Trolls trailer

Troll dolls last peaked about twenty years ago, but now that the ’90s revival is in full swing, DreamWorks is making a valiant effort to bring back those tiny bright-haired creatures. Coming up from the studio this fall is Trolls, an animated adventure featuring the mellifluous voices of Justin Timberlake (who released his first new single since 2013 for it), Anna KendrickZooey Deschanel, Russell BrandJames Corden, and Gwen Stefani.

Timberlake leads the cast as a grumpy troll who must join forces with an extremely chipper troll (Kendrick) to fight a greater evil. Can these total opposites learn to respect each other and work together? Will they be able to vanquish the villain with the power of love and/or joy? Will the cranky one eventually open up to reveal the song in his heart? Tough questions, if you’ve never seen a movie before.

Watch the first Trolls trailer below.

It seems to me that Poppy makes a major diplomatic faux pas in her first meeting with that bergen. No one wants to be offered a bunch of bodily excretions, even if they take the form of tiny pink cupcakes. No wonder the monster seems so pissed off.

Some of the animation work here is quite lovely. There’s a fuzzy texture to this world and these characters that make them look almost tactile at times, in contrast to the too-slick surfaces we often get in films like these. Unfortunately, the rest of the film feels overly familiar and cloyingly sweet. Kids might dig the bright colors, poppy music, and relentlessly positive tone, but it’s hard to imagine adults getting into this. The best parents can probably hope for is that Trolls will stop at “inoffensive” and not cross the line into “outright obnoxious.” Which is still more than we can say for a lot of kiddie fare, so maybe that’s good enough.

Trolls arrives November 4.

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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