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Trolls World Tour

As the COVID crisis continues to force folks to stay indoors, Hollywood, like the rest of the world, has been forced to adapt. As I mentioned last month with ONWARD, many studios are making the proactive approach of sending theatrical releases straight to video on demand.

Trolls World Tour: GRADE: B-

As a result, Dreamworks made the decision to release one of their most anticipated family films of the year, TROLLS WORLD TOUR, in this manner on April 10.

I was just as surprised as anyone when the original TROLLS was released, and it wasn’t terrible. After the shocking success of THE LEGO MOVIE, a movie that, when first announced, convinced me that creativity had officially died, I should have learned to stop doubting the Hollywood machine. THE LEGO MOVIE was one of the best animated movies of the decade, launching spin-offs on both the big and small screen. But, with TROLLS, it was tough for me to get on board. We’re talking about a movie based on toys that I didn’t even really like as a kid, and were best suited for bingo bragging rights. How could things possibly turn out well? Somehow, once again, they did. With bright colors, buoyant use of music, likable characters, and a playful ensemble cast, it surpassed the expectations of most by not being awful. In fact, it was a family film that was crowd-pleasing by any inconceivable measure. When all was said and done, it grossed $346 million worldwide, and spawned the jovial sequel, WORLD TOUR.

If TIGER KING was a perfect form of escapism for adults during the quarantine, TROLLS WORLD TOUR provides that same type of relief for kids. As it turns out, the world we were introduced to in the first film isn’t the only realm of Trolls that exist. There are others out there that represent different genres of music. While Poppy (Anna Kendrick), Branch (Justin Timberlake) and the rest of their pals live in the pop world, the lands of techno, country, funk, classical, and rock are all uniquely different. Though most are oblivious to the existence of the others, the rock group, led by Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) intend to take over all of the other lands, converting everyone into rock zombies.

Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake), our heros from the first film, happy and completely oblivious to the other Troll lands that exist.

As was the case in their first adventure, the key to the success of TROLLS lies not in the ability to tell a story, but to engage its audience with splendid, bursting color, clever animation, and a bunch of catchy tunes. While I would have preferred to see in the theaters, there is something to be said for the ability to watch it in crystal-clear 4K. It really allowed me to focus on the unique world that unfurled before my eyes. The utilization of different textures and fabrics to craft a dazzlingly splendid universe is an aspect that I admittedly didn’t appreciate fully the first time around. In WORLD TOUR, however, it is abundantly clear that directors Walt Dohrn and David P. Smith went to great lengths to ensure that there was always something beautiful to see on the screen.

Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) intent on taking over every troll land for herself

While I prefer my animation with a bit more heft (ONWARD, for example) there is no denying that the target audience for WORLD TOUR will surely adore it. Lively, funny, and spirited, it is the type of inoffensive, mindless entertainment that many kids need right now. Couple that with the fact that it expounds on the importance of tolerance, acceptance, and friendship, it becomes pretty difficult to fault it in any significant way. While it may not prove to be the most memorable movie for you, I’m confident that your children will find it far more impactful.



RUN TIME: 1h 30min

GENRE: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom

DIRECTORS: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith

WRITERS: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger


Dreamworks did a bang up job of creating another visually stunning world full of color and texture.

Brian Miller