Thursday, 20 October 2016

'Trolls' Review


'Trolls' have been a toy that has been passed through generations ever since the 1950's which is a fairly impressive feat. The 90's and mid-2000's even showcased TV shows, musicals and video games featuring the tall-haired creatures- neither being that memorable or successful. Dreamworks are certainly hoping that this time, the franchise would have more success in their first big budget film. Fortunately, Dreamworks have created a film that their target audience will most definitely appreciate; not so much for older audiences, though.


Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is the princess of the Trolls who was led to safety by her father many years ago from the Bergens, terrifying creatures who feast upon the Trolls. Feeling confident that the Trolls will never be found again, Poppy throws a large, loud party for all the Trolls. Branch (Justin Timberlake) is wary of the Bergen threat but due to being the opposite of Poppy, nobody really talks to or believes him. The party attracts the attention of a Bergen where several Trolls are kidnapped. With the help of the knowledgeable Branch, Poppy must bring her friends back before they are turned into supper.

For a kids movie, 'Trolls' ticks all the boxes for when it comes to entertaining younger children. Bright and colourful characters? Check. Simple story? Check. Upbeat tone and catchy pop songs? Check. The film most definitely is the ideal film to satisfy younger audiences, which is clearly the aim for a film like this. Dreamworks know what the film is and don't try to be like Pixar or Laika. Unfortunately, that does mean that the older members of the audience - most likely parents - will not get a whole load of enjoyment out of this film. The humour in the film is very childish and directed towards the enjoyment of children. It isn't cleverly done like recent film 'Storks' that uses well-crafted, yet light-hearted scenes to draw out laughs from all members of the audience.

The main theme of this film is clearly for everyone to be happy, which is evident from the trailer alone. Being happy is driven into the film, being the main story and even the main tagline for the advertising campaign. After a while, you do get a feeling of this idea constantly being drilled into you which does become quite tedious. Maybe that's just the grumpiness in me but a man can only take so much.

Anna Kendrick leads the cast in this animated musical which allows her to show off her vocal talents. She is perfect in this role as the always happy Poppy and even has the singing voice to match. Kendrick is easily likable and that transfers into this role which she pulls off very well. Alongside her is Justin Timberlake as Branch, a Troll who isn't constantly happy and seems to be a worrier. Timberlake and Kendrick interact very well with each other, with the two characters being polar opposites and disagreeing with each other bringing some entertainment.  Again, Timberlake handles the music side very well, bringing a song that I frustratingly can't get out of my head in the process. The pair is most definitely the standouts due to having the most screentime but it can't be taken away that both were great in their roles. James Corden, Gwen Stefani and Russell Brand all provide their voices but none of them make a mark on the film.

As someone who only knows of these creatures from the old toys, the film does a fairly good job at creating the world where they exist. It was fairly interesting seeing this fun, colourful world like no other where it seems as if the creator's imaginations were allowed to roam free. Although not a whole lot of information surrounding the world was given, the motivations and mystical aspects were made clear early on and set the tone for the rest of the movie.  It also allowed for the unique style of animation to roam free, producing some different but nice looking scenes.

'Trolls' looks to push a love story between Poppy and Branch with Branch sulking whenever Poppy's attention is with a fellow Troll whom she cares about. This continues in the film to the point where out of nowhere, Branch proclaims his love for Poppy. However, after that, nothing happens with it. It seems as if they were planning on going that way with the relationship but it seems as if they forget about what they did. It isn't brought up again or even suggested that they are an item which seemed very odd. I don't understand why they'd build a side storyline to ultimately do nothing with it.

Overall, 'Trolls' is the definition of a kids movie. For children, they will be entertained by this film due to its bright colours, fun characters and catchy songs. For adults, they won't enjoy this as much which is expected for this. Timberlake and Kendrick both are great in their roles and even more so with the music parts as they bring the fun to these two main characters. I can't recommend seeing this unless it is for taking little ones to see.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Trolls'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor