We Review DreamWorks Animation’s 33rd Feature Film ‘Trolls’

In October 2016, DreamWorks Animation released their 33rd feature film, ‘Trolls‘.  And just last week, Trolls made it’s way to DVD / Blu-Ray / iTunes / Sky Store, etc., etc.  The tagline for Trolls is ‘find your happy place’, and let me tell you, this is one of the shiniest, happiest films I’ve seen in a long time.

Trolls Dancing Poppy and Branch

“Find your happy place.”

Trolls opens with a ‘once upon a time’ tale of Trolls who all lived happily in a tree, singing, dancing and hugging every single day.  That is until they are discovered by the miserable Bergens, who find the answer to their misery is eating Trolls.

After a death-defying escape, the Trolls go underground into hiding, to avoid being Bergen dinner.  Fast-forward 20 years, to the present day, where the story takes place, and we are introduced to some of the many colourful characters in the Troll community.

Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) is the overly optimistic lead of the film, breaking out in song or scrapbooking at every opportunity.  Her Troll friends include Biggie (voiced by James Corden), a big large blue Troll who carries around a glow-worm called Mr Dinkles; Guy Diamond (voiced by Kunal Nayyar), an autotuned Troll who literally farts glitter; Cooper (voiced by Ron Funches), a giraffe-like Troll who poops cupcakes; Satin and Chenille (voiced by Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt), fashionista Trolls who are joined at the hair; Suki (voiced by Gwen Stefani), a DJ troll found always wearing her trusty headphones; and finally Creek (voiced by Russell Brand), a very zen Troll.

Trolls Cloud Guy and Branch fist bump

Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake) is the anti-Poppy.  He lives alone in a bunker, voluntarily doesn’t sing, dance or hug, and is hilariously pessimistic.

When Poppy’s friends are stolen by the evil Bergen Chef (voiced by Christine Baranski), Branch begrudgingly joins Poppy on her quest to save them, and thus begins the adventure.

One of the funniest scenes comes in the form of an exchange between Branch and Cloud Guy (voiced by co-director Walt Dohrn), a cloud in socks, without shoes, who knowingly annoys Branch to the point of fury.

Bergen Town and the Bergens

In Bergen Town, a very sorry picture is painted.  All the Bergens are beyond melancholy – one Bergen is found burying himself into an early grave!

Sweet scullery maid Bridget (voiced by Zooey Deschanel) is the unknown ray of hope in Bergen Town.  She is madly in love with King Gristle (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and with a little help from the captured Trolls, she helps the Bergens realise they don’t need to eat Trolls to find happiness.

Trolls Bridget and Gristle on a pizza date

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful soundtrack to this film.  Not only does it feature the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ by Justin Timberlake, which received many awards nods for Best Original Song, but it also features some incredible mash-ups and covers.  From the head-bopping Move Your Feet / D.A.N.C.E. / It’s A Sunshine Day mash-up to the beautiful True Colours cover, there is sure to be something to please your ears.

Some fun trivia as well: the classical piece ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’, which serves as the musical theme of the Bergens, was composed by Edvard Grieg, who lived and worked in the Norwegian city of Bergen.

This film is super positive, but not to a fault.  Children will be entranced with the bright colours and even brighter personalities in the film (my 4-year-old couldn’t take his eyes off the screen!) whereas adults will be delighted with the witticisms and the often tongue-in-cheek tone of the film.

The story may not be totally original and borders on saccharine at times, but I challenge you to find a film more self-aware of its own life-affirming message whilst also basking in that optimism.

The Good
  • Upbeat adventure-comedy
  • Incredible soundtrack
  • Positive message
  • 90-min runtime
  • Great for kids & adults alike
The Bad
  • A bit sickly-sweet at times
  • not the most original story
4 Great

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