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Happy Critters

Saturday, November 05, 2016
By Deepa Gahlot

Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn
Cast: (Voices) Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel and others
Rating: * * *

The Hollywood animation factory has gotten down to a perfect formula what would appeal to little kids on a sugar rush. Adults would probably grit their teeth in annoyance at the overdose of colour and cuteness before grudgingly conceding that Trolls, directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn delivers what it promises to its audience of tots.

What the film has also got going for it, is a line-up of celebs lending their voices to the garish critters who run about giddily in the movie. This film from DreamWorks Animation, does not even bother to please grown-ups, unless they are willing to do a mental crouch down and pretend to be three years old.

Unlike those weirdos on social media, these Trolls are “the happiest creatures the world had ever known”. These Trolls happen to be inspired by the dolls, created in 1959 by the Danish toymaker Thomas Dam. They were plump, cute, cherubic creatures with wild hair.

The happy Trolls have enemies, the Bergens that are not-so-cute ogres, who are chronically unhappy; the only way they can be happy is by eating Trolls, which they do once a year on Trollstice day. Kids would probably laugh at the idea of cannibalism because, unlike adults, they would not know what it implies.

The Trolls have managed to escape the Bergens for 20 years, but a party gives them away; the nasty Bergen Chef (Christine Baranski) nabs a few Trolls to serve to Prince Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). The two leads, the pink Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick), and Branch (Justin Timberlake), whose pessimism has literally rendered him grey, along with other Trolls voiced by actors like Russell Brand and James Corden go off to rescue their pals from the Bergens. Other star voices include John Cleese, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande and Zooey Deschanel.

There’s rainbow colour, romance, adventure and music (a lot of pop hits), so what’s not for kids to like. Parents might just feel like they choked on candy floss.

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