Trolls Review

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Ever since the success of Transformers and The LEGO Movie, Hollywood has started looking to adapt films based off popular toys. Yet the strangest announcement of them all was when DreamWorks Animation announced that they would be making a film off of the good luck Troll dolls from the 80s. The only problem is that Troll dolls haven’t been popular in a very long time, so does DreamWorks Animation pull off the impossible and create a good film based off of an old toy or is this a film that is 30 years too late?

Fortunately, Trolls is a cheerfully entertaining film with one amazing soundtrack. Spearheaded by the talented Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, the duo outdid themselves by providing Trolls not only with great musical performances but with enjoyable acting performances as well.

Trolls follows the never-ending struggle between the lovable Trolls and the happiness-deprived Bergens. After many years of successfully hiding from the Bergens, one fateful night destroyed all that and it is up to Princess Poppy and Branch to save her friends from the clutches of the Bergens before it’s too late.

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Although most pundits might look at films based toys as a cheap cash-grab, Trolls is not that at all. The animation is absolutely stunning and shows why DreamWorks Animation is one of the top animation studios out there. The pastel-colored palette of the Trolls’ home and the droll desaturated colors of the Bergens’ home allows the filmmakers to create this fantastical world. The hair and textures and realistic and highly detailed too. Co-directors Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn put together a film that touches upon a lot of meaningful subjects. In a year where Zootopia spoke about racism and Finding Dory inspired those with disorders, Trolls has an equally important message. While the kids will surely enjoy the technicolored cuteness of the film, they can also learn from Trolls’ deeper message of depression. It’s a heartfelt message that definitely puts Trolls in a totally different light for audiences.

But wrapped around this message is a hugely entertaining and hilarious film. Writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger filled the film with a lot of hysterical gags and situations that feels very much like a throwback to DreamWorks’ first animated hit, Shrek. The odd couple style of comedy is always funny and Branch and Poppy are as different as they get. As funny as the script is, the story leaves much to be desired. Trolls’ super simple plot takes a few odd detours here and there, but truth be told, you’ll be having too much of a good time to notice it.

The hilarity of Trolls isn’t the only thing that makes the film so enjoyable. Justin Timberlake essentially put together the second best movie soundtrack (Guardians of the Galaxy being the first) to come out in the past 20 years. This isn’t your typical movie soundtrack either because Timberlake doesn’t put together a song compilation but instead he takes some of the best R&B and pop songs in the last 40 years and mixes them together as a medley. Also, the original songs that he produced are all infectious too.

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Don’t think that Justin Timberlake is just the man behind the music, he brings a lot with his voice acting as well. Even with this all-star cast, he is easily the heart and soul of the film. Timberlake easily plays the “Earth-2” version of himself where his character, Branch, hates both singing and fun. Timberlake is able to use his charismatic voice to get audiences to connect with his character despite being unpleasantly rude. He also brings a nuanced vulnerability that I haven’t seen from any of his previous roles. He’s clearly in his element when he’s portraying Branch.

Another individual who carried the film is Anna Kendrick. Kendrick not only brings her fun-loving personality to the character, but she also brings a strength to the character. She isn’t portraying the foolish character that you saw from the trailers, but a brave leader instead. Don’t expect a lot of screen time for a lot of the other characters, though. Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Kunal Nayyar are all featured in the trailers but they have such minor parts in the film. Unsurprisingly, the film focuses primarily on Poppy and Branch.

Overall, Trolls is an excellent addition to the ever-growing DreamWorks Animation collection of films. The film isn’t as complex or as memorable as some of their previous efforts, but the combination of hilarious gags and Timberlake’s infectious soundtrack results in what may be the feel-good movie of the year. It’s a film that will really hit you right in the feels.

Rating: 4/5 atoms
NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1507 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.