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See what our movie critic has to say about DreamWorks’ new animated musical comedy, Trolls, starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.


“Oh snap – my Axe body spray must have worn off!” Poppy (Anna Kendrick) tries to get under the rather prickly skin of Branch (Justin Timberlake) in a scene from TROLLS. Credit: © 2016 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All rights reserved. 



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Cleese, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Ron Funches, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand and Gwen Stefani

WRITER(S): Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (screenplay); Erica Rivinoja (story by) and Thomas Dam (creator of the book The Good Luck Trolls on which the film is inspired by)DIRECTOR(S): Walt Dorn and Mike Mitchell

WEB SITE:’S THE STORY: An animated musical based on Thomas Dam’s The Good Luck Trolls, Trolls tells the tale of Poppy (Anna Kendrick), a happy-go-lucky individual who lives with her father (Jeffrey Tambor) and the rest of her fellow trolls. Singing and dancing at will, the trolls have a great life … Save for the constant threat of the Bergens, a miserable group of ogre-like creatures who can only find happiness by eating the trolls. And after the head Bergen chef (Christine Baranski) makes an error that denies young Prince Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) his first troll ever, the Bergens will stop at nothing to find them.

But while every other troll is dancing and reveling in their newfound paradise, Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake) is the one holdout who not only fears a Bergen return, but is convinced it will happen. That’s why he doesn’t dance, abhors signing and generally keeps to himself. So when the Bergen chef returns to wreak havoc and take revenge, he is the only one smiling.

Well, at least he was smiling, until Poppy finds a way to force him into helping her go on what looks to be a suicide mission to save their fellow trolls before they all become a Bergen buffet … 

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Anna Kendrick fans; people who love movies where the animated characters are irrepressibly cute; those who enjoy family-friendly entertainment that doesn’t fall into the typical unfunny, overdone trappings of films billed as such; those who enjoy films where the characters are more self aware than not 

WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who find musicals less than enjoyable; people who don’t like animation; people looking for a film with a harder edge

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? A film that is as entertaining as it is undeniably cute and fun, Trolls is a throwback to the days of 1980s Saturday morning cartoons with a few good laughs but but plenty of heart and positivity to help it go a long way to making you smile. 

Perfectly opposed characters at the start, Kendrick’s Poppy and Timberlake’s Branch – much like the leads in this year’s also excellent animated adventure Zootopia – share a nice, enjoyable chemistry that plays well together. Likewise, Zooey Deschanel does some of her best work ever as Bridget, a Bergen in love with young Prince Gristle that proves critical in the trolls epic struggle. While you can see many of the plot points coming, they are done in such an enjoyable fashion that you not only don’t mind, but in some instances you actually look forward to them. Happy without being sappy, fun without being redundant, Trolls follows the formula of having side characters that are funny little creatures to enhance the tale being told with a climax that is earnest in its nature. In short, what you get is a nice, feel good story that you can actually feel good about watching. 

That makes singing the praises of Trolls fairly easy to do.