SDCC 2016 – Dreamworks’ “Trolls” Panel!

San Diego Comic Con 2016Chris Hardwick hosts DreamworksTrolls Panel featuring directors Mike Mitchel and Walt Dorn and the stars of the film Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. You might remember the directors from their work on the Shrek films. They explain how they took on the responsibility of creating the world and origin of the Trolls. A task that they were all too delighted to take on. Based on the two clips they showed, you can tell that this isn’t just a studio’s attempt to cash in on a popular toy of the past. That they wanted to make a real honest to goodness story. And as cliched as it sounds, this really is the kind of movie that both kids AND adults can have fun with. It has plenty of action and adventure for the kids plus the comedy is deftly written that it actually had me laughing in way I usually reserve for movie Judd Apatow movies!

SDCC 2016 - Dreamworks' "Trolls" Panel!

The story follows the Trolls and the Bergens. the Trolls, are a fun and loving race of people that only live to spread joy and happiness throughout the world. While The Bergens on the other hand live in a constant state of depression and sorrow where the only thing that gives them any real joy is to eat the Trolls! The Bergens have kidnapped some of the Troll people and it’s up to the Troll Queen Poppy, played by Anna Kendrick, to rescue them before they become a part of the Bergins’ “Trollstice” Celebration. An event that gathers all Bergens together for a Troll-eating festival. But the only Troll to ever encounter a Bergen and survive is Branch, played by Justin Timberlake, who lives outside the community of regular Trolls because he doesn’t go in for all this love and hugging stuff. So it’s up to Poppy to find a way to convince Branch to help her save their people from becoming Bergen food!

SDCC 2016 - Dreamworks' "Trolls" Panel!

I feel like I haven’t seen this kinda snappy comedic dialogue in a kids movie since the first Toy Story! I was genuinely surprised at the natural chemistry that Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake have with each other. The sharp writing combined with their performances pulls you into the journey that these 5-inch 90’s icons are about to embark on. I’m not really big on the idea of musicals, even when it comes to kids movies, and as soon as the first song started playing I could feel myself start to loose interest. But as it turned, out the song actually allowed the plot to progress instead taking a break from the film to have some pointless sing-alog! And Anna Kendrick’s performance is filled with so much joy and charisma that you can’t help getting swept up into her musical world. I love the way that she can walk the fine-line of being a dainty girly-girl, but at the same time she’s not afraid to coming off as awkward, which is just so refreshing to see AND hear.

SDCC 2016 - Dreamworks' "Trolls" Panel!

The backbone of this movie is built upon the foundation of Timberlake’s original and reworked musical contributions. I’ve never really understood the appeal of this guy. I’ve always felt like both his singing and his songwriting drew far too heavily from music icons like Michael Jackson and Prince. But after hearing some of what he’s done for this film, I honestly feel like he’s finally come into his own style. Even on the classic songs that he reinterprets, you can hear that he’s got some real talent that demands respect.

I really dug the design concept for this movie! Everything from the ground they walk on, the plants they eat, to the “animals” they meet along the way is made out of felt fabric. I mean who thinks of something like that?! The spiders spin yarn and the flower petals seem like you could find them at a local craft store, despite the fact that they grow out of the ground. The filmmakers talk about how the inspiration for the production design was derived the styles of the 60’s and 70’s. Now, based on that description you might be getting visions of grotesque shag carpeting that covering all the hills and valleys. But that’s just not what we have here. They create an elegant and beautiful tribute to that groovin’ time period that is both subtle and somehow bombastic at the same time.

I truly hope that people come out to see this movie when it hits theaters. I this is gonna be the kinda of animated film that we talk about for years to come. It just has this energy that seems to be lost from so many kids movies today. These days there are so many animated films that come off as cheap imitations of Shrek or Finding Nemo, what with all their shoehorned pop-culture references and tongue and cheek adult humor. Luckily for us Trolls seems the straw that will break the back of this boring camel and take us to a world of tall hair football shaped heads!

“Trolls” opens in theaters November 4th!

SDCC 2016 - Dreamworks' "Trolls" Panel!

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