By Adam Ray Palmer
Our fifth and only animation film of the 60th London Film Festival is Dreamworks' all-singing-and-all-dancing Trolls.
Trolls is directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn and stars Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel and pop sensation Justin Timberlake.
Trolls has been well documented in the press recently and so I was expecting big things from the little guys...
When 'Trollstice' arrives (the day where Bergans eat Trolls for happiness), the trolls must run and make a new home together. 20 years on, a tragedy happens when a loud party alerts a bergan to find their new habitat. A small gang of trolls are taken to be eaten by the misinformed Prince Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
This means Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the optimistic leader of the trolls, and Branch (Justin Timberlake), her polar opposite, embark on an adventure that takes them far beyond the only world they've ever known to save the trolls from certain doom.
As we should all know by now, Trolls' primary audience is children. This means I am reviewing this on two bases, is there anything for the adults? And do I think kids would enjoy it? I would say yes to both. To please the grown-ups, Mitchell and Dohrn have thrown in a few one-liners that would make any adult chuckle. That's pretty standard nowadays but it's still on the checklist. The other thing that I liked was the choice of songs. Normally on an animation soundtrack, you get the average chart toppers or some child-inspired freshly written song - not with Trolls! You get Gorillaz's 'Clint Eastwood', you get Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' and Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colours'. There's something for everyone!
The story of Trolls doesn't rival Inside Out or Zootropolis but it certainly has great messages within in it. It's not exactly an original script with the main being two heroes who don't like each other must go and save the day, but then like each other in the end. However, I did like two side plots to Trolls. Firstly, I liked how Timberlake's Branch and Kendrick's Poppy aren't forced together romantically. I've noticed though in recent years that animations and children's films have become more relaxed with this aspect. It used to be the prince and princess must get together, those days are gone.
The other side plot I enjoyed Deschanel's Bridget chasing the prince's affections. We first see her dress up to get his attention as "he wouldn't be interested otherwise". The trolls teach Bridget that she can be true to herself and the prince will realise he fell for the real Bridget rather than her fake persona. This is a good message to portray to children and it makes for an entertaining finale.
Over the course of 90 minutes, Trolls is a bundle of Joy. It may be slightly unoriginal at times, and slow to get going but when it kicks into life, it's addictive. There aren't too many musical numbers either to make your brain leak. Trolls is great family fun.
Cineroom's Rating: 3.5 Stars
Trolls is released in the UK on 21st October 2016 - certificate PG
From Adam Ray Palmer, the Editor-in-Chief.
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