Movie Review: Trolls (2016)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2016 animated movie starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.

Synopsis: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of escaping the troll-eating Bergens, Princess Poppy throws the biggest and loudest party ever. However, when her party leads to the trolls being found and several of her friends being captured by the Bergens, it is up to her and the grumpy troll Branch to rescue them.

Who's In It?

The animated family movie uses voices from Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani and Christine Baranski.

Review

We decided to order pizza for dinner last night and, since the pizza order came with a free movie, I ended up picking out this film with the intention of having a family movie night with the kids.

When I first saw previews for this movie, I immediately had some doubts about it. I remember the Troll craze from when I was a kid (it wasn't really my thing but I knew a lot of people who collected them) and couldn't help but wonder if maybe the film was simply a way of reviving that so more of the toys could be sold. As a result, I honestly wasn't expecting this movie to be that good.

And, to tell you the truth, when we first started watching this movie last night, I thought my doubts were going to be confirmed. It was colorful and had some good song choices. But, at least at first, it looked like it had a too-simple plot and not much substance.

However, as we continued to watch the movie, I admittedly found it growing on me. The characters, especially Branch (Timberlake), had a surprising amount of depth to them. And, once Branch and Poppy (Kendrick) made it to the Bergens' city, the movie proved to be much less predictable than I thought it would be.

I think the character I found I liked best in this movie was the scullery maid, Bridget (Deschanel). While she did her part to help the trolls, she was also one of those characters that was hard to read. Since she had her own personal motives for helping them, it wasn't easy to tell if she was going to continue to help or would ultimately feel the need to betray them. And, if the latter happened, it wasn't overly clear how they would escape.

Probably my only dislike about this movie were the Bergens themselves. The film's plot was centered around the Bergens being unable to feel happy unless they ate a troll. Yet, there were plenty of scenes where they didn't seem overly miserable. As a result, the surprise twist at the end wasn't as much of a surprise as I think the writers wanted it to be. But, since this is a family movie, I guess I'm willing to overlook that.

Final Opinion

I wasn't sure if this was a film I would enjoy watching. But, it ended up exceeding my expectations and was a pleasant surprise. I would definitely recommend it as a family film.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 03/25/2017, StevenHelmer
 
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