Trolls is a 2016 American computer-animated musical comedy film based on the Troll dolls created by Thomas Dam. Mike Mitchell directed the film, with Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger serving as the writers. The film is based on a story by Erica Rivinoja. The film features the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, John Cleese and Gwen Stefani. The film follows two trolls who go on a quest to save their village from destruction by the Bergens, creatures who eat Trolls to be happy.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mike Mitchell|
|Produced by||Gina Shay|
|Story by||Erica Rivinoja|
|Based on||Troll dolls|
by Thomas Dam
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Cinematography||Yong Duk Jhun|
|Edited by||Nick Fletcher|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$346.9 million|
The 33rd animated feature film produced by DreamWorks Animation, the film premiered on October 8, 2016, at the BFI London Film Festival and was theatrically released in the United States on November 4 by 20th Century Fox. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics and grossed $346 million worldwide against its $125 million budget and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Can't Stop the Feeling!". A sequel, Trolls World Tour, was released on April 10, 2020.
The Trolls are small, colorful creatures who live in an almost perpetual state of happiness, singing, dancing, hugging, and having fun all day. However, they are discovered by the Bergens, large, ugly, mean, and miserable creatures who can only feel happy by consuming a Troll. The Bergens imprison the Trolls and eat them every year on a special occasion, Trollstice. The Trolls, led by their king, King Peppy, with his infant daughter, Princess Poppy, escape through tunnels on the day of Trollstice when Prince Gristle Jr. was going to eat his first Troll. Enraged, Gristle Jr.’s father King Gristle Sr. banishes his chef, who was in charge of preparing for Trollstice. Chef promises to leave and find the Trolls herself, while secretly plotting to overthrow the monarchy as revenge for her exile.
Twenty years later, an adult Poppy throws a big party to celebrate the Trolls' escape, despite the warnings of the over-cautious and egotistical gray Troll, Branch (who has a secret crush on her), that loud parties will attract the Bergens. At the party, Branch's warnings come true when Chef sees the fireworks and kidnaps Poppy's friends, including a "Zen" troll named Creek, whom Poppy loves.
Poppy decides on a rescue mission alone, as no other troll is willing to venture towards Bergen Town, and is later joined by Branch who saves her from a group of spiders. Once inside the Bergen king's castle, Poppy and Branch witness the now-King Gristle Jr. seemingly eat Creek, but Poppy remains hopeful that Creek survived. Poppy and Branch find the rest of the captured Trolls being guarded by a scullery maid named Bridget. Poppy discovers that Bridget is secretly in love with King Gristle Jr. and offers to help her get a date with the king while trying to confirm if Creek is alive.
While setting Bridget up for the date with a musical number, Branch refuses to sing and triggers an argument with Poppy, revealing that, as a child, his grandmother was captured and got eaten while trying to save him, because his singing compromised his location to Chef, and that his guilt caused his color to turn from blue to gray. After Poppy comforts him with a hug, the trolls help Bridget, disguised under the name of "Lady Glittersparkles", gets her date with Gristle Jr. at a roller rink and arcade restaurant and Gristle Jr. agrees for her to come to Trollstice. During this time, Poppy notices Creek being held captive inside the jewel adorning the king's mantle.
Having helped Bridget, the Trolls attempt to rescue Creek from Gristle's room and steal his jewel but discover that it is empty. The Trolls are then captured by Chef, and Poppy gets shocked to discover that Creek sold them out to the Bergens to spare himself from being eaten. Creek lures out every troll from Troll Village (via Poppy's cowbell) and they are captured by Chef and the other Bergen cooks. With all the Trolls captured, thrown into a pot and soon to be eaten, a heartbroken Poppy falls into despair and loses hope as she and all the other Trolls turn gray.
Branch tries to sing "True Colors" for Poppy to cheer her up, confessing his love for her. Poppy, after regaining her colors and realizing that she has fallen in love with Branch, returns his feelings, and they restore all the trolls' colors, including Branch's. Bridget saves the trolls, willing to sacrifice herself. Poppy can't bring herself to abandon Bridget and, with Branch and her friends, shows Gristle Jr. and the Bergens that Bridget is Lady Glittersparkles and that it is not necessary to eat Trolls to be happy, and they too, can find happiness within themselves.
The vengeful Chef refuses to accept the peace and tries to kill the Trolls, but is knocked into a serving cart, set on fire, and sent rolling out of Bergen Town with Creek, who is still in her pouch. Both species celebrate, bringing new life to the town. Poppy is then declared queen of the Trolls, and Poppy and Branch share a friendly hug.
- Anna Kendrick as Poppy, the princess, and later queen, of the Trolls.
- Iris Dohrn as Baby Poppy
- Justin Timberlake as Branch, an over-cautious pessimist Troll survivalist, who has a secret crush on Poppy.
- Liam Henry as Young Branch
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse as King Gristle Jr., the prince/king of the Bergens.
- Zooey Deschanel as Bridget, a kind-hearted Bergen who works as a scullery maid to the Bergen Chef. She also had a secret crush on Gristle Jr.
- Christine Baranski as Chef, the evil and power-hungry chef of the Bergens.
- Russell Brand as Creek, a Troll with a "positive" personality and "zen"-like wisdom. He later turned out to be a coward, a faker and a traitor, when he told the Bergens where the other Trolls were, just so he can save himself.
- James Corden as Biggie, a large Troll.
- Jeffrey Tambor as King Peppy, the king of the Trolls who once led his Trolls to freedom from the Bergens and Poppy's father.
- John Cleese as King Gristle Sr., the ruler of the Bergens at the start of the film.
- Gwen Stefani as DJ Suki, the Trolls' resident DJ Troll who uses DJ equipment made of insects.
- Ron Funches as Cooper, a giraffe-like Troll.
- Caroline Hjelt as Chenille, a Troll who alongside her twin sister Satin are the most fashion forward
- Aino Jawo as Satin, a Troll who alongside her twin sister Chenille are the most fashion forward.
- Kunal Nayyar as Guy Diamond, a gray glittery Troll who is always naked.
- Quvenzhané Wallis as Harper, a Troll artist with heterochromia who paints with her hair.
- GloZell as Grandma Rosiepuff, an elderly Troll and Branch's late grandmother. Dami Im voices the character in the Australian version. Susanna Reid voices the character in the UK version.
- Meg DeAngelis as Moxie Dewdrop, a dancing Troll. Connie Glynn voices the character in the UK version.
- Ricky Dillon as Aspen Heitz, a Troll skitterboarder. Greg James voices the character in the UK version.
- Kandee Johnson as Mandy Sparkledust, a Troll who designs and repairs all the treasures of Troll Town. Abbey Clancy voices the character in the UK version.
- Walt Dohrn as:
- Smidge, a small female troll with a masculine voice.
- Mr. Dinkles, Biggie's pet worm.
- Fuzzbert, a hair troll with two legs.
- Cloud Guy, an anthropomorphic cloud.
- Mike Mitchell as:
- Captain Starfunkle
- Wedgie Bergen #1
- Grace Helbig as Cookie Sugarloaf, one of the trolls. Carrie Hope Fletcher voices the character in the UK version.
- Curtis Stone as Todd, a royal guard that works for the Bergen Royal Family.
- Rhys Darby as Bibbly, a Bergen shopkeeper of the Bib Store.
DreamWorks announced plans for a film based on the Troll toyline as early as 2010. This version was to be written by Adam Wilson and Melanie Wilson LaBracio. By 2012, Chloë Grace Moretz had already been cast in the female lead role and Jason Schwartzman was reported to have been offered the male lead. In September 2012, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation announced that the film with the working title Trolls would be released on June 5, 2015, with Anand Tucker set to direct the film, written by Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes.
By April 2013, DreamWorks Animation had acquired the intellectual property for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things. Having "big plans for the franchise," DreamWorks Animation became the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights, except for Scandinavia, where Dam Things remains the licensor. In May 2013, the film was pushed back for a year to November 4, 2016. The same month, DreamWorks Animation announced that Mike Mitchell and Erica Rivinoja has been hired as a director and screenplay writer to "reimagine" the film as a musical comedy, which would present the origin of the Trolls' colorful hair. On June 16, 2014, Anna Kendrick joined the cast to voice Poppy, a princess. On September 15, 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Justin Timberlake would voice a character named Branch. Timberlake previously worked with DreamWorks Animation as the voice of Arthur "Artie" Pendragon in Shrek the Third in 2007. The full cast announced their respective roles via announcements on Twitter on January 6, 2016.
Justin Timberlake served as an executive producer for the film's music and released the original song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" in conjunction with "Hello Darkness" on May 6, 2016. The song reached No. 1 in the official charts of 17 countries, including the United States and Canada. In addition to Timberlake, the rest of the cast contributed to the film's soundtrack, which also features guest appearances from Earth, Wind & Fire and Ariana Grande. The soundtrack album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Australian Recording Industry Association.
The film's opening premiere opened at the BFI London Film Festival Opening Celebration on October 8, 2016 as a special BFI presentation, and was theatrically released on November 4, 2016, in the United States by 20th Century Fox.
The studio spent an estimated $105 million promoting the film.
Trolls grossed $153.7 million in the US and Canada and $193.2 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $346.8 million, against a budget of $125 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the film made a net profit of $19 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
In the United States and Canada, Trolls was released alongside the releases of Doctor Strange and Hacksaw Ridge, and was projected to gross $35–40 million from 4,060 theaters in its opening weekend. On its first day, the film grossed $12.3 million (including $900,000 made from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $46.5 million, finishing second at the box office behind Doctor Strange.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 161 reviews, with an average rating of 6.28/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 80% overall positive score.
Lindsey Bahr of Associated Press gave the film a positive review and said, "Ultimately, the 'get happy' moral of the story, while trite compared to something like Inside Out, is sufficiently sweet enough for its audience. Did you expect more from a piece of candy?" Bill Zwecker of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and said, "You simply will walk out – or perhaps dance out – of the theater feeling very happy yourself." Andy Webster of The New York Times said, "Exuberant, busy and sometimes funny, DreamWorks Animation's Trolls is determined to amuse."
Michael Rechtshaffen, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, called the film "an admittedly vibrant-looking but awfully recognizable animated musical comedy concoction." Alonso Duralde of TheWrap said the film "combines the barely-there characterization and irritating cutesiness of The Smurfs with the hideous character design and awful pop covers of Strange Magic." Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media gave the movie 4 stars. She said, "Make no mistake: Kids are going to love this movie. Trolls is cute, it's colorful, it has tons of catchy songs, and the messages are positive and easy to understand (happiness is inside everyone, if you know where/how to find it, and you shouldn't have to change who you are to get someone to like you)."
|List of awards and nominations|
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Academy Awards||February 26, 2017||Best Original Song||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake||Nominated|||
|American Music Awards||November 19, 2017||Top Soundtrack||Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||Nominated|||
|Annie Awards||February 4, 2017||Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Tim Lamb and Craig Kellman||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Achievement, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Kendal Cronkhite and Tim Lamb||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Claire Morrissey||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Zooey Deschanel||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||May 21, 2017||Top Soundtrack/Cast Album||Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Awards||December 11, 2016||Best Animated Feature||Trolls||Nominated|||
|Best Song||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||January 8, 2017||Best Original Song||Nominated|||
|Grammy Awards||February 12, 2017||Best Song Written for Visual Media||Won|||
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||February 16, 2017||Best Song/Recording Created for a Film||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Film Awards||November 6, 2016||Hollywood Song Award||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake||Won|||
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||November 17, 2016||Best Song Written for an Animated Film||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake||Won|||
|Best Soundtrack From a Movie||Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music Supervision – Film||Justin Timberlake||Nominated|
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||March 5, 2017||Best Song from a Movie||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake||Nominated|||
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||March 11, 2017||Favorite Animated Movie||Trolls||Nominated|||
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick||Nominated|
|Favorite Soundtrack||Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||February 19, 2017||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Trolls||Nominated|||
|Best Original Song||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||June 28, 2017||Best Animated Film||Trolls||Nominated|||
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||December 18, 2016||Best Soundtrack||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||July 31, 2016||Choice AnTEENcipated Movie||Nominated|||
|Choice Music: Song from a Movie or TV Show||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake||Nominated|
|World Soundtrack Awards||October 18, 2017||Best Original Song written directly for a Film||"Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake||Nominated|||
- Regarding music award shows, only film-related categories are included on this list.
DreamWorks Trolls: The Experience was the first of multiple mobile pop-up attractions Feld Entertainment and Universal Brand Development had agreed to develop in April 2018. The pop-up attraction opened in New York City on October 22, 2018.
On February 28, 2017, Universal Pictures, the studio's new distributor and parent company since 2016, and DreamWorks Animation announced that a sequel titled Trolls 2 would be released on April 10, 2020, with Kendrick and Timberlake reprising their roles of Poppy and Branch as well as Aibel and Berger returning to write the script. On October 4, 2017, the release date for the sequel was moved up to February 14, 2020, as Fast & Furious 9 took its original April 10, 2020 slot. Along with the new release date, it was announced that Dohrn will be returning to direct and Shay will return to produce the sequel. On December 6, 2017, the film was pushed back to an April 17, 2020 release. On March 4, 2020, No Time to Die got delayed, so the film was pushed to an April 10, 2020 release again.
In May 2018, it was confirmed that Sam Rockwell, Chance the Rapper, Anthony Ramos, Karan Soni, Flula Borg, and Jamie Dornan joined the cast. Corden, Icona Pop, Funches, Stefani and Nayyar will also reprise their roles. In October 2018, it was confirmed that Kelly Clarkson had joined the cast, and will perform an original song.
A new title for the sequel, Trolls World Tour, was announced in June 2018. In May 2017, podcasters Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy began campaigning for roles in the film via a podcast titled "The McElroy Brothers Will Be in Trolls 2" (later renamed "The McElroy Brothers Will Be in Trolls: World Tour" after the sequel's subtitle was revealed). Following the podcast's popularity, DreamWorks confirmed in September 2018 that the McElroy brothers would make cameo appearances in World Tour.
Trolls Holiday is a half-hour television special that aired on November 24, 2017 on NBC. Set after the film, Poppy realizes that the Bergens have no holidays to celebrate. She enlists Branch and their friends (the Snack Pack) to show their best friend Bridget and other Bergens the importance of holidays. Most of the original cast (including Kendrick, Timberlake, Deschanel, Mintz-Plasse, Corden, Funches, Nayyar and Dohrn) all reprise their roles from the film. The likely-Christmas Special is also directed by Crawford and written by Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener with music by Jeff Morrow. Its soundtrack album that features seven songs was released on October 27, 2017. It is now available on Netflix and on DVD by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The bonus features of the DVD also include one episode of Spirit Riding Free and two of Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh.
A 52-episode animated series based on the film, entitled Trolls: The Beat Goes On! that airs on Netflix premiered on January 19, 2018 and ran for 8 seasons. The show stars Amanda Leighton as Poppy, Skylar Astin as Branch, and Funches who is reprising his role as Cooper, and Dohrn reprising his role as Cloud Guy.
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