By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
The creative minds behind Dreamworks Trolls must have been influenced by 70’s musical comedy TV show, The Partridge Family. I really could not stop humming along to the later season’s opening title song, “Come on, Get Happy” afterwards and even hours later, that tune is still not out of my head! When this film’s story is about these Trolls celebrating life, they have a good reason to always be cheerful.
However, Branch (Justin Timberlake) reminds his people that their past will eventually catch up with them; one-day. the Bergins (giants) will find them and, like the Smurfs before them, get caught! Instead of an evil man, a hag has more of a motive to hunt them down like the wicked witch she is! Sadly, the day has come because Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the optimistic daughter of the king, was singing too loud and set off fireworks. Because she believes nobody should get left behind, she’s confident her friends can be rescued.
Branch does not and reluctantly follows because the Trolls have made his home their safe house. He wants them out! His doom and gloom make him the cautious type, but yet he finds something interesting about Poppy who throws that to the wind.
For a toy franchise that’s been around since 1959 with very little back story from the original creator, this latest work dreamed up by this studio by writers Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, and Erica Rivinoja has a great point to make about where true happiness comes from. It can’t be manufactured from material possession or come from food. It’s an emotion which must emerge from the heart and soul.
The film is likeable and the soundtrack is bang on to reflect this movie’s central message. Numbers like “Get Back Up Again,” “Hello,” and “True Colors” convey messages of romance. In this film’s subplot, hope exists within the Bergins community in Bridget (Zooey Deschanel), a scullery maid who has feelings for prince Gristle Jr. (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
The two stories blend quite well as both eventually meet to put a finale to a Cinderella-like tale. Even though the product is made to give a defined world to which the toy products belong, some adults might fear answering the question of how many toy trolls are needed to keep their children happy after they see this film? I won’t give a definitive answer as this film is one product I can safely say did not influence the child in me to say “must buy.” I’m still working on finishing my Minions collection.
3 Trolls out of 5