If you're familiar with the film industry, then you likely already realize that we're in what is known as "awards season," a time of year when a variety of awards are presented and nearly all of the film critic organizations announce their year-end "best of" awards. During this season, it's inevitable that a few screeners cross our desks that leave us scratching our heads wondering how on earth a studio can possibly think we'd consider the film for awards.
2020-2021 has presented several of those films, a reality most likely triggered by this most unusual year in which most wide release films have either been postponed until post-pandemic or they've been released into the world of streaming.
Trolls World Tour, a kid friendly and reasonably entertaining lightweight film, is one such film.
There's nothing particularly wrong with Trolls World Tour, but when you've got in your cast such musical talents as Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Ozzy Osbourne, George Clinton, Anderson.Paak, and Anna Kendrick, it's a mighty weird thing to have the music be one of the weakest parts of your film.
Indeed, that's what happens here.
To be fair, there's no denying that Trolls World Tour is truly meant to be seen on the big screen where its imagery will dazzle and its musical numbers will, at least theoretically, leave you humming alone. On a smaller screen, Trolls World Tour is a lot less dazzling and maybe even a little more seizure-inducing with its strobe light effects and colorful visuals. The storyline is simple but surprisingly meaningful - Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover that there are six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands. Each tribe is also devoted to six different kinds of music -- funk, country, techno, classical, pop and rock. When rockers Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) and King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne) set out to destroy the other music, Poppy and Branch embark on a daring mission to unite the trolls and save the diverse melodies from becoming extinct.
While Trolls World Tour may not be headed toward awards season glory, the film is certainly a decent enough home viewing alternative for the restless kiddoes in search of a way to expend that energy during these hunkered down days at the homestead. Trolls World Tour ended up being the first studio release intended to be a theatrical film that instead detoured to an exclusive streaming release at $19.99 a pop. Timberlake and Swedish composer/producer Ludwig Goransson, a likely Academy Award nominee this year for his other original score achievements, serve as the film's executive producers for music and they've assembled quite the diverse musical selection.
I mean, seriously. When was the last time you saw a film with Kelly Clarkson AND George Clinton?
Now that's P-funk. Or maybe T-funk.
There's nothing particularly brilliant or groundbreaking about Trolls World Tour, but in a year like we've had anything that actually entertains us is mighty special in its own way. While Trolls World Tour may not linger in your mind as much as the original film, in its own special way it is, well, mighty special.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic