“With some great catchy tunes, some knowing and brilliant humor, and with a nice message at its heart, Trolls Band Together makes for a great family movie experience.”
Trolls Band Together is the third big-screen movie in the franchise. After the 2016 original movie, and its 2020 sequel, Trolls World Tour, fans will know what to expect. More fun, mayhem, and snappy tunes alongside Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake.) But what makes the films so enjoyable is the message they have at their heart. And this new movie is no different. It looks at how siblings can grow apart as they get older. How the eldest feels as if they have to take charge, only for the youngers to take offence to it, feeling they are being dominated by someone they shouldn’t. And how feelings of resentment can lead to years of emotional turmoil. But does the message shine through, giving us an enjoyable family movie? Or does it give us a flat note, leaving us, the audience, with feelings of resentment?
After two films of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy and Branch are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers: Floyd, John Dory, Spruce and Clay. BroZone disbanded when Branch was still a baby, as did the family, and Branch hasn’t seen his brothers since. But when Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains—Velvet and Veneer—Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity.
Fans don’t need to fear, the film is delightful. A colorful, fun, snappy animated film that will entertain everyone. Young children will be hooked again by the characters, eagerly supporting their favorites while being wooed by the new characters. Adults will be smiling as the references and jokes that will go over the children’s heads come thick and fast. Fans of NSYNC will be in the element as they await the return of the group in Troll form and the first single from the group in over 20 years. Is it worth waiting for? You bet it is!
With the emotional elements adding to the fun, the film is a superb family event. Youngsters will be singing along with the tunes as they come thick and fast while adults will be tapping their feet and trying hard not to join in with the lyrics. I have to admit that at times, I REALLY wanted to join in with the songs. As soon as I left the screening, I was on my phone looking to download the soundtrack. The tunes all work with the narrative the film portrays. They accompany what plays on the screen to perfection, giving the audience a fun-filled time.
THE RETURNING CAST
Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Icona Pop, Anderson .Paak, Ron Funches, Kenan Thompson, Kunal Nayyar, and Walt Dohrn reprise their voice roles from the previous two movies. And they all give their all in their roles. The film wouldn’t be the same without Kendrick and Timberlake voicing Poppy and Branch. As soon as the pair start speaking, we are enveloped in a warm comfort blanket once again. The same goes for Zooey Deschanel as Bridget and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Gristle Jr. Both return to their roles with enough glee that we can’t help but smile along with them. But for me, Kenan Thompson as Tiny Diamond once again steals the show. Every time he appears on screen, we wait in anticipation at what he will come out and say this time. And he never fails to make us smile and laugh out loud.
Eric André, Kid Cudi, Daveed Diggs, Troye Sivan, Camila Cabello, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, RuPaul, and Zosia Mamet join the cast for this threequel. And they are all welcome additions to the fun we have with the film. Andre, Cudi, Diggs, and Sivan voice the other four members of Brozone. Each one brings their unique talents to their role. Andre as John Dory makes us feel animosity towards him from the start of the film.
As the eldest of the five brothers, he sees himself as the leader, the ‘adult’ of the band. What he says goes, much to the annoyance of three of his siblings. Branch is a baby at the start and doesn’t understand what is going on with his family. But when something goes wrong and the brothers all go their own different ways, it rips Branch’s heart out to the point of animosity towards the other four later in life.
Camila Cabello as Viva, Poppy’s long-lost sister brings so much energy to her vocal performance, that we can’t help but fall in love with her from the second we meet her. Poppy has always wanted a sister and when she reunites with someone she didn’t know existed, the pair are almost inseparable. Almost. Fear of a repeat of what ripped Viva away from her father and Poppy threatens to derail the sisters’ reunion before it really even begins. But this being a family animated film, we already know that it will all turn out okay by the end credits.
AMY SCHUMER AND ANDREW RANNELLS
The villains of the piece this time are the brother-sister duo of Velvet and Vaneer. As Velvet, Amy Schumer gives a superbly nasty, evil and creepy performance. Velvet will do anything to get to the top, to be acclaimed as the greatest singer in the history of song. She is the mastermind behind the rise of herself and her brother. They are both also frauds. Neither can really sing or possess any talent. To accomplish their dreams, they kidnap Floyd and trap him inside a diamond perfume bottle, extracting his talent via the spray nozzle and stealing it from him as he slowly begins to die. We start to hate Velvet almost as soon as we meet her. Amy Schumer plays up to the fact, giving the character a nasty trait that fits perfectly.
Andrew Rannells also voices his character of Vaneer well. But unlike Velvet, Vaneer isn’t willing to kill an innocent troll to gain his fame and fortune. While Velvet is obsessed with getting to the top, being adored, and with all the trappings of fame, Vaneer has an emotional side. At times, we actually feel sorry for him. He, like four of Brozone, is being manipulated. And he doesn’t see it. Even when his sister is vile towards their assistant Crimp (voiced by Zosia Mamet), he can’t bring himself to follow his sister’s lead all the way. Vaneer comes across at times as hen-pecked, making him a sympathetic villain.
The animation in the film is superb. Every part of what we see on screen comes across as vibrant, engaging and with a brilliant color palette. We know it’s an animated feature film, one that isn’t real. But that hardly matters in the scheme of things. We are here to be entertained, to be taken out of reality and transported to a land of make-believe. The film manages to do that with ease. In every sequence we see, it manages to engage us fully.
The film contains an eclectic mix of music. Every one of them fits what we see extremely well. The songs we hear contain some of our favorites of all time, even though they are done and performed in a different way than we are used to. I lost count of the times I ended up smiling at what was used during proceedings. And with them being mixed together at times, it comes across as a pop fans dream. Throw in the new single by NSYNC that is guaranteed to have the audience singing it on their way home and you have a music soundtrack that becomes a must-own.
With some great catchy tunes, some knowing and brilliant humor, and a nice message at its heart, Trolls Band Together makes for a great family movie experience. It is a heartwarming tale that will appeal to all ages. Children will lap it up in their droves while adults will have a good time with it. Not only that but it is a feelgood movie just when we need one. For a brief 91 minutes, we can abandon all thoughts of what’s happening outside the cinema’s walls and allow ourselves to be entertained. The film does it so effortlessly, that we find ourselves reluctant to return to reality when the end credits finish.
When the film makes its way onto digital download, Blu-ray and DVD, it will inevitably contain a ‘Dance Party Edition’ as a bonus feature. I sincerely hope it does. Although I can’t dance due to physical reasons and am also tone-deaf, the feature will be something young children and their parents (especially Mom) will get a great deal of fun and enjoyment out of. You can just picture the youngsters and their parents belting out the tunes while dancing in the living room. That’s the power the film contains. It has the ability to entertain, amuse, and brighten up the day. As well as being one of the family films of the year, it has the power to make us keep going back for more. In that regard, the film is fan-troll-tastic!
Trolls Band Together is released by Universal Pictures And Dreamworks Animation. It will open in UK cinemas on Friday, October 20th. And in the United States on November 17th.
Trailer Source: Universal Pictures
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