A wicked troll king in search of a mystical ring that will return him to his human form invades a San Francisco apartment complex where a powerful witch lives. The popular dolls from the 90s are relevant again because now there’s an animated movie with singing, dancing, laughs and a quest!
Would you be able to sit through it?: Sure. I dunno, it’s a good kids flick and surely not one I rushed to see with my kids. But they wanted to see it and I see why but I couldn’t care less. But it had its charm and more laughs than I thought. All in all it was a good family theater experience. By now I’m sure that you’re familiar with the Justin Timberlake single “Can’t Stop the Feeling” which for some odd reason was released in March, so by the time we see the movie now we’re sick and tired of it. But the rest of the music is all popular old tunes like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” There’s even a “Sound of Silence” part, which I thought was bold but made sense for the plot. Basically the plot is Uber-happy race of Trolls are threatened by the hungry and mean Bergens and when a bunch are kidnapped the plucky princess Poppy goes on a quest with the only pessimistic and sad troll, Branch, to save her people. Standard kids movie trope.
Any scary/violent parts?: It has the typical “ugly, evil villains” in a race of, well, ugly evil perpetually unhappy monsters called Bergens. They are there to hunt down and eat the trolls because that is the only thing that will make Bergens happy, otherwise they stay depressed. Of course, no trolls were seen being eaten but I’m left wondering what a trollburger tastes like.
I’m not sure why they’re called Bergens, at first I thought Edgar Bergen the famous ventriloquist but that’s a stretch. And then I thought of Candice Bergen* but that makes even less sense. Imdb trivia gave no clues so I went to wikipedia to see if I can find anything there. Well there’s a city named Bergen that is second-largest in Norway but the infamous Troll Doll was made by a Danish man, so I frankly give up on why they’re called Bergens. I’d do a more extensive internet search but I don’t want to deal with internet trolls.
Anything that will screw up your kid’s head?: I don’t think so. I can’t recall much in the realm of anything even remotely “adult-themed.” I don’t remember a joke that would cater only to the grown-ups in the audience, which is probably why I didn’t love this movie so much. It’s basically a Smurfs rip-off with disco music. Unless your kid gets a craving for troll meat, I think they’ll be a-ok.
Any lessons to be learned?: Love and kindness triumphs over all. Hope is a powerful force. Don’t give up. Be yourself.
Recommended age: Minimum 3–4. Like I said, it’s clean, family-friendly entertainment. It catered to the very young as well as the elementary school age group. Although I can’t see anyone above 11 loving this flick unless they are Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.
3D?: I only take my kids to 2D flicks because those glasses are a pain in the troll ass. But frankly, I see no reason to bother with 3D as the visuals aren’t catered too much for a visual spectacular. It was bright and brilliant with it’s rainbow color scheme in the troll country but nothing that 3D would enhance in my opinion.
Rent it, buy it or avoid it?: Buy. If the kids love this type of movie, I can see them watching this over and over again. To me, this is more or less another Minions-type phenomenon. There will be Trolls everywhere this holiday season. I’ve already seen it and have to deal with it. If you opt out in seeing this in theatres with your kids or that they’re too young yet for sitting in a theatre, I recommend buying it for them to watch at home.
Score: 7 Trollburgers (out of 10)
*I just learned that Candice Bergen was Edgar Bergen’s daughter. I had no idea. I also didn’t know that his wife was also a famous actress. Learned something new today.