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Movie Review: Trolls
Poppy is a troll that loves singing, dancing, cupcakes and rainbows. Like nearly all trolls in the village she doesn't seem to believe anything bad could happen. Branch is the only cynical troll in the village and is always fearful of a Bergen (giant, troll eating creatures) invasion despite the fact that there has not been a Bergen sighting in 20 years.
When Poppy decided to throw the biggest and loudest party ever, Branch warns that throwing such a party may lead to them being discovered by the Bergens. When all the other trolls decide to throw the party anyway, the Bergens hear it and invade Troll Village, capturing several trolls. Poppy and Branch must then set out on an adventure to save their captured friends from certain doom.
- Textured Animation - I really liked thi animation style. The all the trolls had a certain fuzzy texture that looked like the texture of the classic trolls that you'd put on the end of your pencil. Everything else in the world had different texture some things fluffy other things hairy. I know this probably sounds bizarre but I though texture added something to the film.
- Hair Power! - Something I did not expect from this movie was how Dreamworks addressed the wild hair on the classic pencil trolls. Their approach was pretty much to treat the hair like superpowers. The trolls could seemingly grow their hair infinitely at will, as well as shrink it back down. The trolls utilize this in many different waze, by using it as disguise, treating it like long rope to grab onto things, and more! I think Dreamworks treated it creatively and I think kids will love that.
- Scary Creatures? - There is one scary looking Bergen in the movie, aside from that, nothing else has a scary or threatening look to it. This is huge for a kids movie. I've been there. Take a kid in your family to a movie and all the bad guys look "mean!". This causes the kid to bawl their eyes out. This movie shouldn't have that proble. There is one mean looking Bergen that could scare kids but those scenes are brief. When Poppy and Branch come across all sorts of creatures that try to kill them. Oddly enough, all those creatures look fuzzy, cuddly, silly and non-threatening. At first I thought this was weird but thinking on it made me realize that the choice was to try to make kids laugh rather than cry, but they still wanted to tell an adventure story.
- Fun - This movie was fun...for kids. It is tolerable for adults, who might have a few moments in which they laugh. I think kids, however, will love this movie from beginning to end. It had catchy songs, silly dance routines and a plethora of silly characters. I also think that presenting such a vast world of silly looking yet dangerous creatures, opens a huge door for sequels for this movie. I think that this will be a movie that kids will want to watch many times.
- Justin Timberlake - I am really not a fan of the fact that Justin Timberlake was cast as a lead in this film. It feels like they chose him for the sole purpose of getting one of his songs for the movie and marketing campaign. I did not think his voice fit as a grumpy and cynical troll. It felt so off because Anna Kendrick's voice fit her character perfectly. I think Dreamworks easily could have taken a page from Disney's Frozen and used one voice actor to do the dialogue for Branch and used Justin Timberlake to sing as Branch, since Branch only sings a couple of times. This would have been much better for the tone of the character.
- Helpless Trolls - Another issue I had was how helpless the trolls were. The beginning of the movie shows an attack from 20 years ago yet Branch is the only one who takes the threat seriously. All the other trolls are naive and helpless. I think they were portrayed as a little too ridiculous and a little too defenseless. Not only did I not care that some ridiculous trolls were in danger of being eaten, I kind of wanted it to happen. I know that this is a kids movie so that won't happen, and kids will love the ridiculousness, I just hope future movies give a bit more development to the other trolls aside from just being bodies for the main characters to save.
- Music Videos & Scrapbooking - The whole beginning of the movie is basically full of a bunch of random music videos. Kids will love it, but adults might find this annoying. There does not seem to be a reason for the singing aside from showing just how drastically different Branch is from everyone in the village. Additionally, the movie will cut (multiple times) to Poppy narrating a very cheap looking scrapbook movie. You will know what I mean if you see the movie. The transitions from the story to the singing (music videos) and the scrapbooking, felt sudden and out of nowhere. To the point that it took me out of the movie. However after about 10-15 minutes. The frequency of singing and scrapbooking die down and the transitions feel more natural.
Trolls is a decent enough kids movie. Adults will think the movie is ok at best, but kids will absolutely adore it. I know I am not this movie's demographic, so I know that no child will be the least bit concerned with any of the issues I had with Trolls. Kids will love the many catchy songs and dance sequences. They will love all the silly characters and what they can do with their hair. Lastly, kids will love the crazy and colorful world that this movie introduces us to. My recommendation is that if you have any kids in your life under the age of 10, take them to this movie. They will love it and it is not a kids movie that adults will feel like they are suffering through. I am smelling many sequels in this movie's future.