Trolls Band Together

Trolls Band Together (dir. Walt Dohrn)

By: Meghan Winebrenner 

Dreamworks is no stranger to sequels, trilogies, and the enfranchisement of their hit movies. While some could see this constant reprisal to be a money grab, Trolls Band Together, the third Trolls installment, presents an important story that is universally relevant, enormously fun, and visually captivating. Director Walt Dohrn (Trolls, Trolls World Tour) unites an A-List cast, and Justin Timberlake (The Social Network) brings his former *NSYNC band-mates back together for a musical movie experience that will have audiences both laughing out loud and dancing in their seats.

The Trolls series continues to tackle topical and significant societal issues. The first film discusses one’s quest for happiness, and the second aims to explain the importance of celebrating each other’s differences. The third, Trolls Band Together, primarily strives to explain the complexities of family and sibling dynamics in addition to exploring past traumas, reinvention, and society's current social media crisis. What continues to make Trolls different from other animated movies is its scrapbooking design. The animation style is upgraded in this sequel by the inclusion of two different troll species: the Vacationers and the Mount Rageons. The Vacationers resemble sock monkeys/muppets while the Mount Rageons resemble stretchy rubber 90s dolls like Betty Spaghetti. These additions add a layer of nostalgia to the film that is absent from the prior installments. 

Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) reprises her role as Queen Poppy who pushes her best friend and boyfriend Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake) to reunite with his brothers (voiced by Daveed Diigs, Kid Cudi, Eric André, and Troye Sivan) who previously performed together in the boy band: Brozone. After years of not speaking Brozone has to reconcile their differences to save their brother, Floyd, by performing the perfect family harmony. The five brothers allow audiences to reflect and appreciate the layered bond amongst siblings while also stressing the importance of individualism. However, the most captivating element of the film is its villains, Velvet (voiced by Amy Schumer) and Veneer (voiced by Andrew Rannells). The two Mount Rageons’ whose species was formerly described by Dreamworks to be called the “teenagers” are popstars who are draining the talent from their Pop Troll counterparts in order to achieve fame and fortune with their ironic and high energy pop hits. This adds an interesting discussion to the film regarding what people put forward online in order to achieve admiration. All of this combined cements Trolls Band Together as one of the year's most fun films.

Meghan’s Mark: 10/10   As a Trolls fanatic and lover of the franchise from day one, Trolls Band Together turns the dial as high as it goes.     

Movie Archer Target Score: 5/10 - While the installment follows the plot design of the prior two films, Trolls Band Together is visually appealing, laugh-out-loud funny, and full of heart.  Families can do a great deal worse with a night out together at the theater.