TROLLS WORLD TOUR is the latest film from directors Walt Dohrn and David P. Smith that is a follow up to the very successful 2016 animated film, Trolls. The film features the voice talents of Anna Kendrick (Poppy), Justin Timberlake (Branch), Rachel Bloom (Queen Barb), James Corden (Biggie), Ron Funches (Cooper), Kelly Clarkson (Delta Dawn), Anderson .Paak (Prince D), Sam Rockwell (Hickory), George Clinton (King Quincy), Mary J. Blige (Queen Essence), and many, many more. To best describe the film, I’ll turn to the official synopsis:
“In an adventure that will take them well beyond what they’ve known before, Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Trolls tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb (Bloom), aided by her father King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne), wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. With the fate of the world at stake, Poppy and Branch, along with their friends – Biggie (Corden), Chenille (Caroline Hjelt), Satin (Aino Jawo), Cooper (Funches) and Guy Diamond (Kunal Nayyar) – set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Barb, who’s looking to upstage them all.”
First things first, I did not see the first Trolls movie because at the time it didn’t appeal to me, even though I kept hearing how good it was. I’m now kicking myself about this because having now watched TROLLS WORLD TOUR, I am definitely going to be checking out Trolls. To my absolute surprise, I found this movie to not only be adorable, as it was filled with cute non-troll creatures, but there was a darkness that permeated throughout the entire film that made my horror heart so happy. Is this movie scary? Absolutely not, but it does feature some rather startling imagery tied into themes such as death, betrayal, abandonment, and more. For a kids movie, there are moments that are bleak but rest assured, the amount of candy-coated songs and colors reign supreme.
One of my favorite aspects of this film has to be the animation. I love animation, it’s something that I grew up wanting to do when I became an adult. Though my career went in a different direction, I still have a deep appreciation for all forms of animation. In regards to TROLLS WORLD TOUR, I loved how the animation was used in a variety of ways that made you want to reach out and touch the world that had been created. The trolls themselves are so detailed that you can see tendrils of fur sticking out of their face (and no, I’m not talking about their hair). However, speaking of their hair (and this has nothing to do with the animation), but can someone please talk to me about the fact that both male and female trolls can give birth – OUT OF THEIR SCALP. A little baby Troll pops out of their head upon birth and honestly, I was shook. Anyways, back to the animation, I would say that there was a definite emphasis on making this movie pop and the animation succeeded in getting that down with bright colors and flashy designs.
Along with the superb animation style, the music was another aspect that really shined. The film, as a whole, felt like you could have a karaoke party along with it. Featuring everything from popular Top 40 songs to original music and everything in-between, TROLLS WORLD TOUR definitely emphasized the importance that different styles of music can have on people. Whether you like pop, country, rock, classic or whatever gets you going, the differing array of sounds are brilliantly composed to get viewers amp’d up and singing along. That said, I think the music portion is one of the strongest facets of this film – even my partner, who isn’t a big fan of pop music (he was all about Queen Barb’s rock world) was bopping his head throughout the film.
In regards to the voice acting and musical influence styles of the actors involved, I think everyone did their respective parts wonderfully. I think each voice was expertly labeled for each character and their respective musical world. The only issue I had was with Justin Timberlake as Branch. I get that his character is supposed to be curmudgeonly but I just wasn’t impressed with anything his character did. Plus, hearing Timberlake talk in his whiny, complaining voice throughout the film was like nails on a chalkboard for me. Furthermore, I felt like his song was the weakest in the brunch. Lastly, I really want to give a special shout-out to Kenan Thompson, who plays newborn Tiny Diamond, and was a such a special treat whenever he appeared on-screen. Same with the bounty hunters on the search for Poppy, featuring a Kenny-G inspired Troll, a group of K-pop performers, and a Reggaeton group, which I think a lot of people will enjoy.
In all, TROLLS WORLD TOUR does a fantastic job of showing how music can change our lives while bringing us closer together and accepting each other’s differences in a positive light. With all that’s going on in the world right now, this movie was one that cheered me up and had me singing along to the tunes in the film. With all the characters that this movie has, I think people will have a blast finding out what character/music they relate to the most. All that said, adults and kids will both find a lot to love with TROLLS WORLD TOUR, so do yourself a favor and, if possible, rent it this weekend for a much-needed cheerful few hours. TROLLS WORLD TOUR is now On Demand.