The third installment in the highly successful animated Trolls series, Trolls Band Together, is teeming with puns and pop culture references that will have parents smiling while enduring the perfunctory storyline of the film. Released on Friday, November 17, the star-studded cast includes Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Camila Cabello, Eric Andre, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, Troye Sivan, Daveed Diggs, Kid Cudi, Zosia Mamet, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, RuPaul Charles, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Kenan Thompson, Anderson .Paak, Kunal Nayyar, and Ron Fuches. Directed by Walt Dohrn, with co-director Tim Teitz and screenwriter Elizabeth Tippet, this 1 hour 32-minute movie is rated PG.
Poking fun at his own showbiz past, Timberlake’s character, Branch, was revealed to be the baby member of BroZone, a disbanded boy band. When his brother Floyd is kidnapped by evil pop stars, Velvet and Veneer, Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) must reunite Branch with his other siblings to rescue Floyd from their clutches. Additionally, the plot includes the nuptials of Bridget and Gristle, and the sudden appearance of Viva, who turns out to be the sister that Poppy never knew she had. The movie features a multitude of musical numbers, both old and new, with an emphasis on hits from boy, girl, and family bands.
The over-talented voice cast, including Kenan Thompson as the wisecracking infant Tiny Diamond, delivers their lines with admirable enthusiasm. The screenplay, written by Elizabeth Tippet, garners laughs thanks to the sheer volume of jokes but the hit-to-miss ratio is unbalanced, and there are several amusing one-liners about the music business. The computer animation is vibrant and colorful, with a highlight being a hand-drawn psychedelic sequence set to the disco classic “The Hustle”.
Although the film is saturated with groan-worthy punning jokes and references to boy bands, it still holds some nostalgic appeal for parents who grew up in the 90s. The musical numbers performed energetically by the trolls in high-pitched voices manage to get the job done, but nothing on the soundtrack matches the endless catchiness of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the first film, including the much ballyhooed “Better Place,” for which NSYNC reunited. The visuals of the film are still vibrant and colorful, but how much you’ll enjoy it will depend on your appreciation for trolls.
The movie features a full cast that includes Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Camila Cabello, Eric Andre, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, Troye Sivan, Daveed Diggs, Kid Cudi, Zosia Mamet, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, RuPaul Charles, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt, Kenan Thompson, Anderson .Paak, Kunal Nayyar, and Ron Fuches. It is produced by DreamWorks Animation, with executive producers Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, and Dannie Festa. The production design is by Ruben Perez Reynoso, and the composer is Theodore Shapiro. The film is distributed by Universal Pictures.
In closing, Trolls Band Together may not quite hit the mark with its overabundance of puns and groan-worthy jokes, but it still manages to entertain with its vibrant visuals and energetic musical numbers. So, while it may leave parents feeling like they’re being trolled, it will still provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans of the Trolls series.