My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is that……… its fine. It’s nothing special whatsoever, but it was not as irritating, corny, and grating as I was expecting it to be. Certainly better than most of the stuff DreamWorks released in the last few years, but that is not saying much. I would not be shocked if this is somewhere in the middle of the list for 2016 animated films.
There were small announcements about the film in 2012, but DreamWorks did not announce a release date until 2012, for a June 2015 release. Since they wanted to make as money as they could, DreamWorks purchased the rights to the Trolls franchise, and the film was pushed back a year.
The film starts with us seeing the species of Trolls, who do nothing but smile, sing, hug, and act happy. It is pretty clear what the film is going to be about in a few minutes. This all changes when Burgens discovered them, and wanted to steal some of the happiness from the trolls. This caused a celebration every year for the Bergens called Trollston, which of course causes the Trolls to worry. We see a bunch of Trolls escape back from Bergen town, which causes all of the Bergens to go after them with more hostility. All of this was 20 years ago, as they relocated, and we learn this from Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), who was supposed to be the one eaten 20 years ago.
Poppy wants to rescue all of the Trolls that were taken, but her father King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor) tells her that their motto “no Troll left behind” is not the case anymore, and they have to relocate for the first time in 10 years. Determined to get her friends, she goes to Troll Branch’s house to ask him to go to Bergentown with her, but he rejects. He hides in his Bergen-protected home, since it will last him 10 years, but she invites the entire village to reside there, which forces him to leave the house and join her. What I’ll say about the main characters so far is that they’re pretty strong. Pop[y is overly optimistic, but refuses to think negatively, while Branch is overtly negative and protective for some reason he refuses to believe that the world is all sunshine, and hates singing. I’m sorry, but I find it hard to believe that Timberlake hates singing. It’s obvious something happened to him that made him stop singing, and he used to love it before.
The duo end up at Bergentown in the next morning, and we see that all of them are miserable. Hopefully, they won’t handle this plot and theme involving happiness with a stupid contrivance that will piss me off. The special Bergen baby Gristle Jr from the prologue (which I never spoke about, and he is voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who is and is the king, and more miserable than ever, because he was told that the only way he can be happy is if he eats a Troll.
When she is alone, Branch and Poppy make a deal with Bridget, using her crush Griste Jr as leverage to let them go. This involves helping her out on a date with Gristle for their friends to be released. Branch ends up telling Poppy his sob story as to why he’s so miserable and paranoid against Bergens; he was singing his heart out, and didn’t notice that a Bergen was about to get him, so his grandmother pushed him aside, and ended up getting eaten instead. Nothing shocking or surprising, but it does give him more depth I guess. This scene would have been a lot better if the other Trolls and Bridget were not singing along.
Bridget storms to where he is at, and is confident, as he offers her on a date. The Trolls fail to help her out on a date until Branch tells her what to say, and it ends up winning Gristle over. Something tells me this is used to signify that he himself has feelings for Poppy. Since they have arrived, the Trolls are looking to rescue Creek (Russell Brand), who is in the jewel that Gristle had.
Branch decides that this is the time to sing to cheer her up, and……… I’m not even going to get into how rushed their relationship is. Bridget (who is pretty much the bus girl) is wheeling them out, and the Chef is telling her to hurry up with delivering the trolls. All of the singing causes the Trolls to light up and to have more faith. Bridget ends up saving and releasing them, knowing that it will be to her detriment, which causes the Trolls to go back to save her.
So they return to tell the king that he was happy with Bridget (as they prove that she was the one he went on a date with). Pretty much, they are telling someone that happiness is in everyone, and it’s something you feel. What happens is the song that Timbelake has been pushing since the summer (and the only original song) is sung to the Bergens, which causes all of them to dance, dance, dance. Chef and Creek is easily defeated and Bergentown is brightened by everyone. Poppy is appointed queen of her land, and starts a relationship with Branch.
The two main characters are likable and pretty strong characters, but all of the other characters are hard to care for in any capacity.
What I will say first off is that I like that they changed and re-tweaked the designs of the trolls, in comparisons to the dolls. It gives the film its own identity that is not instantly connected to the dolls. Anyways, I like the background designs, and all of the bold colors. There is a huge emphasis in darkness (used to signify depression), and boldness (to signify happiness). A lot of motion regarding the Trolls hair and the textures are pretty nice.
The songs………… There is only one original song at the end, and the rest are cover songs, which are sung and given a more modern instrumentation. I get it that all of them are used to emphasize the message of happiness, but it still comes off as slightly lazy to me. Regarding the score, there isn’t much that is memorable.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 4th, 2016, it grossed $141.9 million domestically, and $165.3 million in other territories, adding up for a worldwide total (as of December 8th) of $307 million.
The film has actually received positive reception thus far, with many liking what they did with the franchise, and the overall message of the film. Despite it being very kid-friendly, some found entertainment for the entire family. There has also been a lot of talk about the soundtrack of the film as well, which has been gaining hype since Timberlake released a single in the summer. Others found it to be the predictable DreamWorks film, and were not impressed with the story, and the overall formula behind it whatsoever.
It has received a few nominations and award wins so far, and almost all of them are for the soundtrack, or the “Cant Stop the Feeling” single by Timberlake.
= 28/40 = 70%