The Trolls film series is based on the popular Troll Doll toy line that began in 1959 by Danish woodworker, Thomas Dam. After DreamWorks acquired the intellectual property in 2013, the film series began with 2016’s Trolls, 2020’s Trolls World Tour, and now, Trolls Band Together, featuring an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Camila Cabello, Kenan Thompson, Troye Sivan, Eric André, Daveed Diggs, Kid Cudi, Zooey Deschanel, and many more, and it’s now showing in cinemas worldwide.
Branch and Poppy, now officially a couple, find out from one of his brothers, John Dory, that their other brother Floyd has been kidnapped. They must work together to find the two other brothers, Spruce and Clay, who altogether make up the members of the old boyband phenomenon, BroZone. They are no longer in sync, having gone from boys to men, and now, there’s only one direction for them to go – the backstreets. Their journey, once again, takes them on a wild and crazy adventure full of glitz and glamour, twists and turns, and of course, plenty of singing and dancing.
Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick return as Branch and Poppy respectively, showing plenty of character development since the first two films and going deeper into why Branch has been so reluctant to show off his singing talents in the past. Both stars are no strangers to the music scene, with Justin being a member of the boyband *NSYNC, most popular in the early 2000s before he embarked on a solo career, while Anna comes from a musical theatre background and is one of the leading stars of the Pitch Perfect film series. Together, they bring a lot of chemistry that plays off incredibly well with one another, bringing their characters to life.
Joining the main cast is Camila Cabello as Viva, a long-lost relative of Poppy who never knew she had other family members. Camila brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and personality to the film. Her performance of Viva is like a very exaggerated version of her real-life personality, but fits in perfectly with the film’s art style, and bounces off really well with the other characters. This is her first and currently only voice role, but what she’s shown in this debut movie makes her seem like a veteran of voice acting.
Also new to the cast are Troye Sivan as Floyd, Eric André as John Dory, Daveed Diggs as Spruce, and Kid Cudi as Clay, making up the other members of BroZone. Even though they’re not related in real life, their characters certainly feel like they are, acting like a dysfunctional family with plenty of hilarious moments and jokes made at each other’s expense. It’s interesting and really funny to see how much they’ve changed since their days as BroZone.
Many of the memorable and colourful characters return with their original voice actors reprising their roles, many of whom are also highly successful recording artists, adding to the high-energy music and party atmosphere. Returning stars include Kenan Thompson as Tiny Diamond, Zooey Deschanel as Bridget, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Gristle, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt as Satin and Chenille, just to name a few. Even if their roles are much smaller than in the previous two films, they still have their big and memorable moments in the third film. Various cameos can also be heard throughout the film, such as the host of RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul himself, plus Dillon Francis, Patti Harrison, and even legendary voice actors Roger Craig Smith and Fred Tatasciore.
With the majority of the cast being famous recording artists, the film’s soundtrack is packed with music, including a mix of original songs and covers of some smash hits by the film’s cast members. Having famous singers from various backgrounds work together is one of the Trolls film franchise’s best features.
The biggest highlight is “Better Place”, an original song by Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, who make up all the members of *NSYNC, and while the legendary boyband disbanded back in 2002, they reunited for the first time in 21 years for this film. Longtime *NSYNC fans are in for a treat, as they not only perform a brand new song after two long decades, but they also appear as their own characters in this movie and perform that very song.
DreamWorks’ animated movies have always gone above and beyond with their style and presentation, and the Trolls movies are no different. The Troll Dolls are best known for their crazy and colourful hairstyles, which were amazingly animated on the big screen. Everything from the set pieces, environments, and especially the musical performances gives the Trolls film series so much life and personality. Combining all that with the music certainly helps make the Trolls franchise stand out on its own against other big franchises by DreamWorks, including Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon.
Sequels can be hit or miss, but Trolls Band Together just keeps improving and adding to what the first two films did so well, as well as the things they didn’t do quite right. Even with so many characters, it never seems to struggle to fit them all in, giving them their own memorable moments. The Trolls movies are exuding with style and personality, and the third film has even more of it.
There is plenty of character development with the main characters, and listening to the various recording artists performing original and cover songs never gets old. The triumphant reunion of *NSYNC will surely be a treat for longtime fans. It’s a movie that kids will absolutely love, and with all of the singing and dancing, they won’t be able to keep still. Trolls Band Together is a perfect film for kids and families to watch during this holiday season.
- A fantastic sequel
- Plenty of character development from the first two films
- All the music performed by various recording artists
- Exudes style and personality
- The triumphant reunion of *NSYNC