Shot of Sugar – Trolls (2016)

Dance dance dance.  So trolls are very simple creatures with four motives.  All they want to do is dance, sing, hug each other and not get eaten by a race of ugly, larger creatures known as Bergens.  The Bergens want to eat trolls because it is their only way of experiencing true happiness.  The trolls have successfully evaded them in the past, but Bergens are persistent, and it isn’t long before a rescue mission has to be staged to save some captured friends.  Now I have gone on record a number of times and stated that my favorite animated movie of all time is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and I still stand by it seven years later.  Point being is that because of this fact, I am far more inclined to give an animated movie a chance when the knee-jerk reaction may be a befuddled “they made THAT into a movie?!”  Lo and behold, Trolls is way better than it has any business being.

1You can either resist it or you can give in and let yourself have a good time.  I chose the latter.

The reason why this has so much room to be successful is that DreamWorks is building a world that they have complete control over.  This isn’t Star Wars where you have people who are going to pick apart what is canon and what is fan fiction, this is just Trolls.  There is a lot of freedom granted, and they aren’t afraid to get weird with some odd looking creatures that eat each other, or talking clouds that are clearly on drugs.  They also completely control the physics of this world as well; for example, the hair on these trolls can grow and shrink at very fast rates, and it results in a number of different options of getting creative in an action scene or a chase sequence.  The fact of the matter is that they did not have to put a lot of effort into this.  If they were to simply put some bright colors on the screen and slap the Troll name on it, it would still make money simply because adults need something to take their children to.  But they did really come correct with some fresh ideas, and I really appreciate that.

2It’s all smiles, I promise.

This is the kind of movie where you must be having a really bad day if this doesn’t make you happy.  It is engineered to put a smile on your face, and I can’t imagine a situation where you wouldn’t start humming along with the pop song covers and start tapping your toes.  It moves extremely fast, and it has a throw everything at the wall and let’s see what stick mentality on the jokes and gags (and most of them do).  Is it predictable?  Sure, you have a yin and yang of positive and negative leads, and you know that they’re going to learn a lesson from each other before this is all over.  Does it have a “love conquers all” message to it?  Yes, but honestly, is that a bad thing?  Is it going to win any Oscars?  No, that’s reserved for Disney.  Is it something that I recommend?  Yes, and more strongly than you probably think.

Trolls (2016) ****

– Critic for Hire

Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016?  See for yourself here.


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