Directed by Walt Dohrn (Directorial Debut)
April 10, 2020
The Pop Trolls learn of other troll tribes in the world when the Queen Barb of the Hard Rock Trolls decides to collect all the musical strings in order to play the ultimate power cord.
That plot is a mouthful right there. And that does not even cover everything. A great deal happens in this film. It is a little more dense in that aspect than its predecessor.
The plot of Trolls World Tour felt like a more magical direction for the movie to take than its predecessor did. Trolls was just them trying not to be eaten much like the Smurfs and fantasy creatures as snacks that make people feel happy comes off more as an after school special than anything. Trolls World Tour is about them fighting a magical plot to conquer all the Troll Kingdoms that they never knew existed before via the use of their particular musical string.
One thing that gets alluded to in this film is that some genres, like disco, have come and gone meaning their kingdoms are no more. In the mythology established in the film each kingdom has its own string. What became of those strings or does a new string magically generate with a new genre but then again it was stated that the strings that currently exist were the only was to exist? Am I overthinking this?
In the beginning of time all Trolls lived together in harmony. They danced and frolicked until the Pop Trolls decided to unite all Trolls under Pop Music. Huh? What exactly indicates the possibility that the Pop Trolls ever had an itch to conquer? It would have been logical to keep the evil focus of the film entirely on the Hard Rock Trolls.
This is a rather cute sequel with better music than the first though it is a little short on characterization even if it is heavier on story. Much like in The Angry Birds 2 they hit the ground running here. In the last one we had a pretty decent understanding of the assorted characters and their motivations-both of the good guys and of the bad. Here the introductions are just kind of breezed through with no good refresher given on the hows and whys of what they do.
Our new villains are the Hard Rock Trolls lead by Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) and they just show up and we get a brief explanation of their motivation and that is it. One thing that Trolls did better was flesh out the assorted characters and their motivations. Here things are more rushed but then again there are a great many more characters in this film than the last ones. The Bergens, the villains of the last film, are never mentioned here other than a brief appearance in a mid-credits scene. I was not expecting them to be a presence in the film but there was not even an implication of them or the events of the last movie here.
The kingdom they are most significantly in is the Country Music Kingdom lead by Delta Dawn (Kelly Clarkson). The others are kind of breezed through or glossed over. I am not saying they had to spend a significant amount of time in each kingdom but given that one of the characters was revealed to have come from one of the other kingdoms as an egg then I think that kingdom should have had more focus.
The animation is still great. Things do not look as fuzzy as they used to. I do not mean that in a bad way. The characters look like they were a little fuzzy in the original like felt but not so much so now. They are little smoother looking.
Maybe it is because I have watched one to many movies but I figured out what was going on with the character of Hickory (Sam Rockwell) pretty fast. Or maybe that is because this movie goes for entertaining over complicated or ironic.
Trolls World Tour has a theme that denying differences is denying the reality of who you are. That is a little heavy stuff for what is extensively a children’s film. Personally I think a better them would be bridging our differences through what we have in common which here would have been a love of music. That would have been a better theme to explore.
Trolls World Tour is a fun and entertaining animated feature. You will get some real laughs out of it and you enjoy the music and sometimes that is all you really need. Watch it!