“Trolls” reminds me a lot of DTV. While watching the film with my screaming 2 year old daughter, something dawned on me. Walt Disney used to air 80s music cut to vintage cartoons to fill time during the early days of The Disney Channel. Couple that with the fact that Timberlake produce the soundtrack and has been dropping a single 5 months before film launch, the true nature of the film is revealed. It’s a jukebox musical for kids that plays more like an animated video album for Timberlake.
If you dig JT, that’s fine. If you’re over the age of 13, then check out the Jonathan Demme documentary about JT’s tour on Netflix. For the younger kids, this will be right up your alley. One thing I did notice when doing my mixed audience observations was that kids older than 6 and under 13 were bored out of their mind. Preteens still demand narratives from studio films. The slight story you get plays like a pilot for a Dreamworks show to air at a later date.
When you push past Kendrick and Timberlake singing their hearts out, the lack of story becomes far more apparent. There’s a cloud guy and ugly maid girl to split your focus, but there’s zero narrative to be had. Hell, Russell Brand is in the movie for a solid 10 minutes split across 90 and nothing ever matters. He betrays his friends! But, I know nothing about the little Troll or why it matters. Outside of a brief John Cleese cameo at the opening, I know nothing about the film’s ill-defined villains.
Grab the kids and get ready to hear a mix of hits that you got tired of years ago. This time, it’s upbeat and about Trolls! That sounds good, right? Yeah, the kids that watched this with me seemed more interested having their pictures taken with the Trolls display outside of the theater.
- 1 hr and 32 mins