Recently the chicklets and I were treated to Trolls. Talk about an all colour all singing all dancing premiere – big ups to 20th Century Fox. There was troll hair. Photos. Candy floss! The guys from Sticky TV were there! It was an extravaganza. The chicklets were beside themselves. There was dancing and hugs, and later, much feasting on retro lollies.
Trolls is a fun movie, about happiness and where it can be found. It has good guys and bad guys (who perhaps aren’t so bad after all, lessons are learned), and is releasing at the perfect time in NZ – perfect for summer and the holidays. Pop this one on the list, its an easy family watch. Directed by Mike Mitchell, whose credits include Shrek, Ren & Stimpy and Spongebob Squarepants, there’s more to Trolls than meets the eye. Some of that nutty Ren & Stimpy/Spongebob stuff pops up. Minor characters quip hilarious throwaway lines and loads is going on visually in each frame. I can’t wait to see it again to see what I missed first time round.
Who doesn’t love a musical? And if you’re already primed to hum along when the songs are remakes of ones from your childhood, all the better. Justin Timberlake produced the music along with voicing ‘Branch’ (one of the main characters). Watch Trolls and you’ll hear new renditions of Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’, Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colours’ (she didn’t write this, by the way), Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and more, so many more. Each tune was hand picked by the music team and the lyrics are all part of the narrative. This took years to do. No easy feat. I mean, with the Eardrops stories we simply made the words up over the theme tune – no continuity needed. Catchy, but not complex.
Anyhoo, check out ‘The Sound of Silence’ in this clip, sung by Poppy, who’s voiced by the fantastic Anna Kendrick.
Aside from the spider, who gets funnier the more times you watch it, did you notice all the fluff in the animation? The textures of the hair, the ground, the insects? Production designer Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin based the film’s look on Fibre Art textures (felts, velvet, macramé, and flocked materials). They called it “fuzzy immersion,” and they intended to “entice audiences to want to reach into the film and touch the characters and settings”. It worked. (Soft toy anyone?)
There were hundreds of animators working on the Trolls’ hair (which did end up being amazing, it must be said). Their hair is the trolls’ secret weapon and it can do all sorts of tricks. The production crew ‘Hair Task Force’ created a total of 1.8 million strands throughout the production. Mammoth. Clever. Cute. Time consuming. (Expensive).
So enjoy this movie with the kids on the big screen while its on. It is a big bright singing dancing story that is a heap of fun to watch. Its nothing like the trolls that pop up on the internet. That’s another conversation for another day kids.
Trolls everywhere remember – happiness comes from within. These little trolls will teach you that.