Release Date: November 4, 2016
Director: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Erica Rivinoja, Thomas Dam
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani, John Cleese, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, Ron Funches, Aina Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Kunal Nayyar, Quvenzhane Wallis, Walt Dohrn, Rhys Darby, Ricky Dillon, Meg DeAngelis, GloZell Green, Kandee Johnson, Curtis Stone, Mike Mitchell, Iris Dorhn
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 92 minutes
Production Company: DreamWorks Animation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Budget: $120,000,000 (estimated)
Once upon a time, everywhere you looked there was a chance you’d see a child playing with a troll. They’re cute, little creatures with hair that is as bright as a rainbow and stretched as high as the sky. So it was inevitable that a film would be made with Trolls front and center. At first glance, most would look at this as another throw away animation only geared towards children, or at least I did. Fortunately, it’s much more. Not only will you smile, you’ll want to sing and dance. Plus, with the moral of the story being to live happy, it’s hard not to have a great time. The characters are lovable, it gets right to the point, and all the humor is well placed. What a surprise that’s sure to bring all joy from within.
Just because a story is simple doesn’t mean it can’t have a great impact. The moral of the story is deeper than one may think. The huge undertone speaks volumes of a way of life that could possibly make everyone happy. That message is to look within yourself to be happy, because your joy is always there. Not only is this a good start up for children, but a wakeup call to adults if they walked in with a lower than usual attitude. It wasn’t shoved down your throat either, but was delivered in such a subtle way you can’t help but devour it. Surrounding that arc were of course the Trolls who just want to live in peace and happily ever after. Their daily routines of loving, caring, singing, and dancing was beautiful. The fact that they have routine hug sessions was the sweetest thing imaginable, and the fuzzy warm feeling jumped off the screen and filled the audience with love.
On top of that, the film contained great characters that were a joy to be around even when they were grumpy. Poppy (Anna Kendrick) was the most adorable little thing. The only thing she lived for was to sing, dance, and party as LOUD as possible. Branch (Justin Timberlake) on the other hand was a party pooper, not sharing the same enthusiasm as his fellow trolls. He was great at having a valid reason to be a party pooper, and that caused a rift with others and pushed the plot forward. My most respect goes to King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor), Poppy’s father. If he’s in charge you can be rest assured, knowing, “NO TROLL LEFT BEHIND!” The price of admission is worth that alone. The Trolls’ nemesis were the Borgens; a group of large, monster, goblin-like creatures that gobbled in their own mess. They lurked around sad and pathetic, smelling of urine and all things bad. What they wanted in life was to be happy, and the Trolls were the only means to their success. Now the battle ensues between the Trolls and the Borgens, and only one may survive.
The only downfall to this film is…nothing. What helps it break the barrier of being just average is its self-awareness of its fairytale-like presence. The voice narration from one character puts that all together; which is funny and also brilliant. Then with the addition of the music selection, you’re anticipating purchasing the soundtrack as soon as the credits hit. It’s filled with popular songs from the past, mixed with original songs by Kendrick and Timberlake; being nothing short of great. These two made a great couple, pairing up and letting their vocals soar.
If anything, this film is a sure pick me up. There are all kinds of films that bring you up and knock you down, and this one brings you up. It’s fascinating that such small creatures can have such a huge impact on the way you feel inside. They embrace their corniness within the film, as well, and that will shine light into your core. This warrants multiple views and would be a great addition to any collection. The two directors, Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell, sure put their work in on this one. This wasn’t work for them, but an exciting project which is evident from the product on screen. And I can’t wait for the sequel.