TROLLS sings and dances its way into your heart
As a nanny and a girl scout leader, I’m around children a lot. I watch their TV shows, listen to their music, and read their books. For my own personal sanity, I categorize much of their (which becomes mine) media consumption in my head so I know what to re-watch (because children have a knack for re-watching the same thing 100 times) and what to avoid and “persuade” them to watch another time….preferably when I’m not there.
- There are kids films that are pure with good morale at the core. Maybe I like them, maybe I don’t. Doesn’t really matter, these shows/movies are too good to pass up.
- There are kids films that are just god awful and I will do anything in my power to avoid them no matter which child I am with. No amount of bright colors and advanced CGI techniques can save this bad boy.
- Then there are those special kids films that are just so dang funny, clever, and wicked entertaining, that no matter the age, you will fall in love with the characters.
Can you guess what category Trolls belongs to?
If you guessed the last one, you are correct! Let me explain why a film based on a popular children’s toy in the 60’s/70’s/90’s, is one of my new favorites.
I am trying to remember the last time I left a movie theater with a happy little pep in my step, it’s been a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love dark and twisted stories, but seeing a film that is inherently sugary sweet was just fun. Admittedly I did not know that this was different from The Smurfs (2011) film out a few years ago, I never played with Trolls and kind of thought they were evil little guys but in this film, Trolls are as happy and pure as you can get.
The Bergen’s (large, ogre like creatures) rule the land but they are never truly happy so when they figure out that consuming Trolls will allow them to feel happiness, they decide to hunt them and have a Troll feast once a year. Pretty morbid, I know. Luckily we don’t actually see this take place as the trolls escape and live happily for twenty years, only when Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) decides to throw the biggest 20th year freedom from Bergen’s anniversary party, do they invite an old enemy in to their hidden domain.
Poppy is everything a troll is supposed to be; cheerful, selfless, and sweet with a cherry on top. Her counterpart Branch (Justin Timberlake), is not so much. He’s paranoid and angry as well as closed off but the chemistry is there, even via computer generated images. The two go off on an adventure to Bergen country when several of Poppy’s friends are troll-napped. Throw in tons of hit songs from the last 30 odd years including a number one hit from this soundtrack titled Can’t Stop The Feeling! (performed by Justin Timberlake), cheeky puns, bright colors, and laughter from the audience, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
What solidified Trolls as a really good kids film is the fact that Poppy formed a sincere bond and friendship with a Bergen scullery maid (Zooey Deschanel) which went beyond the normal tropes of good guys versus bad guys. We got to go behind the curtains, so to speak, and the direction actually made for the audience to empathize with a Bergen who was not all bad. Sure, I may be an optimist but I don’t see how even the biggest internet troll could dislike this film.