This image released by Dreamworks Animation shows characters Poppy, left, voiced by Anna Kendrick, and Branch, voiced by Justin Timberlake in a scene from "Trolls." (DreamWorks Animation via AP)

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“Trolls” Review from TCU Student Media on Vimeo.

Crammed with color and full of fun, “Trolls” continues the already strong animated lineup by Dreamworks to become another memorable family film.

“Trolls” follows the characters of Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) as they try to rescue their friends from the evil Troll-eating Bergens.

This image released by Dreamworks Animation shows characters Poppy, left, voiced by Anna Kendrick, and Branch, voiced by Justin Timberlake in a scene from "Trolls." (DreamWorks Animation via AP)
This image released by Dreamworks Animation shows characters Poppy, left, voiced by Anna Kendrick, and Branch, voiced by Justin Timberlake in a scene from “Trolls.” (DreamWorks Animation via AP)

The plot of “Trolls” is relatively simple, following what seems like a list of animated movie “must-dos”. While not necessarily a bad thing, this does lead to some predictable plot twists and a few pacing issues over the course of Poppy and Branch’s journey.

The strength of the movie lies on what it chooses to do with the plot rather than the plot itself. “Trolls” is a very strong family film that kids and adults can enjoy, mostly due to how much it embraces its happy-go-lucky nature. The usage of songs spread throughout the film keeps things light and moving forward and helps to emphasize some key plot points.  

Underneath its sunshine and glitter, “Trolls” has a good key message about the true meaning and nature of happiness that everyone can understand and take away. The film also isn’t afraid to go into some dark territory at times to add emotional weight to the meaning and arcs of the characters, but remains kid-friendly and never drags the mood down. It helps that “Trolls” is punctuated with humor that kids and adults can take something away from, as well as some straight belly laughs designed to keep things light.

Kendrick and Timberlake take the lead, providing great and believable performances. Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Zooey Deschanel do strongly as well, adding heart to what would be otherwise silly roles. While the rest of the ensemble does a good job, they unfortunately don’t stand out as much.  

The singing is also well done and never feels forced or unpleasant to listen to. Because of the film’s large emphasis on music, this not only helps elevate it, but it makes the film more entertaining than most animated films of the same design.

The characters themselves are well-written. Each of the four main characters has a nice and complete arc. Every character has at least one quality that makes them unique. That said, it is unfortunate that most of the characters are relegated to the background and are often there to provide laughs.

Visually, “Trolls” uses a mixture of bright colors, sparkles and unique textures to make the visuals more vibrant and eye-catching. The world of “Trolls” feels well-developed and thought-out, seemingly coming straight out of a younger child’s imagination. The film’s smooth and blended animation also helps add a polish to the overall quality, making this one of the better looking animated films to come out recently.

Verdict:

Filled with literal sunshine and rainbows, Trolls is a strong animated film that provides a mixture of songs and laughs with a message that audiences young and old can appreciate.

8/10