I’ll admit that I was skeptical about Trolls from the time it was announced all the way through its theatrical run. We’ve all seen it before. You cherry pick one random piece of 80s nostalgia and try to bring it back in a big way. But it usually doesn’t work. Except when it does.
And when it works, it most often works for reasons other than pure nostalgia. Such is the case with Trolls (out now on Blu-ray).
I mean, the troll dolls? Really? No one was going to go see this movie based on their love of plastic toys with crazy hair, no matter how much they loved the things in 1988. So DreamWorks’ announcement of a feature film starring the little guys had to be something special if it were going to be successful.
And it is.
Listen, the real world can often be a dark, scary place. And recently, it’s only gotten uglier. People fight. They yell. And they hate and hurt one another.
All too often, it feels like we’ve all forgotten how to be kind. Yes, the world can be a terrible place. Yes, there are plenty of awful people out there. But it’s precisely for that reason that it’s never been more imperative that we remember how to smile. How to be happy.
And that, exactly, is the heart of Trolls. Trolls isn’t afraid to unironically say, “Happiness is inside of all of us. Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.” Because sometimes what we need isn’t another thinly veiled social commentary or political treatise. It’s a film that’s not afraid to bask in glitter, cupcakes, and rainbows. Literally.
A film that tells us: Hey, it’s OK to be happy. It’s OK to be enthusiastic and hold on to that optimism. Because even in our darkest hour…actually, especially in our darkest hour, that’s what will keep hope (and you) alive.
Seriously, if you can watch this scene of Anna Kendrick’s Poppy (and listen to the song) and not feel uplifted? Not feel empowered by the message of hope and self-confidence that is practically dripping from this movie? If you can watch this and not start dancing? Well, we might just not be able to be friends.
Because, quite honestly, we need more movies that tell kids they have the power to stand firm, despite whatever might be in their way, and shout, “If you knock me over, I will get back up again!”
If your social feeds are anything like mine, they’ve become All Politics, All the Time. We all have our breaking points, and we all need to take time to smile. It’s why I made the attempt to look back at the moments from last year that made us here at GeekDad happy and why I’m making the effort to keep that light of hope and happiness alive.
Trolls is a blast of uncontrollable happiness that’s darn near impossible to resist. Anna Kendrick (irresistible in almost everything) imbues main character Poppy such an infectious enthusiasm that I defy you not to fall in love with her. And the music? Yes, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” is the film’s breakout hit, but the 80s songs that pop up as musical interludes feel as if they were written for this very moment.
Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” particularly, is perfect.
It’s hard to take courage in a world full of people.
You can lose sight of it all.
The darkness inside you can make you feel so small.
But I see your true colors shining through.
So do yourself a favor. If you haven’t yet seen Trolls, go fix that oversight immediately. It’s out now on digital, Blu-ray, and DVD. Special features include “party mode,” a journey through Troll Village (narrated by Cloud Guy), a few behind-the-scenes making-of featurettes, and some deleted scenes. All told, it’s about 45 minutes of extra footage.
(Disclosure: GeekDad was provided with a review copy of the Trolls Blu-ray. All opinions remain my own. Because, seriously, I couldn’t fake the feelings this movie gave me.)