Trolls World Tour Parent Guide
Streaming on pay for view: Bright and colorful and filled with bouncy tunes, this provides solid entertainment and positive messages for young viewers.
Parent Movie Review
Trolls World Tour is a day-glo musical fantasy for kids. Eye-poppingly colorful, relentlessly cheerful, and filled with music-video-style montages, it will have young viewers happily bopping along to the tunes. Is it a great movie? No. But it could be a useful one.
The story, such as it is, is based on a piece of Troll history. All of the six Troll tribes used to live in harmony until conflict over music led to a sundering of the groups. But now, Queen Barb (voiced by Rachel Bloom) of the Hard Rock Trolls is determined to seize all the magical music strings, play one power chord on her guitar, and forcibly unite all trolls under rock. As the kingdoms fall before her sonic blasts, only Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and her faithful friend, Branch (Justin Timberlake) are willing to resist.
Trolls World Tour holds no surprises for adults but there’s a lot here for kids to enjoy. The movie is beautifully animated, with a crafty, hand-sewn aesthetic that’s fun to look at. The music, although oddly homogeneous despite its varied genres, is pleasantly rhythmic and gives young viewers something to dance to or clap along with. And aside from brief moments of peril, there’s virtually nothing here to give youngsters nightmares.
The real reason to watch this film is for the messages it repeatedly imparts to children. As she begins her quest to save music, Poppy is filled with sunny optimism – she will find Barb, convince her that trolls are all the same, and become her best friend. But as Poppy travels through the troll lands and meets country trolls, and funk trolls and K-pop trolls, she realizes that trolls aren’t all the same – they have different musical tastes and believe different versions of their shared history. A funk troll finally admonishes her, “Denying our differences is denying the truth of who we are.” Poppy learns that “real harmony takes lots of voices…different voices.” If you’re trying to teach your children to truly value diversity instead of papering over differences, this is the movie for you.
Poppy also learns a critical lesson about the importance of listening to others. After repeatedly ignoring the advice of her friends, to the detriment of her mission, she realizes that she can’t be a good queen unless she makes an effort to understand the opinions of others. “You have to be able to listen to other voices even if they don’t agree with you” she finally says. Parents dealing with squabbling children might find this message worth the price of the movie. Now, whether it’s worth coughing up the $20 for the video-on-demand early release is up to you. Frankly, I’d wait until the price drops or it streams for free on a major platform but I’m not sheltering in place with hyper, quarreling kids so your priorities may well differ from mine.
Decades ago, Mary Poppins sang that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”. There’s certainly a fair bit of medicine/messaging in this film, not to mention the product placement that will doubtless annoy parents more than their offspring. But it’s all mixed in with so much bright, sweet candy coating that it’s unlikely any kids are going to object. If they internalize these messages, their parents will enjoy the resulting harmony.Directed by Walt Dohrn. Starring Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, and James Corden. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release April 10, 2020. Updated April 10, 2020
Watch the trailer for Trolls World Tour
Trolls World Tour
Rating & Content Info
Why is Trolls World Tour rated PG? Trolls World Tour is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild rude humor.
Violence: A character uses sonic blasts to destroy troll lands. A troll gets bitten on the backside. A troll is dragged off. A character kidnaps and cages other trolls. Main characters are locked up in a cell. A fanged guitar growls when a string is put on it. A rock concert is held in a stadium that could look scary to some children. A main character is blasted by an electric charge.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: None noted.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated April 10, 2020
Trolls World Tour Parents' Guide
Do you have a favorite type of music? What do you like about it? How does it make you feel?
Poppy has a hard time listening to what Branch is trying to tell her. Why can it be hard to listen to other people? What can you do to focus on what they are trying to say and how they feel?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Young fans of the movie will be happy to dive into the many book tie-ins that are available. Poppy’s Big Day provides preschoolers with an introduction to the characters and plot of the film. They can also try Trolls World Tour Little Golden Book. Slightly older readers will want to show off their reading skills with Trolls World Tour: the Junior Novelization by David Lewman.
Related home video titles:
For the first instalment of Poppy and Branch’s adventures, check out Trolls.
If you’re looking for more feel-good movies with commercial tie-ins, you can watch UglyDolls. Its advertorial nature is somewhat balanced by its positive messages of self-acceptance.
Music takes center stage in Sing, an animated movie in which various critters compete in a talent competition to find the best vocalist. Jim Henson’s beloved muppets sing and dance their way through The Muppet Movie and its many sequels.
Disney’s Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 offer highly imaginative animated interpretations of musical pieces.