If you weren’t on a hyperactive sugar high before watching Trolls: World Tour, you’ll certainly feel like you’re immersed in one afterwards.
Against the humdrum depressive news cycle that is our lives right now, the sequel to 2016’s Trolls is a wild injection of upbeat, glittering positivity that overtakes your senses with colour, music and soul.
Within, Queen Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and her comrades learn that along time ago there used to be six different musical tribes of trolls: Pop, Rock, Classical, Country, Funk and Techno. Their unique musical strings were united, creating a sweet harmonic society, until each took their own string and formed independent neighbouring communities. Now, the Queen of Hard Rock (Rachel Bloom) wants to take over all of the troll tribes, stealing their strings to make one guitar that would rule them all – with rock music.
At first, when Poppy discovers the Rock Queen’s plans, she thinks she can win her over with a hug and some sunshine, enlisting Branch (Justin Timberlake) to go with her to meet the aggro leader and explain the virtues of Pop. Sadly in her travels, Poppy realises not all trolls see the world the way she does and won’t be won over with a boy-band medley.
Images: Official Trolls Facebook
As though this movie has been made specifically for the times we find ourselves in – with racial divisions and tense international relations bubbling up around the globe – Trolls: World Tour presents a topical message about the importance of diversity and valuing different tribes.
It also goes so far as to say the histories we’re all taught about our ancestors’ place in the world can be heavily influenced by who’s doing the teaching: how we think we acted toward others and the good we believed those actions had may not, in fact, be the full picture.
Poppy’s understanding of her musical heritage is redefined when 1) she learns not all trolls love Pop, and 2), she realises the Pop tribe hasn’t always been as kind as she thought they would’ve been.
Like a teen leaving high school or a university student heading out into the workforce, Poppy experiences the kind of enlightenment that reveals not everyone’s like you or believes the same things you do. What Poppy must decide is how she’ll handle that new knowledge and what impact it’ll have on how she leads her tribe.
The best line on why we shouldn’t all look and act the same comes from an astute Rock drummer: “If we dress the same, act the same and look the same, how will people know we’re cool or something?” Word.
Much like the first Trolls, Trolls: World Tour is full of merchandise-able characters – introducing a number of new faces that would be cute-as-a-button figurines on your bookshelf or as pillows for your kids. So fair warning: your kids will expect a souvenir (and you’ll probably want one too… they are cute).
The soundtrack is also another banger. Although, with Justin Timberlake in the vocal cast as Branch, they really missed out on some obvious moments to throw in an NSYNC hit. Surely, it’s because of a caveat in his contract because Justin seems like a fun-loving guy who would have been down to tear up some hearts.
That gripe aside, one thing parents of really little ones should be aware of is despite all the fluorescent wonders of Trolls: World Tour, with the introduction of Hard Rock comes some darker imagery on screen. Some trolls have blazing read eyes with dark grey and black aesthetics which may be a bit spooky for the very young viewers.
Trolls: World Tour is in cinemas September 17. Rated G
Read: Parents Guide