'Trolls' is a nonstop rainbow disco megamix of feelgood jams
3 out of 5 Stars
Directors: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Erica Rivinoja (story), Thomas Dam (book)
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG for some mild rude humor
Recommended to: Those looking for a fun animated adventure that is essentially a string of music videos.
Synopsis: For years the Trolls have gone undiscovered after fleeing the oppressive rule of the Bergens, but their love for loud parties has alerted their old foes to the current whereabouts.
Review: I didn’t know what to expect from “Trolls.” The initial trailers lacked any sort of narrative and the fact that the directors had worked on the “Shrek” films didn’t provide a convincing argument as to why I should be interested in the first place (co-director Mike Mitchell also directed “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”). What it had going for it was its long list of high-profile voice actors (Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden, Gwen Stefani), but we’ve seen this sort of behavior from DreamWorks before as 2015’s “Home” was essentially sold as an extended Rihanna music video.
“Trolls” features a stronger narrative than “Home,” but it still plays out like a bunch of musical sequences loosely tied together by as little story as the filmmakers could get away with. Essentially if you took the closing musical sequences from the "Shrek" films and transformed them into a feature-length film you'd have the basic structure for "Trolls." Fortunately, the songs are well written and the visuals are appealing. I’m not sure that I’d want to be the parent that is forced to hear the songs over and over again, but in limited doses it wasn’t a grating experience.
While it doesn’t hold a candle to “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Zootopia” or “Finding Dory,” it is at least more enjoyable than “Storks,” “Ice Age: Collision Course” and “The Angry Birds Movie.”