Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and faithful Troll sidekick Branch (Justin Timberlake) are startled to find out that there’s much more to the Troll universe than they’d previously realized. Generations ago, Trolls were able to sing and enjoy all types of music, not just pop music as Poppy has grown up with. But those Trolls fought and decided the only way to go was to split up into 6 tribes, each taking with them the corresponding string. But now the Troll queen of rock n roll, Barb (Rachel Bloom) has decided on a “world tour” in which she’ll steal all 6 strings and use them to play an ultimate power chord on her guitar. Which somehow means that everyone would be living under an oppressive rock regime. I feel like I’ve heard this story before…except the strings were stones and the guitar was a gauntlet.
Anyway. Poppy goes on a world tour of her own, visiting the lands of techno, country, classical and more on a quest to unite them all because they’re all the same, after all – they all love music. But along the way she learns a valuable lesson: denying our differences is like denying the truth of who we really are. Real harmony takes many different voices.
So while the movie fails to recapture the magic of the first, its surplus of recognizable songs gives fans more of the sweet stuff they crave without a lot of plot to get in the way. Watching a Trolls movie is like snorting a pixie stick. Trolls World Tour has hairy wombs, gumdrop ear plugs, centaurs, and hot air balloons, and hardly a pause to consider any of them. The editing is manic, the scenes are technicolour, and there’s literal glitter bombs going off left and right. But you’re back for seconds because you liked the first well enough. And frankly, we’re living in grim times, so this shot of joyous distraction is not unwelcome. It’s not going to change the world or cure racism or even make a dent in the billboard, but it’ll bring a dose of happiness to your living room this weekend, and maybe that’s enough.
For those of you wondering, the medley of the top shelf, best-ever pop songs includes Spice Girls’ Wannabe, Baha Men’s Who Let The Dogs Out, Marky Mark’s Good Vibrations, PSY’s Gangnam Style, and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.