Trolls World Tour

Dept. of Cupcakes and Rainbows


Ever been slapped in the face with a wet rainbow? Ever drowned in a sea of felt? Ever stared unblinking into a thermo-nuclear glitter bomb?

If not, then the first 20 minutes of Trolls World Tour will replicate the experience for you, perfectly.

The follow up to 2016’s Trolls (which I thought was “inoffensive” at best) widens the scope of the Trolls’ musical world, introduces a new villain, bumps up the song count, but loses most (of what little) charm the original had.

I Got That Sunshine In My Pocket?

Queen Barb is the Rock Troll hell bent on taking over the world in Trolls World Tour.
Queen Barb, ooooh she’s so edgy

Barb (Rachel Bloom), queen of the rock Trolls, has decided to take the magical musical strings from the 6 different types of Trolls (Rock, Classical, Techno, Country, Funk, as well as the Pop Trolls from the first movie) and play the “ultimate power chord”, reuniting all Trolls under one God. I mean, under one musical genre, rock. Yup, it’s not exactly subtle, folks.

Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and her pop Troll friends Branch (Justin Timberlake), Biggie and Mr Dinkles (both James Corden in his least offensive performance so far) set out to convince Barb to knock it off and, failing that, meet up with the other types of musical Trolls to try and stop her. Poppy’s plan mostly consisting of convincing Barb that we can all be friends if we just try to get along and tolerate each other’s differences. Uh-huh.

Got That Good Soul In My Feet?

Queen Poppy steals a hot air balloon in Trolls World Tour.
“I got a bad feeling about this”

The messaging here is… mixed. While Poppy spouts rhetoric that “we’re all Trolls, why can’t we all just get along”, it’s undercut by reveals about the past misdeeds of the Pop Trolls later in the movie (it’s basically Pop Troll privilege, duh). Other attempts at troll diversity don’t work out so well and raise more questions than they answer.

Why do the Country Trolls only sing songs about misery?

Is Daft Punk actually techno or do only dad’s think that?

Why do the Pop Trolls get to sing Disco?

Why are the classical music Trolls severely under represented?

If there are only six musical Troll nations where do the smooth jazz, K-pop, reggaeton and yodelling Troll bounty hunters come from?

Would Old Town Road be considered as cultural appropriation in this world?

Are the Techno Trolls “mertrolls” or what? (They seem to live underwater, but other trolls visit them without the need for any breathing apparatus. The also seem to float on dry land.)

I Feel That Hot Blood In My Body When It Drops?

We can't figure out if the Techno Trolls can breathe underwater.
SERIOUSLY. What IS this!?

What worked about the first movie was that the Trolls OFFENSIVE optimism and cheerfulness was offset by the cynicsm of Branch, the only Troll with crows feet, and the miserable outlook of the Bergins (the villains from the first movie who only experience happiness when they eat Trolls).

As everyone seemed to have moved to a more balanced, realistic (centrist?) outlook in the first movie, the filmmakers tried to replace that message with one about diversity and how “things would all get better if only we just truly listened to one another.”

When they start talking about “the music being inside of us all, and coming from our culture” my eye-rolls finally drowned out the relentless soundtrack.

I Can’t Stop the Feelin’

In Trolls World Tour, it's revealed that the Trolls reproduce asexually.
Did you know Trolls reproduce ASEXUALLY. Via their HAIR?

The first movie also featured a tonne of weird, non sequitur gags, that sprang out of no where for the odd laugh here and there. These are, for the most part, either missing in this film or don’t land as well.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Trolls World Tour didn’t feel like it was barraging you with a new medley or mash-up of songs every 30 seconds. It felt like three movies worth of soundtrack had passed within the first third of the movie.

The first movie was slightly guilty of this but left room for original songs, to illustrate the characters inner feelings, just like in a classic musical. The sequels eschews this approach for the most part and instead feels like you’re being beaten to death by a complete “Now That’s What I Call Music!” collection ON TAPE.

There are so many characters in this movie but few are really given time to breathe. Despite casting the likes of Rachael Bloom and Sam Rockwell in notable roles, so little of these actors’ spirit or charm came through that I had no idea it was them until the credits rolled. The best cameo comes from Ozzie Ozbourne as an old Rock Troll but even he’s woefully underused.

The whole Rock Trolls aesthetic is pretty tired as well, feeling like it was lifted straight from Brütal Legend, Queen Barb comes across as the type of person who thinks adding a leather jacket to any kind of outfit adds “edge”.

I didn’t even notice the McElroy brothers cameos.

So Just Dance, Dance, Dance?

Kelly Clarkson is a Country Troll in Trolls World Tour.
is this racist? Trollist?

On the positive side, Trolls World Tour is a technical marvel. The felt and material world of the original is expanded to give everything a kindergarten arts and crafts feel. You’ve never seen peach fuzz as realistic as on these Trolls.

The world also features some lovely design logic. When the trolls dig a hole through a fabric plain, it reveals cotton stuffing underneath.

This movie has some of the best shiny tape I’ve ever seen in an animated movie, and that’s saying something. There are also some depth of field effects that are right up there with the cinematography of Toy Story 4.

Unfortunately, when I get to the point of talking about depth of field in an animated kids movie, you know the film has already lost me.

One for the young kids only but check out the soundtrack first, just in case they love it and you’re stuck having to listen to it for the next 6 months/years.

At least I now know what reggaeton is.

Trolls World Tour
90 minutes
Director: Walt Dohrn and David P. Smith
Writers: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Maya Forbes, Elizabeth Tippet, and Wallace Wolodarsky,
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Kelly Clarkson, Ron Funches, Gwen Stefani, Sam Rockwell, Karan Soni, Ozzy Osbourne, George Clinton, Mary J. Blige, and Ron Funches

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

Vin Diesel is Bloodshot.
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