Trolls World Tour Review - Is The Sequel Worth It?

Dreamworks and Universal Pictures
Image from Dreamworks - Trolls World Tour

Trolls World Tour, the sequel to fan-favorite Trolls released in 2016, hit the small screen on April 10, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.  While viewers were confined to their homes, Dreamworks / Universal decided to release this new film direct to consumers for digital download rental.  At the price of $19.99 for a 48 hour rental period, it certainly was a cost saver for families compared to traditional movie prices.  Even with what feels like bargain pricing, is Trolls World Tour a worthy sequel to the original or is this one that you should wait to catch on streaming in a few months?

About the Film (from Universal Pictures)




Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return in an all-star sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s 2016 musical hit: Trolls World Tour. In an adventure that will take them well beyond what they’ve known before, Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. Their world is about to get a lot bigger and a whole lot louder.

A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom), aided by her father King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne), wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. With the fate of the world at stake, Poppy and Branch, along with their friends — Biggie (James Corden), Chenille (Caroline Hjelt), Satin (Aino Jawo), Cooper (Ron Funches) and Guy Diamond (Kunal Nayyar) — set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Barb, who’s looking to upstage them all.



Trolls World Tour Review


I'll be honest, I went into this film with high expectations.  I adored the original Trolls - from the music to the storyline, it was a fun, upbeat film filled with memorable characters.  Maybe my own expectations got in the way, but Trolls World Tour fell short for me.  Don't get me wrong, there are parts of this movie that I enjoyed and the overall messaging was incredibly meaningful, but it felt disconnected and choppy for me.  

As the summary above states, we learn that Queen Poppy (formerly known as Princess Poppy) discovers that her Pop Trolls are not alone in the world.  In fact, there are several other Troll Kingdoms - each captivated by a different type of music.  When an invitation from Queen Barb, the Queen of Rock, lands on Poppy's doorstep, her sunshine and rainbow outlook leads her to think that Queen Barb wants to bring all of the Trolls together.  But as she hears stories from her father and embarks on her own journey to find Queen Barb, she soon learns the Trolls have a darker past. . .and it's not entirely the past her father shared.  As Poppy travels from the Classical Trolls, to the Country Trolls, and beyond we are introduced to a host characters.  This is where the movie began to feel more like a hodge-podge mashup than a clearly connected story to me.  It was too many characters to keep track of and they came and went so quickly, they didn't really develop.  

I mentioned the messaging earlier and I do think this is important to highlight here.  The overall message of Trolls World Tour centers on the value of diversity in our society.  What makes us great is that we are all different - like different things, dress different, etc.  In a simple way that's easy for kids to see this message is portrayed in the movie.  Because each of the Troll groups are so distinct from one another it's very easy to spot their differences and throughout the movie are examples of how those differences have both driven them apart and brought them together.  

The music - as you would expect - is catchy in this movie, but I still prefer the soundtrack of the original.  Nothing compares to "Can't Stop the Feeling" and there are times that songs sound forced - like they're trying to figure out ways to squeeze as much music into the movie as possible. 


Final Thoughts on Trolls World Tour


Image from Dreamworks
Overall, I would say this is one you could wait on.  However, if you're looking for something new and different to watch with the family while we are all inside, this is an OK film and the rental price is cheaper than your original night at the movies.  While I was admittedly just "eh" on the film, my kids enjoyed it. . .although neither one is asking to watch it again right now which normally happens in our house (I swear we've seen Onward about a thousand times during this quarantine!).  


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