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11.14.2016

Let's Go To The Movies - Trolls

Since we weren't home for Madeleine's birthday, we decided to take her and a couple of friends to see the new movie, Trolls over the weekend for a belated celebration.

When her friends are kidnapped, Poppy, the happiest troll ever, (Anna Kendrick) enlists the help of the curmudgeonly troll, Branch (Justin Timberlake) to save them before they are eaten up by the monstrous Bergens.

As an adult watching an animated film with my kids, my number one concern is that they're enjoying it; but if possible I want to enjoy too. Certain studios (cough, Disney, cough, Pixar) are really good at making animated films that appeal to all. Their story lines resonate in some way with everyone and they're good at adding subtle humor here and there that may go over a kid's head, but is appreciated by adults in the audience.

That being said, Trolls is a really great animated film...for kids.

The movie was insanely colorful (like borderline psychedelic), quality animation, and really fun music too (we've already picked up the soundtrack). It was the story that didn't quite cut it for me though. The overall message was good (aka happiness comes from within), but it was pretty juvenile in its delivery. Don't get me wrong, that's totally fine for a kid's movie. But most likely, you're going to have to sit through this with your kids, so it's worth making the distinction. Your kids will probably love this movie, mine totally did. But you, well...maybe you will, maybe you won't. I thought it was just okay, but it did thoroughly entertain my kids; so like I said, great movie...for kids.  

I was also really excited for the cast - Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani, James Cordon, and Russel Brand! Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake were outstanding. I could seriously listen to Anna Kendrick sing all day (seriously, the soundtrack to this film is better than the actual film). But I was a bit bummed about all the others. Most of their parts were all so small and immemorable it really wasn't worth their talents. The only one that had a decent sized part was Zooey Deschanel as the Bergen, Bridget; but, to me, it didn't sound like her natural voice, so it never registered with me that it was even her.

Finally, I hate to say this, but it really felt like this movie was just put together to sell toys. I know a good animated film is a goldmine as far as toy licensing is concerned, but ideally, your primary goal should be to first make an outstanding animated film that people love so much they want more of - then it makes sense that the toys follow. I was seeing Trolls toys in the stores months before the movie was even out. What do you guys feel about that? Is it jumping the gun, or expected nowadays? I've already seen Moana toys out for awhile now too, so Dreamworks is certainly not the only studio guilty of this.

Okay, so that's all I have to say about Trolls. I seriously did not mean for this review to end up so negative when I started it, and I realize I'm probably being way too hard on the film. I probably should have just said, "It was a colorful little movie that your kids will enjoy" and left it at that.

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