Trolls! When you think of these mystical creatures most minds will picture tall, ugly creatures with pronounced booger filled noses and living under a bridge. But if you are a fan of the toys, many might remember the half-naked, multicolored hair figurines with the happy, semi creepy, smiles. I’m sure you’ve guessed the movie from the theme now right? Yes, today I review DreamWorks’ Trolls starring the voices of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Let’s get started shall we?
- Colorful, Animation: No surprise here, DreamWorks knows how to animate and Trolls is yet another example of their talent. Our characters run, jump, sing, and more importantly dance in impressive style that brings the unique world to life. The colorful characters (in both skin tone and personality) are charming, and the energy they infuse into the scenes adds another element to the animation. And the design of all the creatures is very unique almost as it is being designed for…merchandise.
- Very Fun, Positive Movie: If you didn’t get this from the trailers, Trolls is a movie all about being upbeat, fun, and very positive in nature. The pint sized cast will keep you laughing through the entire movie, spreading joy as they dance across the land. I found my spirits lifted through much of the movie as the trolls explained the tried and true lesson of happiness coming from within. Yes, it is a bit preachy, but it was nice to see positivity as the main theme for a change instead of some political issue masked in another form.
- Kicking Soundtrack: The best thing for me in this film though was the awesome tunes our music directors picked for the list. Many of the songs are as upbeat and energetic as the trolls who are singing them. Much of the songs are covers of famous songs, but these remixes work very well and represent the theme of their accompanying scenes as Kendrick, and sometimes JT, led the way. The dance numbers were even more impressive, filled with fireworks, light shows, and choreography that you always dreamed the little toys could do. This reviewer sees ITunes blowing up with Trolls soundtrack sales and it’s for a good reason.
- A little stupid/kiddy: Before you shout blasphemy hear me out. Yes, animated features are geared towards kids and meant to be silly at times. But adults know there are times where it goes too deep into that territory. Trolls has a few of these moments that sort of derailed the momentum of the movie. Fortunately, these moments are few and far between, but this reviewer felt the storyboard team could have used the time to better develop characters and make the story more complex. Speaking of which…
- Simplistic Story: If you haven’t guessed from the trailers (and this review) Trolls isn’t the most complex story to grace the market. Again hear me out. Think about films like Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, or most Disney films. They usually have deep plot lines with dynamic relationships and character development. Trolls has a little of this especially in the stories of Branch and Bridget who need the biggest personality adjustments of the bunch. Outside of that…the film lacks depth, because most of the characters are on happy pills who only want to dance and sing. While this is certainly entertaining, the simplicity is a bit predictable and boring at times. I guess they focused more on music and dancing instead of storyboard.
- Pointless Characters: My biggest peeve has to be the missed potential with the characters. Trolls has a very diverse cast from the glitter infused Guy Diamond to the four legged, hat wearing, giraffe troll Cooper…yeah. Anyway, such interesting characters would hopefully have a little more involvement in the film. Unfortunately, they didn’t do much with these characters outside of a few good zingers and some simplistic, comical moves during a chase. Certainly a cast like this could have had some interesting powers to donate on their quest (music blasting, super hair strength, heck even manipulating their hair into crafty shapes). But nope, these characters are reduced to nothing more than merchandising whose colors are meant to hypnotize your children to wanting more toys. I guess this is how the studio will make the cash back from all the stars they drafted in this movie. Nevertheless, Trolls secondary characters need some development in future (inevitable) sequels.
Trolls is a fun, energetic dance party packaged into a ninety-minute run time. The music is the strongest aspect of the movie and the colorful animation is designed to support it. And when your toes aren’t tapping, the dialogue and voice acting are sure to give you some laughs along the way. However, there was some wasted potential in terms of stories and characters, which could have made this movie so much better had they captured it. Regardless, DreamWorks has released a decent product this weekend and it was nice to see some positivity for once. Do I recommend this one for the theater? Hmmm, I think you could skip this one and wait for DVD, but definitely check out the soundtrack soon to get a fun treat for the ears.
Movie Overall: 6.0