The glitter-fueled Trolls animation series returns with a third installment in the form of Trolls Band Together.
Vivid colors and pop music are synonymous with the DreamWorks animated musical series, and Trolls Band Together is that and more, bringing along an entire band of trolls to the party.
Premise Be Trolled
The animated musical revolves around Branch and Poppy, returning from the previous films and now a couple. Branch is voiced by Mr. SexyBack Justice Timberlake and he has a past of being a boy band star. This past was then discovered by his girlfriend Poppy, voiced by Anna Kendrick.
The boy band in question is BroZone and it was formed by Branch alongside his four brothers, Floyd, John Dory, Spruce, and Clay. Unfortunately, in a fateful concert, the band failed to perform the Perfect Family Harmony and they broke off due to how miserably the performance went.
Fast forward to the present, John Dory (Eric André) shows up in a wedding ceremony between King Gristle Jr. (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) all of a sudden, surprising Branch and revealing his past to everyone in the venue. An embarrassment that will make Branch cry out a river.
Turns out Floyd (Troye Sivan) has been abducted and John wants to save his brother as a family with Branch. The narrative is exactly what you would expect, a tried and true animated film story premise of a family in trouble and everyone having to put aside differences.
Speeding Through the Trolls
The story of Trolls Band Together expands out to different subplots and is much like a video game with different side quests and mini-narratives, all of which eventually converge into the overarching plot. The movie is set up in a way that goes through each BroZone member one by one, finishing their side of the story before eventually joining with Branch.
In between, there are many different subplots, some awkwardly shoehorned in while others blended into the plot in seamless ways. Ultimately, it does build up to the later portions of the story but can feel rather packed with so many elements to keep track of.
One of the movie’s weaknesses is pacing, especially as it floods in with many trolls. From the moment the movie starts, scenes are played out swiftly where moments fly by and new situations arise in a sudden. It almost feels like the movie is attempting a speedrun challenge, rushing audiences to the later parts of the film rather than letting moments build up for a coherent story.
Trolls in Color Glitters
A praise that Trolls Band Together deserves is the animation work and attention to detail. Materials are given great care as the entire film feels very much like a puppet show with its environment looking to be made out of clothes and cottons, especially in close-ups.
Different trolls also have distinctive appearances, not only by design but also in their skins. Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells), for example, look like they are made out of porcelain. While Cloud Guy (Walt Dohrn), as his name implies, has the look of a soft cotton ball. There is even a diamond troll.
Throughout the movie, there are also a few moments where animation styles are mixed up, breeding a fresh look into the film and none feel particularly jarring as well. The 2D animation sequence was especially enjoyable.
As a musical, Trolls Band Together also has a great catchy lineup of classic pop songs to dance to. From a new rendition of Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees to a surprise reunion of boy band NSYNC with a new song in 22 years.
Ultimately, Trolls Band Together is an animated movie aimed at children, and its colorful set pieces and overexaggerated characters are evidence of that. That said, the animation creativity is quite commendable, boasting different styles and distinct material details.
Fans of classic pop songs would also find some enjoyment from the film as DreamWorks has brought in some catchy and iconic tracks to listen to.
All in all, Trolls Band Together is animated chaos that pours out vibrant dust of color glitter and fun callbacks to iconic pop songs, but ultimately suffers from a weak and forgettable narrative that dragged down the whole movie experience. It is a film that would be fine for children but can be a vapid slog for mature audiences to go through.
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Trolls Band Together
- Excellent and creative animation direction
- Catchy soundtrack and score to dance to
- The narrative is not up to par with what the rest of the movie has to offer and is somewhat forgettable
- Poor pacing
Trolls Band Together