Trolls Parent Guide
Parents may find themselves smiling a little more during this animated marketing vehicle than the care to confess.
Parent Movie Review
Admittedly I went into this screening feeling a little frowny. Here we have yet another animation looking to unload shipping containers full of franchised merchandise just in time for the holiday season. Humbug! But be forewarned if you are entertaining a similar attitude. You may find yourself smiling a little more during this film than you care to confess.
Princess Poppy (voice of Anna Kendrick), daughter of the beloved King Peppy (voice of Jeffrey Tambor) is a little Troll that may remind you of a ditsy roommate you had in college. She’s infused with a positive attitude that bubbles over into complete naivety. Leading the equally effervescent population of the kingdom, all she and the rest of the creatures with the neon-colored hair live for is to sing, dance and hug.
The one exception to this carefree philosophy is Branch (voice of Justin Timberlake). Unlike the others, he well remembers how the Trolls used to live before they were able to escape from their worst enemies, the Bergen. These perpetually sad, fat-faced giants had long been taught their only chance for a taste of happiness was to eat a Troll. Consequently, the dour citizens penned in the Trolls’ tree dwelling so they would have a ready supply of joyous morsels for special occasions. Although that was twenty years ago, and the Trolls have managed to remain safely hidden in a nearby forest all that time, Branch is convinced the Bergen will eventually find the Trolls again.
Perplexed by his pessimism, Poppy ignores Branch’s pleas to live quietly and plans a big party to celebrate the anniversary of their liberation. Sure enough, the ruckus attracts the attention of the Bergen Chef (voice of Christine Baranski), who has been jobless since the disappearance of the Trolls. When she captures a handful of the skittish critters and takes them back to the Bergen city, Poppy determines to mount a rescue mission. But if she hopes to be successful she will need the help of Branch’s practical survival skills.
Trolls includes much of the content issues you would expect. Slapstick goofiness and scatological humor are a major part of Troll culture. (Turns out they poop cupcakes and pass glitter gas.) Occasional bare buttocks and one of the youngsters who mutters terms of deity when surprised are part of the package as well. However, the fun and games take a more serious turn as Poppy and Branch face the perils of their journey and the increasing likelihood of the Bergen feasting on the little mop-tops. These scary scenes may be a bit too intense for young viewers who have not yet learned that children’s movies usually come with a happy ending.
Thankfully these Troll’s also have a few good marketing tricks and some genuinely valuable messages up their sleeves. Billed as a musical, the script is punctuated with many song and dance numbers featuring music from decades past, which will amuse the parents even more than the target audience. The cute factor of these characters has also been amped up from the original Troll dolls that inspired the film. Yet what I liked best was the worthwhile lesson about happiness being something we can chose to have for ourselves, rather than waiting for it to be serve to us on a silver platter.
The sour taste I initially had about this obvious marketing vehicle was also sweetened by examples of teamwork, the wisdom to mix a little reality into our hopes and dreams, and the reminder that singing, dancing and hugging really can be a good remedy for a bad attitude. So if you find your appetite for a feel-good story more satiated than you expected by the time the credits roll, don’t say I didn’t warn you.Directed by Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn. Starring Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release November 4, 2016. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Trolls rated PG? Trolls is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild rude humor.
Violence: Characters are constantly in fear of being eaten by their enemies. Knives, pots and other kitchen apparatus are shown in preparation for cooking the Trolls. Characters are chased and threatened by a variety of creatures as well as giant Bergen. A corpse is briefly seen. Characters are kidnaped and locked in a cage. A character eats a poisonous berry and is bitten by a spider. Explosions occur. Some frightening images and tense moments are portrayed. A character betrays others.
Sexual Content: Several of the trolls are seen with bare bottoms. Some potty humor is included, such as glitter gas and cupcake poop. Characters’ underwear gets pulled tightly and gives them a “wedgie”. Characters hug frequently.
Profanity: Terms of deity are used as exclamations on several occasions.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character deals with effects of poisonous food and spider bites.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Trolls Parents' Guide
This movie promotes the idea that it is up to each one of us to choose to be happy. Do you think this is true? Have you ever been able to feel happiness despite other difficulties?
Branch tries to knock some reality into Poppy’s naively optimistic perspective. Is his perpetual pessimism any more truthful as a reflection of life? What does Poppy mean when she says that she’d rather go through life believing it is mostly rainbows and cupcakes? How might our attitude effect the way we interrupt our experiences with others and with challenges?
In a side story, a mistreated scullery maid (voice of Zooey Deschanel) fears her lowly status will prevent her from ever capturing the attention of a prince (voice of Christopher Mintz-Plasse). What does she learn about outward appearances? What criteria should be used should be measure a person’s worth?
Troll dolls are back in stores and will undoubtedly be a big seller during the 2016 holiday season. Does this movie do anything more than advertise for these products? Is there an irony with a film that promotes happiness from within and then offers related advertising to convince children they need a Troll toy?
News About "Trolls"
Learn more about the history of Troll dolls.
From the Studio: From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks' Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists, the film stars the voice talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more. DreamWorks' TROLLS is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures. I nothing can prepare you for our new Troll world. - Written by 20th Century Fox
The most recent home video release of Trolls movie is February 7, 2017. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Trolls
Release Date: 7 February 2017
Trolls releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Party Mode - Sing, dance and laugh along with the Trolls in this engaging, interactive feature.
- Only on Blu-ray: Use your remote to conTROLL fun on-screen moments!
- Travel Through Troll Village - Cloud Guy narrates a fun exploration of Troll Village.
- The Potion for Stop-Motion - Part behind-the-scenes, part stop-motion tutorial, this featurette explores the process of creating Poppy’s visually stunning scrapbook.
- Creating Troll Magic - Trolls Production Designer Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin leads a kid-friendly exploration of her role as production designer on the film before highlighting four key stages of creating the animation with detailed visuals of each stage.
- Troll 2 Troll - Poppy and Branch have a friendly debate on important topics such as “Cat vs. Dog.”
- Inside the Bunker - An in-depth exploration of Branch’s “special” place, narrated by Cloud Guy.
- Deleted Scenes with Intros by Director, Mike Mitchell and Co-Director, Walt Dohrn