Justin Timberlake’s feel good anthem ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ was the soundtrack to this years summer for many and now the film that it was created for is upon us! The second feature film that DreamWorks Animation have brought us this year, trading out martial arts pandas for hugging, singing and dancing ‘Trolls’.
It’s fair to say that expectations for this one were low, laying the foundations for a film based solely on a range of toys from yesteryear has had mixed results in the past but still just feels like a lack of creativity from film studios clutching at straws. Despite this I thought the narrative was good, it’s fairly simply – Trolls are happy and the other race of creatures in this animated world; Bergens aren’t. The only was for Bergens to be happy is to eat a Troll, alas we have the Trolls vs Bergens set up for the film. The studio was able to attract a large and quite varied voice cast for this movie with most performers doing well, the highlights were Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake in the lead roles, both well suited to this kind of narrative. Aside from our main protagonists it was the antagonists that shone in the shape of Christine Baranski and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. There are many other names featured here but the couple of Brit’s included; Russell Brand and James Corden always seemed a little jarring amongst the rest of the cast. They don’t have massive parts but their scenes often interrupted the fluidity of the film.
For anyone worried about the overload of colour, glitter and all round in your face happiness fear not. The reason why Timberlake does so well is because he offers an escape from all of this as his character, Branch, relishes his solitude and abstinence from all things that make the Trolls who they are. He’ll most likely be the most relatable character for audience members who are slightly overwhelmed with the explosion of cupcakes and rainbows.
Often this contrast brought a lot of humour to the film and there is plenty of fun to be had here with laughs for all ages. I wasn’t aware that this animation featured a collection of songs too, some original and a compilation of cover versions too. This mostly works very well and at times adds a lot in terms of the comedy. They also give the film a great energy with the highlight of course being ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’. Unfortunately before we get to this stage there is a period of time where ‘Trolls’ drags, everything slows right down before the finale and the film risks losing it’s audience both young and old. Thankfully the finale makes up for it but the film would have benefited with something better in it’s place. ‘Trolls’ also carries a message about happiness which has all the best intentions and whilst will be true for some it’s ultimately flawed but it shouldn’t be criticised too much for this.
‘Trolls’ ended up being a a rather pleasant surprise, in a year that seems to release a new animation each week it could end up being one of the more memorable efforts. With solid humour throughout, an effective voice cast for the most part and some genuine toe tapping Troll bangers (auto-tuned troll and all) you might just surprise yourself with how much fun you can have with this animation.
Rating – 7.5/10
Question: What is your favourite song from an animated movie?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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