Film Review – Trolls
At first glance, Trolls looks like it could be a cynical exercise in merchandising as a direct result of the huge success of The Lego Movie and Transformers helping to shift a bunch of toys.
However, when you a) take a 9 year old girl to this one and b) peel back the layers of the film, this is a really tight movie that grabs you from the get go and holds you right into the closing credits.
Before we meet the Trolls, we are introduced to a society of creatures called Bergens. I’m not sure if there is a connection in their name to the screenwriter, Glenn Berger, who along with his writing partner Jonathan Aibel have been responsible for the likes of Kung Fu Panda and a couple of Alvin films, but they are a troubled lot, only able to achieve happiness by consuming a Troll, freshly plucked from the Troll Tree on Troll-stice, an annual festival.
When the King’s son is left disappointed and without the opportunity to taste his first Troll, thus experiencing happiness for the first time, as a result of a jailbreak by the captive Trolls, the Bergen Chef is banished, only to catch sight of the whereabouts of the secret Troll camp, leading to the recapture of the fugitives.
Enter Troll Princess Poppy, voiced perfectly by Anna Kendrick, a perky, brave young Troll who wants to lead a search party to recover her missing comrades.
Trouble is, her most suitable companion, Branch, (Justin Timberlake), is reluctant to join her as he believes the safest course of action is to stay put in his Bergen-proof bunker…
Can Poppy convince Branch to help her on her quest….? You bet!
She is a character so full of spunk, you can’t help but fall in love with her eternally optimistic spirit, and she tries her best to learn why Branch is such a grumpy dude.
Turns out he has quite the backstory, and I found this a really positive film, that was easily one of the trippiest animated productions I’ve seen since Inside Out.
Part Shrek, part Dr Seuss, part I have no idea, the visuals and the concepts, not to mention the fact that the Trolls appear to expel glitter from their behinds, boggled my mind.
Interestingly Timberlake’s character does not share the rest of the Trolls love of singing, which was a real shock given the amount of music that is in the film.
He did Executive Produce the film’s music and he has done an excellent job of creating a buzzy, funny, earworm-laden soundtrack.
The colours and the gags are bright and appropriate for all ages, and it has a wonderful “feel good vibe” while also reaching back into the history of the Trolls to create a world full of depth and tradition.
I would expect this to become a successful franchise and I would definitely not turn down a second viewing at the movies or in a few months on DVD.
There is a real effort to create a handmade feel about the movie, with the use of “scrapbooking” style animation offering a rich tapestry that you can’t take your eyes off.
In particular keep you eyes out for “Cloud Guy” voiced by a dude called Walt. He nearly steals the film in his few, utterly memorable scenes.
Feel Good Family Fun – 3 & 1/2 Stars