Trolls (film)

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Trolls (film) logo.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Produced by Gina Shay[1]
Screenplay by
Story by Erica Rivinoja[1]
Based on Troll dolls
by Thomas Dam
Music by Christophe Beck[2]
Cinematography Yong Duk Jhun
Edited by Nick Fletcher
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
Running time
92 minutes[3]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $125 million[4]
Box office $344.5 million[5]

Trolls is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated buddy musical adventure romantic comedy film based on the Troll dolls created by Thomas Dam. The film was directed by Mike Mitchell and co-directed by Walt Dohrn,[6] written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger and based on a story by Erica Rivinoja. The film features the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden and Gwen Stefani. The film revolves around two trolls on a quest to save their village from destruction by the Bergens, creatures who eat trolls.

The 33rd animated feature film produced by DreamWorks Animation, the film premiered on October 8, 2016, at the BFI London Film Festival[3][7] and was theatrically released in the United States on November 4, 2016, by 20th Century Fox.[8] The film received generally positive reviews from critics, grossed $344 million worldwide against its $125 million budget and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Can't Stop the Feeling!".

A sequel is scheduled to be released on April 10, 2020 with Kendrick and Timberlake reprising their roles as Poppy and Branch respectively.[9]


The Trolls are small creatures who live in an almost perpetual state of happiness, singing, dancing and hugging all day long. However, they are discovered by the Bergens, large creatures who never feel happy, but discover that they can feel happy for a moment, if they devour a Troll. The Bergens put the Trolls and their tree in a cage, and hold an annual festival, called Trollstice, in which each Bergen gets its feeling of happiness, by eating a Troll. However, the Trolls, led by their King Peppy, escape through underground tunnels on the day that Prince Gristle Jr. would eat his first Troll. The furious Bergen King Gristle Sr. banishes his Chef who was in charge of the Troll preparation.

20 years later, King Peppy's daughter, the extremely happy and optimistic troll Princess Poppy, throws a big party to celebrate the Trolls' escape, despite the fears and warnings of the grey troll, Branch, that loud parties will attract the Bergens. Branch's fears become true when Chef sees the fireworks and captures a number of Trolls. Poppy is among the Trolls who manage to hide, but discovers that none of the other Trolls dare to venture to Bergen Town to rescue their friends. She goes by herself, but gets trapped by several spider-like creatures. She is saved by the reluctant Branch, who thinks she will not make it if she goes alone, and together they go to Bergen Town.

At Bergen Town, Poppy and Branch find out that Bergen town will be holding Trollstice that night and witness the zen-like troll Creek apparently get eaten by Prince Gristle (who is now King Gristle Jr.), much to Poppy and Branch's horror. Poppy and Branch discover that the rest of their friends are being guarded by a Scullery Maid named Bridget, and strike a deal with her: If she frees their friends, they will help her get a date with the now King Gristle Jr.. While setting her up for the date, Branch refuses to sing, causing an arguement between him and Poppy. This makes Branch reveals that he is not happy and doesn't like to sing, because as a child, he caused his grandmother to be killed after Chef found him, because of his singing, and blaming himself, turned from blue to grey. Later with the help of the Trolls, Bridget gets her date with Gristle at a roller rink and arcade restaurant disguised as Lady Glitter Sparkles, and King Gristle asks her to be his "plus one" at Trollstice. They also discover that the zen-like troll Creek is being held captive in the jewel that decorates the king's mantle. When they get back to Bridget's room, Bridget asks them if they can help her disguise as Lady Glitter Sparkles at Trollstice, but they refuse because they could no longer help her, causing Bridget to cry. However, things go wrong when Poppy and her friends try to rescue the last Troll, the Zen-like Troll Creek, who after being apparently swallowed by the young king, has been discovered being held captive in the jewel that decorates the king's mantle.

While the Trolls are successful in stealing the jewel, they are dismayed to discover that it is empty and even more shocked by being captured immediately afterward by Chef and discovering that Creek betrayed them just to save himself. Creek returns to the Troll village where using Poppy's cowbell, he lures the other Trolls out of hiding, letting them be captured by Chef and the other Bergen cooks, who lie in ambush. With all the Trolls captured and soon to be eaten, Poppy loses hope as she and all the other Trolls turn grey. Branch, despite his typical grumbling, sings for Poppy to cheer her up, and (through the song) confesses his love for her, much to Poppy's surprise and together they restore the colors of all of the Trolls, including Branch himself.

Just before being served, the Trolls are rescued by Bridget who wants them to flee while she is ready to sacrifice herself for them. However, Poppy does not want to abandon her Bergen friend. Together with the other Trolls, Poppy reveals to the Bergens that Bridget was, in fact, Lady Glitter Sparkles, and that, for being happy, it is not necessary to eat Trolls as the feeling that Bridget and the King had on their date was happiness too.

The Trolls invite the Bergen to sing and dance with them, making them feel happy. The vengeful Chef tries to kill the Poppy and Branch, but is knocked into a serving cart (which was set on fire by Cooper) by a well-aimed spoon throw by Bridget. Together with Creek who was still in her pouch, Chef rolls out of the castle with the flaming cart.

In the end, the Trolls live in peace with the happy Bergens, Poppy is crowned their new queen, and she and Branch hug again.

In the mid-credits scene, the serving cart with Chef and Creek on it stops on a hill in the middle of nowhere. Chef tries to eat Creek until he stops her, and the two get suddenly eaten alive by a hill-shaped monster.


Anna Kendrick
Justin Timberlake
Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake at the film's preview at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival[10]


Director Mike Mitchell and co-director Walt Dohrn presented footage from the film at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International

DreamWorks announced plans for a film based on the Troll toyline as early as 2010. This version was to be written by Adam Wilson and his wife Melanie[23] By 2012, Chloë Grace Moretz had already been cast in the female lead role and Jason Schwartzman was reported to have been offered the male lead.[24] In September 2012, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation announced that the film with the working title Trolls would be released on June 5, 2015, with Anand Tucker set to direct the film, written by Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes.[1]

By April 2013, DreamWorks Animation had acquired the intellectual property for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things. Having "big plans for the franchise," DreamWorks Animation became the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights, except for Scandinavia, where Dam Things remains the licensor.[25] In May 2013, the film was pushed back for a year to November 4, 2016.[26] The same month, DreamWorks Animation announced that Mike Mitchell and Erica Rivinoja has been hired as a director and screenplay writer to "reimagine" the film as a musical comedy, which will present the origin of the Trolls' colorful hair.[27] On June 16, 2014, Anna Kendrick joined the cast to voice Poppy, a princess.[11] On September 15, 2015, reported that Justin Timberlake will voice a character named Branch.[8] Timberlake previously worked with DreamWorks Animation as the voice of Arthur "Artie" Pendragon in Shrek the Third in 2007. The full cast announced their respective roles via announcements on Twitter on January 6, 2016.[28]


Main article: Trolls (soundtrack)

Justin Timberlake served as an executive producer for the film's music and released the original song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" on May 6, 2016.[29] The song reached No. 1 in the official charts of 17 countries, including the United States and Canada. Timberlake along with the film cast, with guest appearances from Earth, Wind & Fire and Ariana Grande, contributed to the soundtrack.[30] The soundtrack album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America[31] and the Australian Recording Industry Association.[32]


The film's world premiere took place at the BFI London Film Festival on October 8, 2016, and was theatrically released on November 4, 2016, in the United States by 20th Century Fox.

Home media[edit]

Trolls was released on Digital HD on January 24, 2017, and on DVD and Blu-ray on February 7, 2017.[33] The film topped the home video sales chart for two consecutive weeks.[34][35]


Box office[edit]

As of March 17, 2017, Trolls has grossed $153.7 million in the US and Canada and $190.8 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $344.5 million, against a budget of $125 million.[5]

In the United States and Canada, Trolls was released alongside Doctor Strange and Hacksaw Ridge, and was projected to gross $35–40 million from 4,060 theaters in its opening weekend.[36] On its first day, the film grossed $12.3 million (including $900,000 made from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $46.5 million, finishing second at the box office behind Doctor Strange.[37]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 74%, based on 132 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents."[38] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score 56 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[39] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[40]

Lindsey Bahr of Associated Press gave the film a positive review and said "Ultimately, the "get happy" moral of the story, while trite compared to something like Inside Out, is sufficiently sweet enough for its audience. Did you expect more from a piece of candy?"[41] Bill Zwecker of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and said "You simply will walk out — or perhaps dance out — of the theater feeling very happy yourself."[42] Andy Webster of The New York Times said "Exuberant, busy and sometimes funny, DreamWorks Animation's Trolls is determined to amuse."[43]

The Hollywood Reporter called the film "an admittedly vibrant-looking but awfully recognizable animated musical comedy concoction."[3] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap said the film "combines the barely-there characterization and irritating cutesiness of The Smurfs with the hideous character design and awful pop covers of Strange Magic."[44]


List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards February 26, 2017 Best Original Song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake Nominated [45]
Annie Awards February 4, 2017 Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Tim Lamb and Craig Kellman Nominated [47]
Outstanding Achievement, Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Kendal Cronkhite and Tim Lamb Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Claire Morrissey Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Zooey Deschanel Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards December 11, 2016 Best Animated Feature Trolls Nominated [48]
Best Song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake Nominated
Golden Globe Awards January 8, 2017 Best Original Song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake Nominated [49]
Grammy Awards February 12, 2017 Best Song Written for Visual Media "Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake Won [50]
Hollywood Film Awards November 6, 2016 Hollywood Song Award "Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake Won [51]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2016 Best Song Written for an Animated Film "Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake Won [52]
Best Soundtrack From a Movie Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Nominated
Outstanding Music Supervision – Film Justin Timberlake Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards March 5, 2017 Best Song from a Movie "Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake Nominated [54]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 11, 2017 Favorite Animated Movie Trolls Nominated [55]
Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick Nominated
Favorite Frenemies Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick Nominated
Favorite Soundtrack Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Nominated
Satellite Awards February 19, 2017 Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Trolls Nominated [56]
Best Original Song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" – Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake Nominated
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Animated Film Trolls Pending [57]
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association December 18, 2016 Best Soundtrack Trolls Nominated [58]
Teen Choice Awards July 31, 2016 Choice AnTEENcipated Movie Trolls Nominated [59]
Choice Music: Song from a Movie or TV Show "Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake Nominated
  • Regarding music award shows, only movie-related categories are included on this list.


On February 28, 2017, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation announced that Trolls 2 will be released on April 10, 2020, with Kendrick and Timberlake reprising their roles.[9]

Television special[edit]

A Trolls television special will air in the fall of 2017 on NBC.[60]


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External links[edit]