Johnny is an anthropomorphic mountain gorilla with brown eyes and black fur. He is taller than most of his fellow contestants and has a muscular build. He wears a black leather jacket, a green undershirt with a yellow lightning bolt and stars, blue jeans, and dark blue shoes.
Johnny is a soulful, British-accented gorilla whose beautiful singing voice and passion for music are in direct opposition to his role in his father’s bank robbing crew. Deep down, Johnny wants to be a singer but knows that his alpha-male father would disown him if he knew the truth. He keeps his involvement in the competition secret, straddling a double life as an aspiring singer by day and getaway driver by night.
The son of a mobster, Johnny is expected to follow in his father's criminal footsteps but his true passion is singing. Initially, he doesn't have the confidence to admit it to his father due to his fear of his father's disapproval.
When he finally decides to take a chance to follow his dream by auditioning for Buster Moon's singing competition, he goes to the audition and sings Stay With Me. After he finished his audition, he runs past Meena and wishes her good luck. At first, Johnny doesn't get the spot to join the competition, but he gets excited when Mr. Moon changes his mind to let him in on the competition. During the competition, he takes every measure to keep his passion and his father's criminal activities apart. This causes tension for Johnny as he tries to commit himself to his ambition and the contest, and to his father's expectations, which inevitably go wrong due to his going back and forth between the contest as a get away driver.
At first, he didn't want to be a getaway driver. When he had to talk to his father through a walkie-talkie, Johnny told Buster him going back and forth wouldn't be a problem, even apologizing by saying it won't happen again. Along with trying to practice driving a car at night.
Johnny even has a problem trying to think of a back up song to sing for the show, when he tries singing All of Me to Mr. Moon during rehearsal. A sooner than planned heist causes him to not be there as the getaway driver, leading to his father and his gang getting arrested and thrown in jail.
Visiting his father in prison, Johnny finally comes clean to his father and confesses that he doesn't want to be a criminal, but wants to be a singer. He is devastated when his father disowns him, even though Johnny swears to bail him out. He initially plans to steal the prize money to pay for his father's bail, but after seeing himself and his friends on the call back list, he can't go through with it and betray his friends, so he chooses to win the money fair and square. He has Miss Crawly teach him how to play the piano better, while also trying to visit his father in prison.
This goal is dashed when it turns out Buster lied about the prize money, and Johnny witnessing the theater getting destroyed when a flood occurs. However, Johnny (along with the other singers) finds it in his heart to forgive Buster, and states his desire to perform, even without a prize. Johnny also states his problem with his dad in order to cheer Buster up, and stating that everyone has lost something while doing the competition. He also helps the others build a stage for the show, while keeping track of playing the piano.
In the performance, Johnny is the second to perform after Rosita. He plays the piano while singing Elton John's "I'm Still Standing", and pulls off a great performance. The feeling is bittersweet, however, as Johnny is still sad that his bond with his father is beyond repair. This turns out to be wrong when Johnny's father (after seeing him perform on TV) breaks out of prison and comes to the theater to reconcile with his son and tell Johnny how proud he is of him. With the cops closing in, Johnny's father takes his leave to return to prison, with Johnny promising to visit him often. Johnny fulfills his dream of becoming a singer, reconciled with his father, and attends the grand re-opening of Buster's theater.
“Guys, listen! Stay where you are. The cops are here...”
Johnny is the only character in Sing to be part of a Critically Endangered species.
At first, Buster originally chose Daniel to be in the show, but due to his height and unable to hear those below him, Buster changed his selection to Johnny.
Johnny and Meena are the only two major characters that stayed at the Moon Theater overnight, to do something that was important. In Johnny's case it was to play the piano way better, after seeing him and his friends on the call back list right after his dad got arrested. Whereas for Meena it was to help Buster Moon clean up the theater before Nana Noodleman arrive.
This link leads to the image gallery for Johnny. It can be viewed here.