From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year,

DreamWorks' TROLLS is a hair-raising comedy filled with unbelievable adventure and incredible music. Known for their crazy, colourful, and magical hair, Trolls are the happiest, most joyous creatures ever to burst into song. But their world of rainbows and cupcakes is changed forever, when their leader Poppy (Anna Kendrick,) must embark on a rescue mission that takes her far beyond the only world she’s ever known.


A brightly coloured, busy film bursting with popular pop tunes, it's far from a classic but it's definitely better than a film based on small dolls created 57 years ago has any right to be.

After a group of trolls escape the clutches of the villainous troll-eating Bergen they find safe sanctuary far away. Until 20 years later when their tendency for loud celebrations draws the attention of the Bergen chef banished for letting them escape in the first place. As a result several trolls including the king are captured and taken back to the Bergen village with relentlessly positive, scrap-booking Princess Poppy and atypically miserable disaster bunker-owning troll Branch reluctantly teaming up to rescue them.

Unsurprisingly, given its origins, the story is a hodge-podge of borrowed story tropes starting off as a typical quest/rescue film with mismatched characters before turning into a kiddie-friendly version of Cyrano de Bergerac once it reaches it's destination. As a result, story is not exactly its strongest suit.

In its favour however, it's an agreeably funny tale, with likeable voice performances from Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake as Poppy and Branch and solid turns from Zooey Deschanel and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as a Bergen scullery maid and the Bergen prince she's infatuated with (which is where the Cyrano de Bergerac story kicks in, with Poppy and Branch standing in for the large nosed French soldier).

Timberlake also serves as the film's music producer and effectively uses familiar songs to help tell the story, with 'The Sound of Silence' and 'Hello' being two particular highlights.

It's colourful and loud atmosphere should keep the kids amused but some adults may find themselves siding with the miserable Branch, allergic to its 'everyone needs a hug and deserves to be happy' storyline.

Fans of Thomas Dam's original creation may also be disappointed that visually the trolls have become more typically American-looking animation characters. Though they should appreciate the original design cameo at the beginning of the film that aids in the trolls escape.

Overall though, it's a well-crafted, well-meaning film and it's hard to be completely down on a kid's film that includes sparkly trolls who double as disco-balls, sing in autotune and fart glitter. Plus keep a look out for Mr Dinkles, voiced by co-director Walt Dohrn, one of those minor characters voiced by an animator that tends to steal films like this.

By Kevin Knapman

Trolls (U)

1h 32m

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches

UK Release: Friday 21st October 2016