The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us scrambling to get a hold of movies we can show our kids at home before they even start saying the words, “I’m bored!” Now that summer is here, and we’ve pretty much seen all the PG-friendly movies during the quarantine when kids were being homeschooled, we need more ammunition for another fun-filled two months of Summer break. Thank God there’s Trolls World Tour! Due to the pandemic, Universal Pictures shifted the movie’s planned theatrical release to make it available on demand — one of the first major films to bypass theaters entirely amid shelter-at-home orders. In theory, it would be an escape for kids, and potentially allow the studio to recoup at least some of its investment. Now, it’s available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake reunite for this sequel, reprising the roles of the ever-perky Queen Poppy and the worrywart Branch, as the twee trolls set out on a new adventure. Despite their differences, Poppy and Branch teamed up to save the world. Now, they’ll have to do it again, once more with the power of music. When an unusual invite arrives to Poppy’s Kingdom, she and her tribe realize there are many more trolls in the world. Hers are Pop Trolls, but neighboring kingdoms have trolls defined by Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, and Rock music. Each of these kingdoms contains a relic, a magical string that keeps the songs humming. However, the Rock Trolls’ queen, Barb (Rachel Bloom), is on a “world tour” to claim all the strings. Once collected, she plans to play a power chord that’ll turn all trolls into “rock zombies.”
Trolls World Tour mainly says that we all need to accept our imagined differences and allow people to be who they are, nevermind some of the obvious politically correct statements we may be growing tired of. Through the eyes of a child, though, being aware of the message of accepting diversity and respecting others despite differences, is a wholesome message children do need to learn and to be ready to defend.
The plot in this installment is more refined, but also, at times, a bit harder to navigate through, so you might have to really pay attention to truly appreciate the story to its fullest. To the film’s credit, its focus is more on the music. On the other hand, there are many musical appearances in this new film from famous and current artists, that it feels like there are moments the story takes a back seat to promoting the artists, but it did enhance the scenes. The performances are still as strong in this film as they were in the first, and the music helps in enhancing the characters.
The music is the rollicking heartbeat of this movie, sometimes literally. Trolls World Tour is easily entertaining, bouncing across an array of familiar songs, including, Daft Punk’s “One More Time,” Ozzy Osborne’s “Crazy Train,” and Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” Some songs are covered with a sparkling spirit by the likes of Kendrick, Timberlake, and Bloom. More musical talent is brought on board with cameos, which include Hamilton star Anthony Ramos, a country-singing Kelly Clarkson, R&B diva Mary J. Blige, funk icon George Clinton, rapper Anderson .Paak, and Ozzy Osborne, who plays a trolls version of himself. With this collection of artists, we are now assured that the next generation will continue to listen to “classics”, and all will be well in the world of music.
The main message of Trolls World Tour is that our differences define us as individuals. We are made to be different, to stand out. In the midst of the pandemic, the protests and riots, children need to understand first that we are all different, and that that is okay. I thank the trolls for being able to send this message across in the most delightfully coloured way.
(Trolls World Tour will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on July 7th.)
- Family • Teens (PG)
Animation Musical Comedy Adventure Sequel
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
April 10, 2020 (wide release)
DVD: July 7, 2020