WHAT’S IT ABOUT?     

This movie was supposed to open in theaters this month, but because everyone is self-isolating at home due to the Coronavirus, Dreamworks Animation decided to offer it on online streaming!  Yay!  I can already hear the parents celebrating who are tired of watching Frozen for the zillionth time and wishing there were something new to play in their homes.

Movie studios basically have two choices during this worldwide pandemic: take their films direct to streaming or simply postpone their premieres.  This is Dreamworks Animation’s first film of the 2020s.  It’s an extremely colorful sequel of Trolls with TONS of singing.  It’s David P. Smith’s directorial debut and could be the lighthearted family film that we all need during these crazy times.

IS IT ANY GOOD?   (A-)

The talented actors and musicians that make up the cast include award winners and big names such as Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Ozzy Osbourne, Rachel Bloom, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, and Kenan Thompson.  Of course, I should mention that the McElroy brothers are also in it.  They actually started a podcast entitled, “The McElroy Brothers Will Be In Trolls 2” so they could get cast in the film. Clever!  Rachel Bloom is so talented, so it’s great to see her sing in a starring role in this movie.  She got her big break in the popular singing TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: The Complete First Season but, parents, beware.  While that TV show is a musical, there is a LOT of adult content in it, making it very inappropriate for kids.

If you haven’t seen the first Trolls movie, you won’t know always understand what is going on or what the troll world is all about. Even if you have seen the first film, several exposition scenes are required a few times to explain what happened before, as well as for you to understand what’s happening in this present film.  The animation itself is super cute with adorable facial expressions and lots of physical humor.  Kids will be introduced to a variety of music styles.  The smooth jazz troll section of the movie was particularly hilarious.

While Oreo cookies are generally really bad for you, I think it’s awesome that they have created a glittery new Oreos cookie in honor of this Trolls movie. I’m sure it has tons of food color and chemicals in it, but it looks really cute.

On the flip side, most of the movie feels a bit loud and chaotic. Sometimes you can’t understand what the trolls say.  Some people may be offended by all of the clichés and stereotypes, but if you want a film with good message that encourages your kids to appreciate and celebrate the differences in the world, it’s fairly harmless fun.

IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?    (PG)

  • One of the male trolls pops out a baby, which might prompt questions from your kids about how all of that works.
  • There are a lot of pop culture references that young kids won’t understand, but that you might get a kick out of.
  • You see a fat troll’s butt crack.
  • Kids may want a cappuccino after seeing this because Queen Poppy gets excited about drinking one.
  • The only profanity consists of Delta Dawn (voiced by Kelly Clarkson) says, “Well, dangity doodley.”

ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES? 

After MANY animated films telling our children that we’re all the same, this one makes another important point: we are different and it’s okay.  Differences shouldn’t be feared but celebrated.  Other themes in the movie and quotes that illustrate them are:

  • Friend zone vs. true love
  • Bullying
  • Intolerance
  • “Hating things takes a lot of energy.” – Queen Barb Rock
  • “Music is supposed to make you happy.” – Queen Poppy
  • “You don’t have to be just one thing.” – Cooper
  • Listen to others, rather than do all of the talking
  • Music comes from inside you, from your experiences, and from your culture.
  • “Family, music, love.” – TechnoTroll King
  • The importance of creating good connections with others
  • “Denying our differences is denying the truth of who we are.” – King Funk
  • “Differences do matter.” – Branch
  • “Music should bring us together, not divide us.” – Queen Poppy  (Anna Kendrick)
  • “If we all look the same and act the same, that’s not harmony.” – Queen Poppy
  • “You can’t harmonize alone.” – Queen Poppy

Movie Review Mom:  Trina Boice teaches for BYU-I, is an author of 30 books, and a mother of 4 sons.  You can read more of her reviews at www.MovieReviewMom.com  You can hear her podcast “Daily Inspirational Quotes Hosted by Trina” on Amazon Echo devices, Volley FM, and other podcast platforms.  She founded an online school and continues to create courses at www.LifelongLearningEducation.com  and she coaches authors with marketing strategy at www.FromBook2Business.com   Because she is a popular speaker in China and loves to travel around the world, she created www.EmptyNestTravelHacker.com where she shares deals! You can see all of her books and win prizes at www.TrinasBooks.com  You can also find @TrinaBoice on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.