Dreamworks’ Trolls Exceeds Expectations

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Photo credit: Sophia Williams

See Trolls in theaters now!

Sophia Williams, Arts & Entertainment Editor

From the trailers alone, Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls looks like a complete and utter flop. The characters’ designs are cute but reminiscent of the colorful insanity of a children’s birthday party. The jokes appear cringe-worthy at best, and the plot seems disgustingly predictable. Trolls looks like a generic, immature, and terrible children’s movie, but the actual film is… surprisingly not that bad.

Trolls is targeted for a younger audience (obviously), but to be honest, that’s what makes it so fun. The new Dreamworks’ movie  has several catchy pop songs performed by outstanding modern artists like Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. The film’s aesthetic is not as excessively vibrant as the trailers make it out to be, and the overall setting has a felt-like texture to it which is incredibly creative. The animation itself is smooth and amazingly beautiful as well. Trolls also has an extremely simplistic plot, making it easy to watch and purely enjoyable.

The movie is about a world of whimsical creatures, mainly the Trolls and the Bergens. The Bergens are miserable, disgusting beasts who cannot feel happiness. The only way for the Bergens to achieve joy is to eat Trolls since Trolls are such peppy, jolly critters. One day, a Bergen kidnaps Princess Poppy’s (voiced by Anna Kendrick) friends. She and Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake), an outsider troll, go on a journey to the grotesque Bergentown to rescue Poppy’s friends and save the day.

Although the movie was better than expected, there definitely were some moments that fell short of wholesome fun. Branch and Poppy, both unique characters, unsurprisingly end up in a bit of a romance, which feels like a last-minute idea. Their fling is completely forced and, frankly, pretty roughly acted as well. It seems harsh to judge a cartoon on its romantic believability, but Trolls really lacked a cute couple. Branch seems to launch from a moody, angsty character to a happy-go-lucky typical Troll. This “development” felt completely unfinished, as if the writers had not fully fleshed out the idea before tossing it in the script. Additionally, the trailer did not lie about the awful jokes. They were just not laughable in the least. Yes, the target audience is children, but c’mon Dreamworks, throw your elders a bone or two.   

Trolls is currently playing in theaters all across the nation. Tickets and times for AMC theater’s viewings can be found on their website, AMC Theatres.