Brace yourself for Trolls. You remember those little good-luck dolls with the Don King hair and the creepy, vaguely fetal faces? Did you know they have a backstory? Well, they didn’t exist until now.
Trolls could be worse: it’s not smart and sharp like The Lego Movie, but it’s not Michael Bay’s-Transformers offensive, either. It’s not even enough Smurfs obnoxious, though that would require intense effort.
Trolls are cheerier and more colourful than just about any animated film this year, and it offers a couple of good laughs too. However, even if this is intended to kick-start a franchise, it never quite rises above its merchandising goals. There are musical highlights, but it plays more like George Lucas’ little-seen animated fantasy Strange Magic than George Miller’s Happy Feet films. In the year that Disney’s Zootropolis outdid DreamWorks at their own game, the corresponding attempt at Disney’s style is charming if not especially memorable.
Also, it’s tough to hate Anna Kendrick, even as an annoying adorable pink princess. She’s just too awesome. And that Timberlake song is pretty catchy. Just give in already. *sigh*. Written by the team behind Kung Fu Panda and made by the people who brought you Shrek, it’s sweet, funny, irreverent and gender-balanced. It has fab tunes, and the message about happiness is a great one. Go Trolls.