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Trolls Movie Review

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This is a pretty big week in movies. We have a brand new Marvel film in Doctor Strange, a return to the director’s chair from Mel Gibson with Hacksaw Ridge, and an animated family film in Trolls. We’ve already talked about Doctor Strange and Hacksaw Ridge, so let’s talk about Trolls! I wasn’t extremely excited for Trolls, but I do like Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, and I did like the last trailer we saw, and being a sucker for animated family films, I did want to check it out! Let’s talk about Trolls!

Trolls is directed by Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell and stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, and Russell Brand. 20 years following the escape to freedom for the Trolls, a party leads the Bergens to their brand new home. The Bergens take multiple Trolls back to their town for an annual feast, and the only two up for the challenge to save them are Princess Poppy, the happiest Troll, and Branch, the only negative Troll.

I wasn’t really asking for this movie, and it sounded like a licensing and marketing move, but I am so happy to say that this movie was kind of beautiful. It actually hit me on an emotional level, and even though I thought this movie had no business being good, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I was actually really emotionally invested in the plot and the characters, and even though they spend a lot of time singing popular songs, I think they used a lot of them really well. There are some very touching moments, and I think that adults can appreciate the emotional moments and the great messages along with their kids. This is also a very well-animated film. The color usage and the character design is really impressive, and Trolls is really aesthetically pleasing. I also loved the vocal performances from Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. They have great chemistry, and they counter each other really well. The two characters are complete opposites, but their character arcs are fantastic, and I loved watching them grow.

Trolls exceeded my expectations, but it was definitely not a perfect movie. First of all, it was pretty paint-by-numbers, and it’s predictable. It relies on a lot of the same gags over and over again, and a lot of the gags and laughs are aimed at kids. I think that they’ll work really well for kids, but I don’t think that the laughs will come from adults. Where adults are going to get enjoyment out of this movie are the heart-felt moments, the character development, and the messages. I can’t really say I have too many negatives other than the predictable story and the gags aimed at children, and I’m glad I get to keep the negatives short!

Overall, I really did enjoy Trolls for all of the moments where it hit me hard on an emotional level. It surprised me with that, and maybe that helps, but I still have to give it props. I thought a lot of the songs were handled very well, and Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick have incredible chemistry musically and from a voice-acting perspective. On a side note, how talented is Justin Timberlake? The guy has the voice of an angel. Anyways, Trolls is going to hit harder for kids, but I still think there is plenty in here for adults to enjoy, and it has great messages for all ages. It’s not the best animated movie I’ve seen by any means, but this movie had no business being as good and emotionally compelling as it was. It shocked me in the same way that Storks did earlier this year, only I may like Trolls a bit more. I’m going to give Trolls a 7.2/10.

Will you be headed out to see Trolls this weekend? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! If not, what are you seeing? There are plenty of movies to check out, so tell me what you’re most looking forward to! I should have a review for Arrival out next week, and I can’t wait to check it out! As always, thank you and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

PHOTO: Screen Crush

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm