It’s been a long time my friend, but fortunately a nice opportunity for a review came up in the form of a home release. While not the arena I prefer to watch my movies in, it’s better than nothing and so tonight I take on the world release of the latest animated film that is hoping to make some money by feeding on youth’s ability for rewatching for the musical experience. Tonight’s film is that musical melody of animated characters that was charming, kooky, and super fun when they debuted a few years ago. And after a fun Christmas special, many wondered what would be the fate of the colorful band of trolls? We get that answer tonight, as more genres join our pop theme in:
Movie: Trolls: World Tour (2020)
- Many Song References and Cultures
- Great Pace
- Good Morals
- Better Use of Characters
- The Songs
- Not as Good Character Developing
- Story has potential, but misses the mark
- Lack of Real Impasse/Obstacles
- More Songs or Complete Numbers
- Almost Felt Too Short
Much like the first film, I expected the trolls next tour to be cute and fun, and I was not disappointed. The youthful vibe of the world somehow awakened the happy side of life for me, and got me into the spirit to dive back into the simplistic imagination of the world. It’s ridiculous concepts, well developed dialogue, and good comedic timing held much of the essence of the film and was a great anchor point for older audience members. Some of the fun also is held in the song references that they covered, new twists to fan favorites that though had a nice twist, kept much of the core elements of the song to still hold what entranced me to the song itself. As the trailers highlight, the movie is all about exploring the musical culture of these genres, and I give them props for creativity and exploring the levels of the big genres, which I like again being the geek I am. All of this exploration happens at a good pace, with little slowness present as the Trolls hope effortlessly between kingdoms in search of the sacred strings. Amidst the journey are of course fun life lessons, which with an open mind/heart and a little luck will help motivate and teach you some good lessons, or at least the young ones accompany you. Further review made me happy that the developers actually took time to spend some focus on the other trolls, managing to deviate from the two protagonists and integrate them more into the story. While not perfect, it’s a step in the right direction and with a little time and focus… we might end up getting that perfect balance. So if that troll merchandise feels like it went to waste years ago, you can rest assured those dolls may get new life. Let’s face it though… Trolls is a big soundtrack and the new tracks are there ready to storm their way into your ear drums and leave you with massive ear worm. World Tour’s tracks are catchy, fun twists that hit most of the genres and bring that essence I mentioned earlier, to bring out the feeling and energy of the scene. I appreciated the variety they had to offer and fully enjoyed the magic this movie had.
Yet for all the fun I have, I won’t lie there are some major limitations to this film that still have not been mastered. First off, character development is much weaker for me in this film. A sacrifice of including so many characters means their depth sort of suffers and World Tour has no problem dropping deep dives into psyche for the superficial succulence to come. Poppy and Branch have some expansion, but pales to many, and even the new characters hold little in the ways of diversity and deep stories, including the antagonist that had so much to give. The result is a bland story, where potential lies in every note and scene, but then falls flat in terms of really expanding the world that we were baited with back in 2016. What also does not help is the movie is that the challenge and threat in this movie is… well missing. We’ve seen animated films that bring the hammer with antagonists who are threatening, massive, and push our heroes to the limits to fulfill the quests. Not the case with this one, Barb’s got edge, skills, and a wickedly designed arsenal, but it’s a little too one sided and boring in terms of an animated adventure. In addition, the time in each world is rather limited, and that potential for creativity is lost to rapid passthroughs most of the towns. Even more bizarre is that the heart and soul of the movie, the music, is reduced too sound bites, quickly dropped just as the number is reaching its crescendo. Sure the numbers at the end do their job, and others are entertaining due to the vibe and twist, but it’s not feeling quite complete compared to its predecessor. Overall, the movie almost felt too short and needed another 1.5 hours to really get everything I wanted in this sequel. Yes, I’m saying a longer movie, or maybe another movie that held that fire and balance I love.
Overall Trolls 2 comes back with the fun, cute, wonderful energy that made the first one so exciting. If you are like me and have the pleasure and luck of texting a friend with references, you get more enjoyment out of the film. Kids will love it alongside the young at heart, with silliness, laughs, and morals entangled together to give that satisfactory kids flick you love, plus the music does not hurt either as long as you are not a purist. Yet, the movie still has not found the art of balance for reviewers like me. All the new characters are great for merchandising, but miss the mark in terms of emotional investment, and the story is okay but again had so much more it could have given. Even the things I was enjoying the most like the adventure and music got edited down and while they are fun during their moments, they could have been so much more. Still being at home and looking for something to break the ice of Frozen 2, this is a fine rental to have at home and probably the best place to watch outside of the effects. Thus, my recommendation is give it a shot this weekend when you can.
My scores for this film are:
Movie Overall: 6.0