Trolls (2016) Find your happy place

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Dreamworks keeps coming up more and more great family movies, and although Trolls is not quite as immersive as Sing, it has its own charm and lots of colourful 1970s nostalgia mixed in. Anyone growing up in the era will understand many of the references the Trolls and their enemies, The Bergens come across along the way.

These trolls are not the kind one fights in Middle Earth, nor are they the kind that get loose in the basement at Hogwarts. These are very different. These are tiny, happy creatures based on toys created by the Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam in 1959. Now they are their own nation, and sadly, that tiny tribe lives in a park in the center of a Bergen town, only to be harvested for a festival every year know as Trollstice. On this day, Bergens get to indulge in a feast of happiness that comes from consuming Trolls. This particular Trollstice is the first one for the new Bergen Prince Gristle Jr.(Christopher Mintz-Plasse), but the prince will never learn how to be happy, because this is also the night that Troll King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor) gets everyone out of the captive park, and to a new home far in the forest. They live peacefully for twenty years, and soon the Troll princess, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is learning how to be a royal for the time when she takes the throne.

She is a little lady that believes in rainbows, glitter, sparkles, music, and scrapbooking. Meanwhile, one of her subjects, Branch (Justin Timberlake), lives in a world of paranoia and grey skies. He is a survivalist, and sees evil Bergens everywhere. This year, he has every right to be on his guard, because the royal chef (Christine Baranski) is on the hunt for Trolls as the young prince is now King Gristle II, and he has still never been able to celebrate Trollstice. Also, King Gristle does not know that his true path to happiness has been next to him all along in the form of a pink-haired chambermaid Bergen, Bridgit (Zooey Deschanel), who has had a crush on him for a very long time.

Thanks to King Peppy’s escape, the Trolls are now living in the forest, and the Chef has been exiled until she can create a dish just as joyful as the Trolls. Twenty years of freedom is about to come to an end when Poppy puts together the biggest, flashiest, most wild and loud party to celebrate, and the Chef sees all this light and glitter in the middle of the forest. Too much lightness and happiness in one place can only mean one thing, she back on the job! Soon a few capture Trolls are back in the Chef’s clutches, and Poppy is going to bring them back with Branch’s reluctant help. Poppy doesn’t let anything bring her down, and King Gristle will find his happy place in a world of 70s style music glitter, sparkle, and rainbow coloured feathered hairdos.

Trolls is a fun bit of fluff, for kids and nostalgic adults, and it has a fun, upbeat soundtrack which will make anyone want to feel like they are on American Bandstand or Soul Train back in the day. If you need some funky beats and colour, Trolls will be all you need.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★☆☆