The sequel to the animated hit “Trolls” was actually supposed to be one of the cinema highlights of the spring. But now boarded TROLLS 2: TROLLS WORLD TOUR just the domestic streaming providers. We’ll reveal in our review whether this is a good idea.
Villain Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) is – of course – a rocker.
The plot summary
The world of Trolls unravels when our beloved characters discover that they are just one of six species of Trolls, all of whom are influenced by different styles of music: funk, country, techno, classical, pop and rock. At least one thing is clear: your world will not only be bigger, but also much more colorful and loud! The queen of hard rock, Queen Barb, has a sinister plan: she wants to destroy all other types of music so that only rock can take over. Poppy (Anna Kendrick/Lena Meyer-Landrut) and Branch (Justin Timberlake/Mark Forster) have to prevent that – their mission: unite all the trolls, defeat Barb, who wants to outdo everyone else in the truest sense of the word, and the world rescue!
Long before “Trolls 2: Trolls World Tour” was even made available to its viewers and a trend could emerge as to whether they were satisfied with the animated musical comedy or not, one thing was clear: the sequel to the Universal hit “ Trolls “ from 2016 would go down in the annals of film history one way or another – as the first major major studio production to leave its actual theatrical release behind and be made available directly as a streaming title. The reason, of course: the Corona crisis, which inevitably has to force major distributors to rethink in order to at least partially offset the losses caused by the cinema closures. And so “Trolls World Tour” has been available in the USA since last Friday for a rental price of $19.99 from popular streaming providers such as Amazon Prime and iTunes for a rental period of 48 hours. In Germany the film will be available from April 23rd, probably for a price of €17.99, like “The Invisible” and “Emma.” . The offer is gratefully accepted in the United States. There, “Trolls World Tour” broke the record as the “most successful start of a streaming title” on its first weekend. Who knows: Maybe we’ll all be witnessing live how the entertainment industry is fundamentally changing!?
Poppy (original: Anna Kendruck) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) set out to bring balance back to Trollsland.
Now “Trolls 2: Trolls World Tour” is also a very suitable title to try out this “streaming instead of cinema” procedure. The first part became a respectable success with a box office gross of almost 350 million US dollars and offered brightly colored, fun entertainment for a primarily younger audience (our conclusion at the time: “Trolls” offers cheeky, harmless animated fun that reveals a fine message at its core: Nobody should dictate to us what has to make us happy! We are sure: at least this film does it a little.”). In other words, a target group that accounts for a significant proportion of the success of appropriately produced family films. For a family of several people, the streaming price of $19.99, which at first glance appears to be quite high, is already worth it for the second person watching – and snacks and drinks are quickly organized for such a film happening at home. A general trend can only be derived to a limited extent from the undoubtedly impressive figures. But regardless of whether it’s released in cinemas or not: enough of the numbers. “Trolls 2” also has to impress in the home theater. And it does that on some levels, but not on others. Because returning director Walt Dohrn (“Spongebob Squarepants”) and his co-director David P. Smith (“The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show”) are reflecting on the successful mechanisms of the first part for the second adventure about Poppy and Branch, But they become even more interchangeable in terms of story and message.
The message of beaten-in happiness (“Stay as you are – as long as you’re always happy and sociable!”), which some critics interpreted a little more negatively, was largely discarded in “Trolls 2” in favor of a “Differences are okay!” message . “Trolls World Tour” is all about praising different emotions, ideals and ways of life. And in the form of music. In the first part, modern pop songs and catchy tunes took up a large part of the running time, the lyrics of which were adapted to suit the story. For “Trolls World Tour” the five (!) screenwriters around Jonathan Albel and Glenn Berger (who also wrote the script for the predecessor) even went one step further. The film begins with three interwoven songs, followed by a bit of exposition and then on to the next ones. As in part one, the narrative plot is occasionally interrupted by interspersed evergreens, but also by pop hits and ballads written entirely new for the film (highlight: Kelly Clarkson’s “Born to Die”); and this time, purely thematically, you rarely feel like it’s holding up the story. Because in “Trolls 2” it’s more about the music than ever before, when the value of different moods is represented using different styles of music. The happy pop, the sad country music or the menacing rock – a nice idea to show the young audience that every feeling has its meaning and is beautiful in its own way. Even if Disney’s “Everything’s Inside Out” did this much more subtly.
Although the film primarily propagates that the world only becomes truly colorful through the diversity of musical styles, the selection of the antagonist also brings clichés that are actually believed to be dead. Admittedly, we can imagine a reggae musician to be just as unthreatening as the yodelers who put on a short but memorable performance. But with her mostly black hair, the dark make-up and the leather outfit, “Trolls 2” ascribes significantly more menace to a music genre that is already image-stricken than is appropriate – even if you can certainly understand it for purely creative reasons. Ultimately, Barb and her entourage seem somehow out of place in the colorful world of trolls. As in the first part, this is once again full of creative ideas and attention to detail. I particularly like the look, which is based on pop-up books. Even the excessive use of glitter gives the world its recognition value, supported by the diverse character design, which is even more unusual than in its predecessor due to the sheer number of characters. This time it’s not just about Poppy and her community, but also about the many trolls from the countless neighborhoods. The design for each of them is absolutely stunning – it would certainly have looked really good in the cinema…
Conclusion: “Trolls 2: Trolls World Tour” takes on the important message that every feeling and every mood has its place in life in a largely superficial but entertaining way. The makers also use clichés, but once again present a wonderfully animated world in which you can get lost wonderfully.
“Trolls 2: Trolls World Tour” will be available to stream in United Kingdom from April 23rd.