No, ‘Trolls’ is not a movie about the haters with terrible spelling who threaten people on the Internet. This musical kids’ animation is based on the plastic dolls with frizzy hair that were big in the ’90s. And against the odds, it’s funny and snarky, and just a bit bonkers – like everyone involved has had a little hit of liquid acid.
Anna Kendrick is the voice of Princess Poppy, the relentlessly upbeat heir to Troll Village, where everyone is so happy they squeeze together for hourly group hugs. Tragedy comes to town when a group of Trolls get kidnapped after partying so hard they attract the attention of gruesome ogres, the Bergens, who can only find happiness by eating trolls. On a mission to rescue her buddies, Poppy recruits a miserable Troll, Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake), who’s the only grey in the village.
There are some brilliant characters. Russell Brand is perfect as the voice of a douchey spiritual guru. A sparkly Troll, Guy Diamond, sprinkles glitter from his buttocks. In Bergen Town, a scullery maid ogre (Zooey Deschanel) is transformed Cinderella-style into Lady Glitter Sparkles (‘but I still smell like gravy’). There’s a lovely crafty feel to the animation – everything’s felt and glitter. It’s in 3D, but you may want to wear sunglasses under your specs: the brightness may damage your eyes.
‘Trolls’ is not break-the-mould brilliant like ‘The Lego Movie’ or ‘Toy Story’, or a keeper like ‘Frozen’. But it’s a lovable and giddy guilty pleasure.