I walked into Trolls expecting a sweet kids movie with a good soundtrack (With Justin Timberlake producing the album, I felt that was a safe bet!). What I got was SO much more. Trolls brought on all the feels for me in a colorful, kid friendly way and delivered a message that was way more relevant and meaningful than I was expecting.
The movie begins with the always happy Trolls narrowly escaping the chompers of the Bergens. The Bergens think the only way to be happy is by eating Trolls. When the Trolls escape, so does the happiness of Bergen Town. The Trolls go on to settle deep in a hidden section of the forest, but 20 years later, are discovered and several are kidnapped! Princess Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) is the epitome of sunshine and rainbows. She joins forces with her unlikely partner Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake), the only pessimistic Troll out there, to rescue the Trolls from Bergen Town and save the Troll kingdom from certain doom. The movie follows their journey through the forest, as well as the adventures once they reach the Bergens. The Trolls even make an unlikely ally, a Bergen Town castle scullery maid (Zooey Deschanel). The cast is packed with names you know (Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, and more) which really does make listening to each character even more exciting.
When the story arc hit its peak, I started to really feel the message of the movie. Again and again you hear how everyone has happy inside of them, some just need help finding it. The Trolls work to help the Bergens see they don’t need an outside factor, or a materialistic thing (like eating Trolls) to feel happiness. They can find it within themselves. I have to admit I even sniffed back a few tears as the message of happiness really sunk in. I did not think Trolls would bring out the feely tears, but it certainly did for me. In fact, if you know you’re a sap like me, make sure you have a tissue handy when you hear the intro to True Colors.
My six year old son, gave Trolls a big 2 thumbs up. I asked him if there were any parts he felt very sad or scared in, and he said no. He’s a kid who really reacts to those emotions in movies, so Trolls was an easy to watch, enjoyable movie for him. For those of you with children who are sensitive to movies, there is one scene where a character flashes back to when a grandparent passed away. Other than that, the action and drama is kept mild and very kid friendly. My son loved the music throughout the movie and was really pleased with the 3D effects. We both agreed that there were lots of moments that made us laugh out loud. My son is six years old, but I can easily see this movie working for both children younger AND older than him. As a parent, Trolls gave me a great opportunity to talk with my son about true happiness and where it comes from, which was an incredibly valuable moment.
I mentioned the soundtrack earlier, but a casual mention does not do it justice. I had no idea that Trolls was basically a musical! As the adventures unroll, the music will absolutely have you rocking in your seat. I seriously wanted to sing along at some points since some of the songs and medley pieces are old familiars: The Sound of Silence, True Colors, I’m Coming Out, Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems. There are a few originals for the film also like Get Back Up Again which Anna Kendrick delivers as Poppy is bravely taking on the forest herself, while going up against some pretty trippy wildlife. My son and I were also both happy to hear Can’t Stop the Feeling as an actual song that fits into the movie, not just a song inspired by the movie that plays during the credits. On our way home from the theater, I found the Trolls Soundtrack on Spotify and we rocked out all the way home.
Trolls is in theaters on November 4. I can genuinely recommend to movie fans young and old. It is a fantastic family film. You will laugh, (maybe) cry tears of happiness, and sing along. Most of all, you will take a little time to reflect and find your happiness inside.
Trolls is rated PG and is 1 hour and 32 minutes long.