Critics Consensus

Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents.



Reviews Counted: 157

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,689


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

DreamWorks Animation's TROLLS is an irreverent comedy extravaganza with incredible music! From the genius creators of SHREK, TROLLS stars Anna Kendrick as Poppy, the optimistic leader of the Trolls, and her polar opposite, Branch, played by Justin Timberlake. Together, this unlikely pair of Trolls must embark on an adventure that takes them far beyond the only world they've ever known.

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Anna Kendrick
as Princess Poppy
Gwen Stefani
as DJ Suki
John Cleese
as King Gristles Sr.
Jeffrey Tambor
as King Peppy
Aino Jawo
as Satin
Kunal Nayyar
as Guy Diamond
Walt Dohrn
as Smidge
Rhys Darby
as Bibbly
Ricky Dillon
as Aspen Heitz
Meg DeAngelis
as Moxie Dewdrop
Glozell Green
as Grandma Rosiepuff
Kandee Johnson
as Cookie Sugarloaf
Grace Helbig
as Mandy Sparkledust
Curtis Stone
as Bergen Guard
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News & Interviews for Trolls

Critic Reviews for Trolls

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (33)

Audience Reviews for Trolls

You know, it's been a while since Pixar made a real masterpiece. Inside Out and Finding Dory were both great, great movies, but there's no denying that, at least to me, it fell short of Pixar's best flicks. Don't even get me started on The Good Dinosaur, a B-team Pixar effort. The last true masterpiece we got from a North American animated movie, to me, was The Lego Movie and it's been three years. And I make the distinction, because there's many great animated films from all over the world that I haven't seen yet. Pixar's main competitor, while a more prolific studio than Pixar, has never had the same stellar reputation. Their filmography is certainly solid, but their brand has always been more about getting as much people to see their movies as possible. Don't get me wrong, Pixar's business model is to bring in as many people as well, but they still put in an A+ effort in trying to tell a strong story with emotional depth. So you come for the comedy, but you stay for the characters and how they're developed. With Dreamworks, it's more the other way around. They're centered more on the comedy and if a great story comes out of that, then so be it, but it's not what they focus on. They've had some really great stories on their hands, like with the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, but since the second installment in that franchise, I don't think Dreamworks has managed to make a great movie since. Perhaps that's just me. Since Dragon 2, I've seen all their movies but two. Those two are The Boss Baby and Captain Underpants, both of which came out fairly recently. The films they've released since then are Penguins of Madagascar, Home, Kung Fu Panda 3 and this one. The best of them all, Kung Fu Panda 3, is only good at best. I don't know what it is about this movie, but it was just peaks and valleys. Let's get this out of the way right now, this is a Dreamworks B-team effort to be sure. I don't know how I can tell, but I can tell. You can just sense the fact that the effort simply isn't as there as it would be in a How to Train Your Dragon or even a Shrek (even though the last two installments in that franchise sucked). I think part of the reason I say this is because of the fact that the film is just so damn colorful and relies so much on musical scenes that use real-life pop songs and not just ones specifically written for this movie, like in Frozen. I don't wanna say that this is a sign of laziness, but it's awfully close to it. I say that because they hope to use pop songs and the colorful visuals in order to distract you from the fact that there's really not much to the actual movie. The Bergens want to eat the Trolls since it's meant to make them happy. Trolls escape, but are found and taken hostage 20 years later by a disgraced Bergen chef. Bergen chef plans to use the Trolls to steal the throne from the king. Would be queen, Poppy, and grouchy Branch go on a journey to save those who were taken. It's not what I would call a great story, or even a good one, but it's what they decided on going with. But, again, they just use the visuals and the music to make up for whatever flaws the film may have had. For whom the movie was intended, a very young crowd, they only care about the happy visuals and the musical numbers. They don't give a shit about story. I think this movie suffers from exactly the same problem that Frozen suffered. It's got way too many damn songs for the story to really shine through. Though, in the case of Frozen, at least the story was pretty strong in the end, even if the great number of musical scenes sabotaged the movie left and right. I think it's the same thing here, even though there's no real story to speak of, so I don't know exactly what it was sabotaging. The film isn't even what I would call to be bad because, as I mentioned earlier, there's peaks and valleys. The film, while not being exactly the most clever under the sun, does still have some entertaining and funny moments. And, while I complained about the animation being bright to distract the kiddies, it's still a solidly animated flick. This is another part of the film that screams B-team, the animation just isn't as strong as it was in the HTTYD franchise. The voice acting is quite good. Anna Kendrick is great as is Justin Timberlake. Say what you will about the guy, but he's turned into a pretty damn good actor. I don't think he's got the depth or range of someone like a Michael Shannon, as an example, but he's still better than most people would give him credit for. Voice acting was never a problem for me in this movie. I really don't know if I would say that this was ok or decent. There's a difference, it might not be by much, but there is one. And I don't know, because giving the film 2 stars feels too low, but giving it 2.5 feels way too generous. I suppose it depends on what you're watching it for. If you're watching it because you want something harmless, bright and happy for your kids, then this would be decent. If you don't have kids and you're just watching it because you like animated films and you want to be actually be entertained and drawn into this world, then I'd say this was ok, at best. If you're looking for something to compete with Pixar's best then you're really just barking up the wrong tree. Though it is better than Cars 2. Seriously, I fucking hated Cars 2. Having said all of that, I've decided to settle on 2 stars. But I honestly think that this is a better movie than the rating implies, it's just a movie that never finds a consistently entertaining tone. Not to mention the pedestrian story and the animation, while solid, not being as strong as one has grown accustomed to. If you want to watch this with your family, then this will be an easy watch and you probably won't think about it ever again after you're done. If you're watching alone, it'll also be an easy watch but you'll have to deal with the flaws and there are quite a bit of them. But, by and large, this is still a fairly harmless and inoffensive movie. Some of you will like this, some of you will not, I can't really give it a recommendation, but it's a fine watch for 90-odd minutes.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

It's difficult to not feel indifferent about a movie like Trolls. In the end, it's fine. Is it somewhat offensive in terms of originality and cheap covers of gloriously good pop songs? It could certainly be taken that way, but when taking into consideration the target audience for this latest DreamWorks animated adventure it's hard to get too frustrated with the rote story Trolls tolls out or the advantage it takes in remixing recognizable songs into auto-tuned Kidz Bop versions you could have certainly lived without. Of course, Trolls doesn't mean to offend, but rather it simply means to entertain a fairly wide age range of kiddos while at the same time giving over tried and true lessons that deal in being true to one's self to find true happiness. No, Trolls isn't either a good film or a particularly bad one, but more it is simply one that exists to colorfully distract for an hour and a half only to mostly be forgotten the next day. No harm, no foul. Trolls is ultimately something of a mix between DreamWorks own Shrek series as far as character types go while more or less the same story The Smurfs told us as far as being small creatures who live in peace and harmony while having to battle a much larger being who threatens to eat them among other evil things. There wouldn't be anything necessarily wrong with restructuring these archetypes and plotlines were Trolls interested in doing anything fresh or interesting (and when I say interesting I, obviously, mean weirder) with as much as they've given themselves to work with, but by simply slapping a variety of pop covers throughout rather than going full-on musical and ultimately being more harmless than memorable this movie isn't exactly the kind of product a studio wants to put out if they want to retain any type of credibility. Though it really is difficult to say anything downright terrible about Trolls the bottom line is this was a product made to move merchandise and that it actually turned out as competent and sometimes even as fun as it is shouldn't be forgotten. Sure, one could point out the desperate lengths movie studios are now going to in order to cash in on brands given the troll dolls were first popular in the sixties (with a resurgence in the nineties) or one could point to The LEGO Movie as a film based on toys/superfluous junk that actually turned out rather inspired and great, but somewhere in the middle of those truths and thoughts we find Trolls; just happy to have been given enough room to dance and sing and hug. read the whole review at

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

Trolls is a neon-tinted explosion of glitter, music and fast-paced humor. It may not be an animated masterpiece but there are some very creative and charming things happening in this film. DreamWorks isn't at the level of challenging Disney or Pixar and they prove it again with their latest, but if Trolls maybe isn't ambitious it's a lot of fun. The animation is lovely to look at. Colorful and tactile with use of felt and scrapbook cutouts, the animation sparkles. The film tells an important if rather basic message about happiness and how it is found within. The first half of the film is delightful with some terrific musical numbers starring Anna Kendrick, however, momentum slows a bit once the trolls hit Bergen Town, and the addition of a sideplot involving a Bergen scullery maid is rather strange, but the film pulls it together near the end. In the film's best scene, resembling Inside Out's Memory Dump scene, Justin Timberlake flexes his vocals in a touching rendition or True Colors and an oddly quiet scene from the typical frenzied DreamWorks' animations. Trolls is a cute story, told well with some good vocal performances and some nice musical numbers. It's loud and frantic at times and it doesn't dig too deep, but it's charming and funny enough to make a pleasant escape from the torturous election season. Rating: 68

Bradley J
Bradley J

Super Reviewer

Over the years, it has become a point of no return that studios continue to bring properties to life, even if they do not deserve a theatrical run. Trolls is the epitome of a children's toy from the past that had no reason to be in theatres. That being said, this animated film is better than it has any right to be. When it comes to child-based animated films, having little for adults to enjoy, it does become difficult to see through the annoying tropes at times; However, those tropes are used to benefit the story this time around, so I have to commend it for that at least. Here is why Trolls actually turned out to be a nice little one-off. The story surrounding this film is quite simple. Creatures called the Bergens, gather around a tree (the Troll village) once a year in order to feast on them to find happiness in their otherwise dull existence. Finding a way to escape and hide, one Bergen is still able to track them down and take a few. Determined to find her friends before they are devoured, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) find themselves on an adventure across the village. Yes, the plot is as thin as it sounds and it is completely directed toward the 3-10 age group, but as a film that is trying to accomplish just that and nothing more, it is completely serviceable. What makes the plot more interesting is the fact that it is mainly told through song. Normally in films like this, they are riddled with popular music in order to sell certain aspects to people who would have no interest in the first place. Popular music sprinkled throughout films are meant to make people feel a certain emotion, but the way it is displayed here is the most clever gimmick ever. Every popular song chosen to play throughout the course of this film serves a purpose toward the overall story and the payoff put a big ol' grin on my face. Sure, there are some musical numbers that are there just for fun, but when the final act has its big moment and life lesson, I can't say anything except for the fact that it works. Making this a musical definitely saved its average story. Of course a Hollywood animated film would be able to attach some big names to voice its characters, but there is something out of the ordinary with Kendrick and Timberlake. They bring so much fun to these characters that I was looking forward to every scene they shared together. Their duets really shine off the screen here and it may even make some people trickle a few tears when their "true colours" are revealed in the final act. I thoroughly believe this film to be far more effective than it had any right to be and kids will surely have a blast with the fun visuals and characters. Filled with fantastically colourful visuals from start to finish, characters more compelling than one may think going in, and a message that is great for all kids, Trolls is a definitely surprisingly better than it should be. That being said, I really believe that the only people to love this film will be younger kids. Its story has just enough to make them think, while also being entertained by the music and visuals. It is predictable from start to finish, even though there is one very effective moment, and it will not be remembered as one of the better animated films as time goes on. As a one-off, sure, I will recommend bringing your kids to this film. I do not see myself revisiting this film anytime soon, but if I happened to catch it on television down the road, it will be a harmless second viewing. For something that I expected to be nothing but slapstick in the same vein as The Smurfs, Trolls is pretty impressive for what it is. A decent little flick for the whole family.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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