‘Trolls World Tour’ falls flat compared to other streaming options


Courtesy of Dreamworks

‘Trolls World Tour’ was released on demand for streaming on April 10. The soundtrack features original music by multiple artists, including SZA and Justin Timberlake.

We’ve all heard the bad news. Almost all theaters are shut down and anticipated movies of the year are being pushed back several months or a year after their initial release date, leaving families at home bored. However, movies like “Onward” and “The Invisible Man” are now being distributed to streaming services like YouTube TV, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and others.

One movie in this similar situation is Dreamworks’ latest animated sequel, “Trolls World Tour.” However, unlike other movies that deserved to be featured on the big screen like “Onward” and “The Invisible Man,” this movie is where it rightfully belongs, because this pointless sequel feels like something that should’ve gone straight to streaming.

“Trolls World Tour” reunites us with Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) as they both discover the existence of six different troll kingdoms and are responsible for helming a string that represents a piece of music given by their ancient ancestors from pop, techno, funk, country, classical and rock.

Things turn to chaos when the two of them are sent on the task to stop Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom), who wants all of the strings for herself so she can conjure a power cord that will turn the entire realm into mindless metal-heads and destroy the other genres of music.

The dry and simplistic narrative doesn’t have anything for you to hold onto your investment, and it doesn’t get much better based upon the movie’s linear and predictably lazy script. Every single story beat, side plot or character arc feels like something out of a better movie, and despite the premise being incredibly familiar, the movie doesn’t do anything refreshing or innovative to make up for its formulaic plot.

The characters, especially the supporting ones, are hollow, built for comedic relief or to move the plot along. The villains are heavy metal band archetypes you would see from a Saturday morning cartoon, and the soundtrack is an uninspired affair of overused song from popular artists like Scorpions and Cyndi Lauper, with original songs that feel forgettable and bland. The rare exception comes from Kelly Clarkson as Delta Dawn, the leader of the country trolls, who actually delivers an original song that is quite decent and well performed.

Concerning positives, I can’t take away points from this movie’s unique and bubbly animation. Once again, much like the last film, the art style is visually colorful and unique. A lot of care was put into the character and world design of each of the separate troll kingdoms.

The voice acting is adequate as well. Kendrick and Timberlake work well as Poppy and Branch, and other voice-over performances from Sam Rockwell, George Clinton and Mary J. Blige keep the film watchable in certain moments.

“Trolls World Tour” is a total waste of time. There’s no reason for you to pay for something so slipshod and superfluous as this sequel. If you want to see an animated movie on streaming services you use daily, watch “Onward” and “Frozen II” on Disney+.