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Review: Trolls (2016)

Directed by: , | 92 minutes | animation, , comedy, family, fantasy, musical | Original Voice Cast: , Zooey Deschanel, , , Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, , , Gwen Stefani, , John Cleese, , Meg DeAngelis, , Ron Funches, Walt Dohrn | voice cast: ,

Anyone who grew up in the eighties or nineties of the last century will probably remember them; the plastic troll dolls with their brightly colored, combable – and often straight up – hair. The doll was designed in 1959 by the Danish woodcarver Thomas Dam, who had no money for a Christmas present for his daughter and therefore made a doll himself, with glass eyes and sheep wool hair. When the other children in the village the troll doll, they wanted one too and Dam started producing the dolls in plastic. As early as the 1960s, children across Europe and the United States played with Dam’s creation. In the decades that followed, the troll dolls experienced a new period of popularity, so that many generations grew up with the cheerful figures. And they are also experiencing a comeback in the twenty-first century; the trolls now even have their own movie!

‘Trolls’ (2016) is an animated from the DreamWorks stable (known from film series such as ‘Shrek’, ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’) that contains an explosion of color, and cheerfulness. The Trolls are little creatures who are always happy and go through life singing, dancing and cuddling. Directly opposite them are the Bergens, huge grumpies who really only get happy from a nice bite of Troll. The Bergens once held the Trolls captive, but through a moment of inattention from the Chef (Christine Baranski) – the very day the Bergen Crown Prince Gristie Jr. (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) would eat his first Troll – they manage to escape. Twenty years later, the anniversary of the liberation is still celebrated, because the race-optimistic troll princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is throwing a party. All the Trolls are looking forward to it, except for the mournful and paranoid Branch (Justin Timberlake), who fears all that partying will get the Bergens’ attention. And yes, he turns out to be right, because Chef comes to the fireworks and manages to catch a few Trolls. When Poppy makes a plan to save them, no one dares to join her to the realm of the Bergens. She only manages to persuade Branch. It turns out that kitchen maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) has been assigned to guard the Trolls, but she’s more concerned with arranging a date with King Gristie and helping them escape. But when saving the last Troll, Creek (Russell Brand), things get out of hand … who is afraid that all that partying will attract the attention of the Bergens. And yes, he turns out to be right, because Chef comes to the fireworks and manages to catch a few Trolls. When Poppy makes a plan to save them, no one dares to join her to the realm of the Bergens. She only manages to persuade Branch. It turns out that kitchen maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) has been assigned to guard the Trolls, but she’s more concerned with arranging a date with King Gristie and helping them escape. But when saving the last Troll, Creek (Russell Brand), things get out of hand … who is afraid that all that partying will attract the attention of the Bergens. And yes, he turns out to be right, because Chef comes to the fireworks and manages to catch a few Trolls. When Poppy makes a plan to save them, no one dares to join her to the realm of the Bergens. She only manages to persuade Branch. It turns out that kitchen maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) has been assigned to guard the Trolls, but she’s more concerned with arranging a date with King Gristie and helping them escape. But when saving the last Troll, Creek (Russell Brand), things get out of hand … It turns out that kitchen maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) has been assigned to guard the Trolls, but she’s more concerned with arranging a date with King Gristie and helping them escape. But when saving the last Troll, Creek (Russell Brand), things get out of hand … It turns out that kitchen maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) has been assigned to guard the Trolls, but she’s more concerned with arranging a date with King Gristie and helping them escape. But when saving the last Troll, Creek (Russell Brand), things get out of hand …

Music plays a prominent role in this animation film; According to the makers, even the Trolls’ brightly colored hair could be explained by their musicality. So a musical comedy, in which we have to wait quite a while before we can finally hear Justin Timberlake’s sweet-voiced sound. Perhaps the makers play a little with the expectations of the viewer. But Anna Kendrick has also proven to have an excellent singing voice. As we saw in the ‘Shrek’ films, pop classics are given a contemporary guise. Only once in a while do we hear a new song (of which Timberlake’s summer hit ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ sticks best). The music is an important asset in ‘Trolls’; that takes the attention a bit off the color hysteria. Because yes, you have to be able to take it, all that candy pink, canary yellow and fluorescent , with glitter and flowers. The clichéd story and the cardboard characters contrast sharply; all attention has apparently gone to the visual department. The lack of depth is not a disaster; the young target group will enjoy all that splendor of color. And mom and dad who are watching undoubtedly hum softly along with all those well-known songs.

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