Trolls World Tour
Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson (voices)
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…a journey well-trodden, but nonetheless elevated by tight visuals, high-energy, and good vibes that make for some easy-breezy viewing.
A beloved toy-line turned vibrant-pop-musical, 2016’s Trolls dialled up the sugary-sweet jukebox shenaniganry to the point of cavity-overload.
Four years later, the happy-go-lucky, singing and dancing Trolls, now no longer beholden to the surprisingly grizzly predator-versus-prey escapades of its predecessor, continue to glimmer, sparkle and shine under the colourful gaze of returning director Walt Dohrn, this time co-directing with David P. Smith.
However attached the series remains to the trite ‘homogeneity is the villain’ antics (heck, what animated film isn’t), Trolls World Tour strikes the right chord with its wholesome message of embracing – and not just being accepting of – indifference.
The unveiling of this motif is brought out in Queen Poppy (the perpetually bubbly Anna Kendrick) and Branch (king of dad-cool Justin Timberlake), who upon discovery of invasion plans made by a neighbouring rock’n’roll obsessed Troll society – led by the commandeering-by-nature Barb (a hand-horn raising Rachel Bloom) – venture outside of their close-knit, pop-music loving community to protect the sanctity of Troll kingdoms everywhere.
True-to-form, Poppy and Branch, along with their pitch-perfectly cast of friends – including the voice talents of James Corden, Anderson Paak, and newcomer/country-bumpkin Sam Rockwell – encounter a variety of challenging hijinks, ‘will-they-or-won’t-they’ romantic gaffes, and life lessons amidst their turbulent adventure. The electrifying pace of the whole thing allows Trolls World Tour to bounce from scene-to-scene like a pinball in flux.
That said, the film is not without its dawdling side-stories, with the tribulations of a four-legged side-character forcing Trolls World Tour to drag its feet through muddy terrain.
However flat these notes can be, the filmmakers keep it fresh in the visual department; impressively combining vivid colour with dynamic landscapes to keep Trolls World Tour engaging throughout its runtime. Sound and visual hold steady together, with the variety of classic jukebox anthems and original songs proving infectiously catchy.
Shamelessly cute and not as irritating as it appears in marketing material, Trolls World Tour is a journey well-trodden, but nonetheless elevated by tight visuals, high-energy, and good vibes that make for some easy-breezy viewing.