Once a global toy phenomenon, Trolls found new success on the big screen in 2016. Making about 345 million USD at the global box office, a popular Netflix spin-off series wasn’t far behind – although that show didn’t have any similarities animation-wise – and a sequel announced to open in theaters March 2020. Then just like the Bergens invading Troll Village, COVID-19 struck worldwide, with all of us hiding in our homes. Just like the risk-taker we know Universal Pictures is, they decided not to push back the release of Trolls World Tour, and instead launch it on VOD-platforms all across the nation. A game changer in cinema so it seems after a very successful first weekend.
Poppy (Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect) and Branch (Justin Timberlake – The Social Network) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six different lands devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. Their world is about to get a lot bigger and a whole lot louder. A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), aided by her father King Thrash (barely voiced by rock legend 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, set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Barb, who’s looking to upstage them all.
2016’s Trolls was for sure made for children who like sugary sweet pops of colour, and hyper-energetic scenes filled with music and silly jokes. What really stood out for those few adults who thoroughly enjoyed the first installment was its voice work and inventive animation style. This sequel amps it up and gets louder than you thought possible, while exploring similarities and differences between music and their inhabitants. The message is also very clear: we are all different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work as one united world and all get along. World peace has never felt more real than hearing it come out of centaur-looking troll voiced by Kelly Clarkson, with hair as high as the sky – yeehaw.
Old favourites, such as Biggie (James Corden) and Mr. Dinkles (Kevin Michael Richards) join our two main Trolls on an across-the-map journey, while Cooper (Ron Funches) finds his own path to an undiscovered family history that could help his friends and all of Troll World. But not before Queen Barb can do some serious damage, and hidden secrets revolving the true history of Troll World rise to question everything Queen Poppy once believed in. The only thing missing from the entire narrative, that was so established in the original film, are the Bergens. There’s literally none to be seen. Maybe their story had been told and the writers decided that it was time to explore some other ground. In saying that, let’s hope these warty looking klutzes are back for what could be a “Trollogy” unlike any other. Although the first Trolls-movie had a much fuller storyline, this sequel is so much more fun.
Trolls World Tour delivers exactly what you expect from it and never fails to awe you with a beyond-your-imagination mix of animation styles and lots – LOTS of glitter. Dreamworks shows they’re not done and dusted just yet, in what for sure will keep kids occupied while parents try to work from home. With a fun soundtrack in the background, this time including some reggaeton, K-Pop and soulful jazz-tunes to complete the never ending list of music styles, everyone will be able to bop their heads to it, because “Trolls just wanna have fun”.
Review – ‘Trolls World Tour’
Reviewed online, April 14, 2020. MPAA-rating: PG. Running time: 91 min.
Production: (animation) A Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release of a Dreamworks Animation production. Producer: Gina Shay (p.g.a.). Executive producer: Dannie Festa.
Directors: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith. Screenplay: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Maya Forbes, Wally Wolodarasky, Elizabeth Tippet. Music: Theodore Shapiro.
With: (voices) Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Rachel Bloom, Anderson Paak, Kevin Michael Richardson, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Ozzy Osbourne.