, a representative of the bank tries to shut the whole thing down. The movie seems to want us to see her as a villain, but she’s well within her rights. Give Buster more leeway, and he might knock down an entire city block.

In the end, the diva whose life Buster endangered gives him a big ass check so he can rebuild his theater. I hope her other plans for that money included lighting it on fire, because that’s effectively what she did. Buster has no business sense or willingness to work – he’ll run that operation into the ground again within a year.

Sing 2 is in the works, which is one of the ways that I know we live in a dystopian future. Hopefully, the sequel will be a police procedural in which animal versions of the Untouchables give Buster the Al Capone treatment so that damned koala can get the comeuppance he deserves.


9 thoughts on “Buster Moon is History’s Greatest Monster

  1. Marc

    THANK YOU! I’ve been saying this forever! He’s a piece of trash who uses anybody and everybody. He’s a walking, talking train wreck. On top of that, he’s a horrendous scout of musical talent. He picks Ash because he hears her sing like a single note. Master in the film, when he MUST win over Nana, he hears one line with just a clean, unplugged guitar from Ash and says she has to play that! What a moron…..


  2. Jess

    You forgot to add that buster moon didn’t pay the ppl from his last show, and didn’t even have the decency to bring a speedo and bucket to open his own car wash. What was he even paying Ms. Crawley??


    1. háfra sóti éva

      good question what did you pay miss crawly because old crawly i think she gets all the pensions like every old man and i think she lives there in the theater too in part 1 to see that she is there right away whenever she needs it


  3. Krista

    I’m pretty sure he has high-functioning Autism, and it’s canon (think I saw an article somewhere?). Anyway, that’s not an excuse by any means, and if he’s meant to be some sort of icon for autistic children, he’s sending the wrong message. I’m halfway through Sing 2 atm and my GOD he’s so much worse in the sequel.


    1. Claude

      I did some searching and the only thing I see about Buster being autistic is a blog or two proposing it as their personal headcanon. I didn’t get the impression that Buster was autistic from any of these movies and I don’t think Illumination would go in that direction because the one autistic character being a cheat and manipulative scumbag (regardless of how the movie frames his actions) is a can of worms I’m pretty sure they DON’T want to open.

      And having reread this blog, Mike and the bears actually did Buster a favor. That renovation was not fit for that theater. Imagine any decent-sized performance happening on that stage with elephants or rhinos or any other large animal stomping and dancing around. That theater was bound to collapse – it just happened when it was closed for rehearsals and not during an actual show with audience. Imagine casualties if that happened on opening night. How is this koala not in prison?


  4. Claude

    Having seen the sequel, everything you said here is still true and much worse. He basically breaks into Jimmy Crystal’s building out of pure entitlement and sells him a fake show because Crystal didn’t want what he was already pushing. He should have been fired and arrested as soon as Crystal found out he was being defrauded but not only does the movie make Crystal give him a second chance (after admitting to lying to about Calloway), it makes Crystal look like the bad guy in this situation. Then Buster drags a retired widower out of retirement to save his own hide after getting caught scamming Crystal and this is supposed to be some heartfelt lifesaving moment. And after he gives Crystal enough grief, the guy gets tired of Buster’s nonsense and tries to kill him (twice for some reason). That doesn’t make a lick of sense and normally I’d say that was a bridge too far but, you know what? Someone needs to teach that koala a lesson.

    It’s like Illumination listened to the criticism of how awful Buster was as a character in the first movie and decided to double down. Instead of improving him, they had him continue scamming people for his own selfish dreams, and then vilified the character (Crystal) he was hurting and exploiting to justify it. And this movie is VERY determined to make you hate Jimmy Crystal, it’s actually juvenile how bad they try to make him. None of Buster’s friends call him out even though everyone knows he’s wrong, so should get mad that Crystal did what they wouldn’t.

    Jimmy Crystal is the antagonist of Sing 2 but Buster Moon is the villain.


    1. lone wolf

      there must be a reason why Buster is like this, something could have happened in the past, we don’t know anything about his mother, either she left them or she died


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