Four years after entertaining us with their first adventure, the bright and cheery Trolls are back on our screens in the sequel Trolls World Tour. We revisit their colourful world of singing, dancing and hugging in this second outing which retains the joy of the 2016 instalment, but lacks the imagination to make the journey truly memorable.

The jukebox musical reunites us with optimistic Queen Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick), her cautious sidekick Branch (Justin Timberlake), and their many friends, who are now living merrily in Troll village. But their lives are disrupted with the revelation of a secret. It turns out that there are actually six Troll tribes, each of which represents a different type of music: pop (which is, naturally, Poppy’s tribe), rock, classical, funk, techno, and country. Each tribe has a magical string that powers their music.

A threat emerges in the form of Barb (Rachel Bloom), the queen of the Rock Trolls, who is aiming for world domination. She plans to steal all the strings, destroy all other music and turn everybody into rock zombies! It is up to Poppy, Branch and their buddies to stop Barb and save the Troll kingdoms.

Geared primarily towards very young viewers, Trolls World Tour is one of those sequels that seem to exist not because the filmmakers had an interesting tale to tell but because the success of the first movie signalled the potential of a franchise. The story is basically just an excuse for more singing and dancing. The main journey sees the characters visiting each kingdom, hopping genres and thereby giving the film a chance to give us (mostly overplayed) songs (or, in some cases, snippets of songs) in each of their styles.

It isn’t, therefore, the most exciting ride. But it is, nonetheless, colourful and fun and filled to the brim with joyous energy. The lessons about tolerance and diversity that we are left with at the end are also worthy (even if they are repeated a little too often in such movies).

All in all, Trolls World Tour is a warm and bright adventure, but a little more imagination and a better selection of songs could have made the film a lot more impressive.

The movie is rated PG for some mild rude humour.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 17th, 2020