REVIEW: Trolls (2016)

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2016, 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Animation

Directors:
Mike Mitchell
Walt Dohrn
Producer
:
Gina Shay
Writers:
Thomas Dam (original dolls The Good Luck Trolls)
Erica Rivanoja (story)
Jonathan Aibel (screenplay)
Glenn Berger (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Yong Duk Jhun
Editing:
Nick Fletcher

Cast:
Anna Kendrick (Poppy)
Justin Timberlake (Branch)
Zooey Deschanel (Bridget)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (King Gristle)
Christine Baranski (Chef)
Russell Brand (Creek)
Gwen Stefani (DJ Suki)
John Cleese (King Gristle Sr.)
James Corden (Biggie)
Jeffrey Tambor (King Peppy)

Those lovable Troll dolls, a huge hit in the 90’s and has made a comeback, gets the animated movie treatment in this pretty good film.

The Trolls live in a world full of happiness and love. All they do is sing, dance, and hug. Led by King Peppy, the Trolls are the epitome of happiness. However, their arch rivals are the Bergen. The Bergen are never happy but believe in a legend that should a Bergen eat a Troll, they will experience the happiness. To achieve this, they kidnap the Trolls and put them in a cage. Twenty years ago, Peppy and a band of Trolls made their escape on the day the future King, King Gristle Jr., was to have gotten his first taste of a Troll.

On the 20th anniversary of the escape, Peppy’s daughter Princess Poppy decides to throw a celebration to celebrate the event. However, a fellow Troll named Branch warns Poppy that loud noise could attract the Bergen. Despite the warning, Poppy throws the party anyway and the Bergen show up. The once banished Bergen Chef shows up and finds redemption by taking a bunch of the Trolls. Poppy is saved by Branch and then convinces him to help her rescue their friends. They embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

At first thinking, one would wonder why Thomas Dam’s Good Luck Trolls would have their own movie and what would it revolve around. One can think of them as a version of Smurfs especially in terms of them being little heroes only replace Gargamel with the creatures known as the Bergen, who believe that eating a Troll will give them the happiness they so desire due to the Trolls being happy on a 24-7 level. Of course, there is a “black sheep” if you will that may be seen as the character of Branch is not as colorful as the others but he is truly the one who has experienced the Bergen attack and knows what the deal is all about.

Anna Kendrick does quite well as Princess Poppy, who may seem quite as an annoyance at first because of her constant happiness. However, the character is one who tends to grow on you in the way she grows on Branch, well voiced by Justin Timberlake (who also sings the film’s theme song “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, a catchy upbeat tune). One has seen Russell Brand as the goofy comic with the wild hair but his character of Creek is quite an interesting role for him as he voices in an against-type way while Christine Baranski truly shows her talents in terms of voiceover work as the redemption seeking Bergen Chef. Zooey Deschanel’s Bridget can be seen as an anti-type much like Branch in terms of being the opposite of what the Trolls are all about. Bridget is a Bergen but shows she is different from her fellow creatures and it is her connection with Poppy that also drives the central story.

The film has a pretty good message about where happiness can come from. The Bergen believe in a legend, but the Trolls are happy all the time because they bring joyfulness through dancing, singing and hugging. Yes, some may find it highly annoying, but the kids will truly enjoy this film and there are moments that even adults will find quite fun, including the introduction of Cloud Guy, who does the most unexpected and hilarious version of a “fist bump”.

Trolls is a fun adventure that may be compared to Smurfs, but thankfully, the voice cast make this watchable and gives a great lesson on where positive feelings can come from and how it can be achieved. Definitely worth checking out!

WFG RATING: B+

This film is currently playing in theaters. Check your local theater for showtimes.

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