TROLLS WORLD TOUR
Running Time: 9o mins.
Where Can You See It?: On Demand (Rent for $19.99)
Premise: Poppy (Anna Kendrick) discovers that the Troll World is bigger than just her Pop kingdom. There are other musical troll kingdoms, like Country, Classical, Techno, Funk, and Rock. When Queen Barb (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom) of the Rock kingdom tries to assert world domination by collecting the magical musical string from each kingdom, Poppy and Branch (Justin Timberlake) set off on a road trip to try and stop her.
Behind-the-Scenes: Originally set for theatrical release on April 10, Universal decided to keep the date in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, and release the movie for rental on the same date. Universal recently did the same for other theatrical flicks like The Invisible Man, Emma, and The Hunt. This is a pretty big departure from other studios, who have shifted release dates for their big tentpole pictures like Black Widow and Fast and Furious 9, and could signal a new method of skip-the-theater distribution if it’s successful.
The Good: Like the first Trolls, the music is catchy and the animation is brightly colored with a lot of excellent texturing. The voice work by its starry cast works like a charm, with Anna Kendrick and Kenan Thompson (as Tiny Diamond) being particularly funny standouts. The script is “just good enough” with a handful of sight gags and jokes that actually stick the landing. It moves quickly, and at 90 minutes, doesn’t overstay its welcome. Dreamworks’ animated flicks are usually pretty reliable family entertainments, and World Tour is no different in that respect. The opening 10 minutes are probably the best, a barrage of music and neon colors that tickle the ears and delight the eyes.
The Bad: It’s a standard sequel in terms of delivering a lot of the same elements that made the first film work and expanding the world, without ever being able to match the fun or freshness of the original. Despite the promise of five new Troll worlds, the screenwriters don’t really flesh out those worlds or the different characters in them, skipping over that stuff in favor of the next musical moment. Speaking of musical moments, the filmmakers had a wide array of pop songs to choose to use here – and to represent the best that pop has to offer, they go with “Gangham Style” and “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
Should You See It?: Sure. What else are you going to do while sheltering in place? Grab the family, make some popcorn, and shell out the $20 for an in-home theatrical experience. I love the convenience of it, but I sure do hope this isn’t the new normal. We still need movie theaters!
Star Rating: *** out of 5 stars
Better Than: Sonic the Hedgehog
Worse Than: Trolls, Onward
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