Earlier this month I attended the Multimedia Screening of DreamWorks’ TROLLS at Cineworld Leicester Square with my sister and niece. As someone who grew up in an era where “Good Luck Trolls” were all the rage, I was intrigued to see how Director Mike Mitchell had taken the concept of the dolls and turned it into an animated musical comedy film.
The film opens to a delightful, scrapbook-inspired montage which sets the scene for the whole film. We’re told that Trolls are “the happiest creatures the world has ever known.” Their world is one that’s full of music, hugs, cupcakes, glitter and rainbows.
Living in perfect harmony with one another, in a huge tree, there’s only one thing that ails the trolls – the Bergens, a group of cantankerous, ugly ogres who are inherently miserable and can only be truly happy when they have eaten a troll.
The Bergens are preparing for the holiday of Trollstice, the one day a year they get to experience happiness by eating a troll. However, much to their surprise, the trolls, led by King Peppy, have scarpered underground and escaped to freedom. This leaves the Bergens perpetually “hangry” and the Bergen Chef banished from the kingdom for not pleasing the town…and this is where the Trolls story really begins…
Fast forward 20 years and King Peppy’s daughter Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) decides to throw the biggest, loudest party ever to celebrate the anniversary of their freedom. This is against the wishes of Branch (Justin Timberlake), who’s convinced that the Bergens will return at any moment to gobble them up. What follows next – a montage of Branch’s previous panicky freak outs – provides one of the film’s best moments of comical genius!
Branch’s fears are soon confirmed when the fireworks from Poppy’s party attract the attention of the Bergen Chef, who was exiled decades ago when all the trolls disappeared. She sees the “all singing all dancing” trolls as a way to get her back into the palace, so she proceeds to gate crash the party and kidnap a handful of them to present to Prince Gristle.
Suddenly the Trolls’ world of cupcakes and rainbows is changed forever, and it’s down to Poppy, the happiest and most positive troll ever born, and the overly-cautious Branch to rescue her friends. Together, this mismatched duo embark on a rescue mission full of adventure and mishaps – trying to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done.
Along the way, we discover that actually Branch isn’t as cold and pessimistic as he comes across and that the reason behind his unwillingness to sing stems from a tragic accident in his past. But when he sees a deflated Poppy sinking into a state of hopelessness and despair, he allows his true colours to shine through.
The film concludes with Poppy using the love story of scullery maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) and Prince Gristle to teach the Bergens’ about happiness and the fact that it comes from a place within, not from the trolls.
Everyone has happiness inside of them – they just need to look for it.
Overall, I thought the film was fantastic – one that’s full of glitter, cupcakes and rainbows. It’s perfect for families and full of laughs from start to finish. There’s a wonderful message throughout this film and although the story may have a lot to thank Cinderella for – even down to the lost shoe – the film is very original, brilliantly told.
We certainly found our happy place and came away smiling!