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Trolls may be a formulaic comedy, but it’s hard to dislike

Troll princess Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) bursts into song in DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls

DreamWorks Animation

2.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger
Directed by
Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell
Voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Zooey Deschanel

A formulaic hero's journey based around Thomas Dam's once omnipresent toys, the fitfully amusing animated comedy Trolls casts the voice of Anna Kendrick as a perky princess who teams up with the village grump (Justin Timberlake) to save her diminutive brethren from a horde of monsters who want to eat them. From a soundtrack chockablock with pop ditties to a subplot involving a teenage monster wrestling with self-esteem issues, nothing here strikes as novel or original outside of a dazzling visual sensibility. The film boasts a remarkably tactile sense of character design and layout, so younger viewers might want to reach out and try to touch the screen, something the film's marketing department will be happy to hear. Despite the tiresome story, it's a hard film to dislike. It's not doing anything new, but it's not doing anything wrong either. It's an amiable family film espousing lessons about looking on the bright side of life. It's a cynic's worst candy-coated nightmare, but it can't be knocked for being anything less than genuine.

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