Set in a far away, colourful world, Trolls live a happy and optimistic life, hugs a necessary component of every hour. Our protagonist is Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), who just wants the best for everyone in her kingdom, or at least it’s going to be her kingdom in the near future. That’s when the evil Bergens attack, taking a handful of Trolls back to their home town where they plan on eating them. Leading the Bergens is King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and so Poppy approaches the pessimistic Branch (Justin Timberlake) to help invade the village, rescue the Trolls and bring them back home. The odds are against them, but with songs to be sung, they go forth, attempting to bring their friends back.
The animation is so vibrant and alive, full of original visuals that are oddly reminiscent of so many things, but at the same time, they feel quite fresh. It’s no Pixar or Disney, that’s for sure. Nothing about the animation is going to blow you away, but for what it is, it’s sweet. It feels fluffy and innocent, flooding with creativity and wondrous patterns that will spark imagination in all of the kids who watch it. If you’ve ever seen or played the Rayman video game series, like I did many years ago, the visuals here reminded me of the visuals from that game, and yes, that is a very good thing as the art style in that franchise is sublime. They’re wacky and over the top, yet they fit right in.
The cast of Trolls is also rather large, and nobody is put to waste. Each character is distinctly different, and the supporting Trolls ended up being some of my favourite Trolls. The filmmakers were clearly given permission to go absolutely wild, and they did, and the result is a lot of fun. With a cast that includes Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Russell Brand, James Cordon, Gwen Stefani and so many others, you’d think there’d be a lose cannon here or there, but there isn’t. Nobody’s given screen time for the sake of being given screen time, and it never feels like they’re an actor recording lines in a studio. In fact, a lot of the cast are unrecognisable, and I had to look up on IMDb afterwards who was playing who, which is always a fun surprise.
To sum up, Trolls is a family friendly film that literally encourages you to be happy throughout, and it worked. I was. It’s a fun, vibrant and toe-tapping film with an astounding voice cast and excellent musical numbers, even if the film itself is generic and clichéd.