Sunday, November 6, 2016

Trolls is sugary sweet, colorful fun for all ages

Movie Title:   Trolls

Grade:   A

Rating:  PG, 100 minutes

In a Nutshell:    This sugary sweet DreamWorks movie is like watching a bag of colorful Skittles sing and dance and hug for an hour and a half.  What’s not to like?  

The trolls are way cuter than those dolls that were around when I was a kid.  I mean, one troll poops cupcakes and another one farts glitter.  Totes adorbs.

As the trailer says, this is a “musical adventure that proves one voice can change the world.”  It’s a happy journey, perfect for all ages.  If you’re a cynical adult who hasn’t had children, this movie could be torture for you.

Uplifting theme:  
  • Find your happy place.
  • “Happiness is inside all of us.  Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.” – Branch
  • “Happiness isn’t something you put inside.  It’s already there.” – Princess Poppy
  • “There’s always a bright side.” – Princess Poppy
  • Friendship, unity, teamwork, togetherness.  We need each other.

Things I liked:
  • This fun flick is filled with toe-tapping music.  There are a lot of familiar songs you can sing along to, as well as some new ones you’ll instantly like.  Some of them have great messages for your kids, like, “I’m not giving up today.  I will get back up again” sung by Anna Kendrick.  The trolls rescue the music and the music rescues them.  Speaking of combining music with animation in the film, Anna Kendrick said in an interview with Regal Theaters, “It just feels like they belong together.”  Anna is precious as Princess Poppy.
  • Super colorful.  Even the color combinations are happy.  They use the lack of color to illustrate attitudes and states of mind as well.  It's simple symbolism that children can understand, but it works effectively.
  • Cliché’d dance number at the end, but still fun and definitely appropriate for this story.  You'll leave the theater in a good mood.
  • I know fanny packs are super dorky, but they sure are practical, right?  I thought it was hilarious that Chef Bergen wore one.  Speaking of Chef, I love Christine Baranski in everything she does.
  • I liked that there was a little character named Cooper (played by Ron Runches), because it's my son’s name.  There was a "Jar Jar Binks" aspect about Cooper that was a little annoying, however.
  • The animation is really good.  I’ve never seen felt, yarn, glitter, and fabric done so well before!  You really feel like you can reach out and touch them.
  • Funny, fat crow.
  • If you wondered why Zooey Deschanel was missing for weeks from her starring role in the TV show “New Girl”, you’ll be happy to hear her sing and voice Bridget, the scullery maid.
  • Justin Timberlake’s voice is a welcome addition to the animated world.
  • Once this movie hits the DVD market (March 2017), parents won’t mind this playing on the TV a hundred times a day.  Well, for a little while at least.
  • Scrapbooking! 

Things I didn’t like:
  • Merchandising for this film seems blatantly obvious, yet even the strongest objectors will probably secretly want to buy one of these adorable trolls.  The whole idea of merchandising these products is ironic, considering the theme of this movie is that you can’t consume happiness.  Ha ha
  • The cast is absolutely fantastic.  It’s a shame that so many talented actors only get a short amount of screen/voice time compared to the main leads.  The list includes Gwen Stefani, James Corden, John Cleese, Jeffrey Tambor, Russell Brand, Kunal Nayyar, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
  • Not all of the humor works.
  • The movie poster could have been way cuter.
  • The plot is extremely simple.  Just enjoy the musical ride.

Happy lines:
  • “Hug time is all the time.” – Poppy
  • “I know life’s not all cupcakes and rainbows, but I’d rather go through life thinking it mostly is.” – Poppy

Funny lines:
  • “Solid burn, Branch.” – Poppy
  • “Why don’t you scrapbook them to freedom?” – Branch
  • “I don’t like the looks of him.  I mean, who wears socks without shoes?” – Branch
  • "It has everything we need: fresh air and sweet acoustics!" - King Peppy

Tips for parents:
  • Other than the troll who farts cupcakes, there is nothing objectionable about this movie.  Well, you see the rear end of one of the trolls.  ha ha
  • No profanity, although one troll says "OMG."
  • The monsters are called Bergens, but they’re not super scary.  Young children should be able to watch this movie without getting frightened.
  • Talk to your children about what makes them happy and how they can help each other to find joy in everyday life.
Let the merchandising begin!

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