Trolls Band Together – Film Review

Back in the day, BroZone were the hottest most popular all-Troll boyband around.

Consisting of brothers John Dory (the leader), Floyd (the sensitive one), Clay (the fun boy), Spruce (the heartthrob), and the youngest of the group, Branch (the baby), it was said that if they ever hit the perfect pitch together, their voices could shatter diamonds. Unfortunately, at their peak, the only thing which shattered was their relationship, leading each brother to fly solo (because ‘YOLO’).

Years later, grown-up Branch (Justin Timberlake) is where we left him, best friends with Poppy (Anna Kendrick) Queen of the pop music Trolls. After previously brokering peace between the Trolls and the giant Bergens (who used to eat Trolls), Poppy is maid of honour at the Bergen royal wedding. As King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) are about to tie the knot, they are interrupted by John Dory (Eric André) with an emergency!

Floyd has been kidnapped by the hugely popular but scarcely talented musical duo Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells). Held in a diamond prison, they’re using his essence to fuel their own unearned stardom. Now, Poppy and Branch must go on a road trip to get the band back together to save him. Along the way, Poppy discovers Branch isn’t the only one with a long-lost sibling. Herself reuniting with Viva (Camila Cabello), the older sister she always wanted and never knew she had. LET’S BRO!

Trolls Band Together is based on the ever loved ‘Good Luck Trolls’ dolls, one of the world’s greatest toy fads dating back to the 1950s. The third in the animated musical franchise, the film sees director Walt Dohrn returning once again with a screenplay written by one of Trolls World Tour‘s many writers, Elizabeth Tippet. The movie continues the series’ combination of fast paced witty humour with an extremely catchy soundtrack.

I believe almost everyone of my generation had a Troll doll at some point. I still have mine, being this little one with purple hair the length of which I wish I could grow today. With their popularity lasting over half a century, it seemed inevitable we’d get a film franchise based around them. While not as prestigious as DreamWorks Animation‘s other franchises such as Shrek, I still enjoy these films immensely.

If you’ve seen the previous instalments, then you know largely what to expect. An insane storyline full of energy, colour, and spectacle, along with a variety of popular songs sung by the characters. The story here, while still not as smart as the first film, remains more focused than the previously mentioned, Trolls World Tour, likely a benefit of its sole screenwriter. The plot is built around the important role that family plays in our lives with the protagonists and antagonists all struggling under pressure to live up to expectations.

The outlier here would be the Viva and Poppy subplot which seems underutilised, being mostly just present to give Poppy‘s character growth. It’s a pity, as Viva‘s gang embodies one of my favourite things about the Trolls films, their creative world design.

Each stop along Poppy and Branch‘s adventure is bursting with uniquely vibrant life and diversity. Viva‘s gang of Trolls live within a funfair and all their weapons are based around the prizes one would win at an arcade. While the beachside community, where Spruce has moved, is populated by what can only be described as Jim Henson Muppet-like people.

The spontaneity and ridiculousness of this film is what makes it such a joy for adults and children alike, with there being heaps of slapstick to keep the kids amused and plenty of grown-up references for the adults to have sensible chuckles at as well. It’s taken 3 films to get here but there are numerous fourth wall breaking gags aimed at Justin Timberlake‘s career that older viewers and his fans will surely appreciate.

Something which can be enjoyed by everyone is the impressively huge assortment of songs played throughout the film. The songs are more often combined into medleys which I preferred. That said, I can’t deny the audience were having a great time bopping along throughout entire film. Trolls Band Together also boasts the first new song by NSYNC in 20 years, another thing which makes it so special!

Trolls Band Together is a fine addition to the franchise, the quality of which neither dips too low nor soars to new heights. New faces and new locations keep the film feeling fresh, while the soundtrack is as catchy as ever. This animated film held my smile on my face the whole time I was watching it, and that sentiment was shared by the audience, especially the younger patrons surrounding me.

Trolls Band Together is in cinema from November 30.

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