Trolls World Tour. Review

The article posted regarding the £15 day and date film rental near the start of lockdown mentioned this reviewer has seen every Pixar and DreamWorks film in cinema for the last 16 years. That streak ended with Trolls: World Tour. When this reviewers local cinemas reopened the film wasn’t playing anywhere and while  still keen on seeing it for the sake of continued completion and review it was  not worth waiting since the “premium VOD” window has ended and the film is now a  typically priced first week rental  (although it’s still branded as a premium VOD release .) Is this sequel any better or worse than the very middle tier original?

From a review perspective the two Trolls movies are similar from a quality perspective but for quite different reasons. The first entry had one of the worst teaser trailers in recent animation, but the final film was aggressively harmless with some beautifully vibrant animation. The one surprising thing about it was that despite a gargantuan hit song at its centre its musical sequences felt very tacked onto the main narrative. The sequel goes in the exact opposite direction tying together a very loose narrative with Poppy and Branch gathering magical strings from six music genres to try and save music on a conceptual level from the evil hard rock trolls. All of this is an extremely basic diversity metaphor and a large chunk of the parental audience may well get annoyed with the film’s relentless chirpiness.  Having seen/reviewed several ham-fisted messages driven kids’ musicals it can get a lot worse than this. Annie 2014, Uglydolls and the Playmobil movie (yes that exists) say hello. on an animation level the sequel is even better than the already impressive first film with an expanded colour palette showcasing more expansive vibrancy beyond the already pleasing pastel bright aesthetic of the first film. The soundtrack that the film exists exclusively to promote made up of a variety of covers as well as some original efforts (as with the original entry) is fine but offers nothing exceptional in either direction. A number of the cover medleys do have an infectious energy but  aren’t good enough on their own merits to be listened to  out of context .It was appreciated that no obvious trap beats were hidden in the back of the various mixes and generally this musical offerings feel like a mid-tier jukebox musical . Like a lot of media in that subgenre it’s nothing exceptional but also not worth getting angry about.

It would be very easy to snare at Trolls: World Tour (as plenty of critics have already done.) It’s overly chipper attitude and ham-fisted approach to what is ultimately a very worthwhile message will grate on a number of parent’s nerves. That said several films now occupy this space within children’s entertainment and there is much worse on offer delivering moral driven entertainment.  As with the original it slots in very nicely with other mid-tier DreamWorks offerings. Given this is the same studio that made Turbo (if there’s any justice in the world this will be the next animation to be rediscovered by the internet and embraced by meme culture) it could have been so much worse .

6/10    

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