I spent time this Christmas with three of my nephews, ages 2, 3, and 5. The gifts that Santa left them underneath the Christmas tree looked awfully familiar: there were Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, Popples, and Transformers. One toy that I never could have predicted a resurgence for though, were trolls. Trolls were ugly little dolls that were pushed as collectibles for kids but were mostly popular with the blue-haired Bingo ladies, who would stroke their hair for luck before daubing the shit out of their cards. But for some reason Dreamworks thought it appropriate to give these guys another crack at glory (they’ve popped up in almost every decade since they were created in 1959) and they spent six years putting out this mediocre movie.

At first I thought it was as harmless as Sing, a movie that doesn’t exactly break new trollsheaderground, but has lots of catchy songs and cute, cuddly characters. Trolls is the same, until it isn’t. They live in a magical forest where they sing and dance and hug all day. Sure they have enemies who’d like to eat them, but they escaped the mean Bergen long ago, and what’s the use of dwelling on the past, right? Well, just ask the Bergen, who can only feel happiness by eating a troll. They’re pretty motivated to find those little freaky-haired fuckers and throw a feast to end all feasts. Finger licking genocide!

A particularly raucous, glitter-fueled party alerts the Bergen to the trolls’ location and the head Bergen chef makes off with a fanny pack full of trolls. Their princess, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), feels responsible (because she is) and embarks on a rescue mission with only Branch (Justin Timberlake), the grumpy troll with a dark back story, for help. But when they scale the walls of Bergentown, the movie suddenly turns on its head.

Trolls rescue mission movie basically aborted. Now we’re talking Cinderella, except in our 9-bergen-bridget-trolls-3d-animation-movie-previewcase it’s a Bergen scullery maid named Bridget (Zooey Deschanel), who is in love with King Gristle Jr (Christopher Mintz Plasse). Was Poppy supposed to save her friends from being eaten? Sure, “technically.” What, is that some sort of emergency? Some sort of priority? Can’t Poppy take a break to attend a roller disco if she wants? Jeez guys, you can’t expect her to be a slave for her loyal friends and subjects, whose lives she endangered.

Anyway, I lost track of the plot right around then, but they sang and danced their way toward a happy ending, rest assured. The biggest takeaway from this film was of course Justin Timberlake’s irrepressibly happy song, Can’t Stop The Feeling! My 5 year old nephew claims this as his jam so when it played in the movie he couldn’t help but dance in the aisle.

Which is the only reason I really need to like this movie. Luckily, they have several 5 minute music videos that accomplish as much without all the glittery poop. This song is up for a Golden Globe tonight, up against this song from Moana, which is so infectiously singable, I can’t imagine which will win.

Unless it’s this one (by Stevie Wonder!) from Sing, or the Gold one by Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse that I’ve never heard…

Or, you know, City of Stars, from the La La Land soundtrack, which is just a bit of audible magic. What’s got your vote?

26 thoughts on “Trolls

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  2. Tom

    How Far I’ll Go has my vote. That song legit gives me goosebumps. And I’m about to listen to it on the YouBoob before jumping into a review of ‘Lion.’ (Incredible movie by the way, you seen that?)


  3. Sean

    I find it hard to choose my favourite song this year. City of Stars takes me to La La Land and all my positive feelings for that film, but song-wise I think the Moana one is my favourite. But of course I would be crazy to bet against Justin Timberlake at the star-obsessed Golden Globes! So in summary I have no idea which will win tonight. Looking forward to finding out!


  4. Brittani

    My son saw this film with his preschool and has a massive crush on Poppy. Though he insists that “MOM SHE’S NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!”

    I really love “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, it’s so catchy.


  5. kmSalvatore

    wow.. the GG was great last nite. and i love all the songs accept how far will i go.. maybe becuz its in the cartoon form?? id never go to see LaLa. even though it won all those awards, im just not into musicals all that much, but ohh that music:) cant go wrong with Justin or Stevie:) lol… ive replayed cant stop the feeling now 5 times…


  6. J.

    Lost me at Trolls resurgence. What?

    Haven’t heard any of the songs, but I’d give it to Iggy Pop. Cause, y’know, Iggy Pop.


  7. The Chaos Realm

    Ha, I just went to the hardware store, and they had (scalped Trolls?) Troll hair on top of paint cans. Guess it’s advertising special Trolls paint colours?!?!?


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