I don’t know how popular troll dolls are among youth today but they were definitely a staple back when I was young. It was kind of odd getting a film based on the franchise in 2016 but you won’t see me complain about an Anna Kendrick project…ever. Marketing for the film was positive with the Justin Timberlake song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” being everywhere before its release. How did the film stack up to its animated counterparts of 2016 though?
It has to be said that I generally don’t care for animated films. The bulk of them are targeted and marketed towards little children (which is fine) which is why they don’t always resonate with me. An animated feature must be wholly impressive and have innovative, compelling storytelling for it to connect with me. Side note, but I think Kubo and the Two Strings was a film that accomplished this and although it bordered on having adult themes it was rather fantastic. Now let’s get back on track. Trolls doesn’t really tread new ground. I’m no expert on animation or voice acting but I think the film was satisfying in these aspects. The film did a good job setting up the history between the trolls and Bergens , they brought a backstory into something I’m sure most of us are unfamiliar with. Some of the music and covers in the film are pretty impressive. I love hearing Anna Kendrick’s singing voice. She’s multifaceted in talents and her Princess Poppy is a cheery, boisterous, bundle of little joy. I enjoyed her troll rendition of “The Sound of Silence”. There is good chemistry between Kendrick and Timberlake even though you never see them and they probably recorded the voices for their characters separately.I appreciate the film tries to keep itself simple at its core rather than try for overt messages and become a mess in the third act (ahem, Zootopia).
While the film has fun moments I think there is a slight overabundance of characters and not enough purpose for many of them. The film doesn’t ever really reach to spectacular levels and stays safe. Can’t argue with that as its a kids film. The film has more than enough song and dance, quirk, and vibrancy going around to make children love it. It provides enough of the sweet and happy to keep the young ones entertained. However, if you are like me and looking for something special to write home about, this is not the picture for it.