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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Trolls Band Together"

One of the smartest thing that a film studio can do when creating an animated film is to make sure that there is material there for each and every member of the family. Sometimes it’s subtle humor or “old school” references while others it can be “Easter eggs” embedded into the background or even into the characters themselves. With DreamWorks latest in Trolls Band Together, they blend both with a great story that kids (of course) can enjoy together.

Ready to feel old? OK, here we go…

Branch (Justin Timberlake) and his girlfriend, Poppy (Anna Kendrick), are attending the royal wedding of Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) and King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) when things are interrupted by one of Branch’s older brothers in John Dory (Eric André). It is in this moment that John Dory reveals that Branch was a part of the very popular boy band BoyZone with his four brothers when he was a baby, and now John Dory needs to get the band back together in order to save Floyd (Troye Sivan), who has been captured by a sibling duo using his magic to make them into pop stars without the work. Along the way, even more is revealed about both Branch and Poppy as they try to find the “perfect family harmony,” which is the only thing that can free Floyd from his prison made of diamond.

When it was revealed that *NSYNC would be getting back together to record a new song for this film, their original fanbase (who now have families of their own) almost broke the Internet with glee. Add to that the ability of screenwriters Elizabeth Tippet and Thomas Dam alongside directors Tim Heitz and Walt Dohrn (who have worked on all three between them) to take the “boy band” concept and apply it to the ongoing story of the Trolls and you have a recipe for a good time at the movies. The jokes are witty (especially with some great word play in a couple of scenes that I won’t spoil if you don’t know), and even though there are a couple of “grown-up jokes” that made me cringe a bit in that “you may have to answer some questions in the car on the way home” kind of way, I found myself giggling out loud more than once as this story progressed.

The new characters added make the adventure that much more fun with voice talent like Daveed Diggs, Amy Schumer, Kid Cudi, Camila Cabello, and some others you may have read about earlier in this review. The new characters do not feel shoehorned in at all, giving a wider depth of story that can be expanded on with further installments (and trust me, they are coming).

Just like before, there are “mash-ups” of pop songs over the decades woven into the story that definitely kept my attention (especially when you play to my wheelhouse with “Candy Girl”). I love that we live in a time where films are doing this more and more for both nostalgia and to get younger generations to look into some of the songs that my generation listened to coming up in a way that captures their attention, and this film keeps up with the two before it in that capacity.

Trolls Band Together continues in its way of bringing family fun to the screen in a way that works for multiple generations with a smart story, toe-tapping music, and great animation. This one actually made me want to go back and watch the other two and maybe even get those soundtracks for upcoming road trips!

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