The movies-based-on-toys trend continues with the November 4 release of “Trolls,” and early reviews aren’t great. Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman is a rare exception, calling the animated musical “an ecstatically happy movie, a giddy EDM kiddie musical that sends you out on a high.”
Alonso Duralde is much less forgiving in The Wrap:
Even if you plug your ears during the endless Kidz Bop numbers, you’re still stuck with the eye-assaulting visual palette from director Mike Mitchell (‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’) and co-director Walt Dohm (‘SpongeBob SquarePants’) — the troll scenes offer a mix of neon pastels that suggest someone ate a Lisa Frank store and promptly regurgitated it, while Bergentown features the vast spectrum of tones you might find in a baby’s full diaper.
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Rechtshaffen lands between those two extremes:
If you could take the ‘Shrek,’ ‘Happy Feet’ and ‘Smurfs’ movies, toss them in a blender and hit the pulse button a few times, the result would be a pretty reasonable approximation of ‘Trolls,’ an admittedly vibrant-looking but awfully recognizable animated musical comedy concoction.
John Hazelton of Screen Daily is fairly complimentary:
There’s more texture than might be expected from characters based on plastic dolls, especially when the narrative moves to the world of the misshapen, slightly scary Bergens, who look more like stop-motion animation models than digital creations.
Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden, and Gwen Stefani star in “Trolls.”