The 33rd animated feature film produced by DreamWorks Animation, the film premiered on October 8, 2016, at the BFI London Film Festival and was theatrically released in the United States on November 4, 2016, by 20th Century Fox. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, grossed $344 million worldwide against its $125 million budget and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Can't Stop the Feeling!".
A sequel is scheduled to be released on April 10, 2020, with Kendrick and Timberlake reprising their roles.
The Trolls are small creatures who live in an almost perpetual state of happiness, singing, dancing and hugging all day long. However, they are discovered by the Bergens, large creatures who never feel happy, but discover that they can feel happy for a moment, if they devour a Troll. Every year, the Bergens put the Trolls and their tree in a cage, and hold an annual festival, called Trollstice, in which each Bergen gets its feeling of happiness, by eating a Troll. However, the Trolls, led by their King Peppy, with his baby daughter, Princess Poppy, escape through underground tunnels on the day that young Prince Gristle Jr. would eat his first Troll. The furious Bergen King Gristle Sr. banishes his Chef who was in charge of the Trollstice preparation.
20 years later, King Peppy's daughter, the extremely happy pink troll Princess Poppy, throws a big party to celebrate the Trolls' escape, despite the fears and warnings of the grey troll, Branch, that loud parties will attract the Bergens. Branch's fears become true when Chef sees the fireworks and captures a number of Trolls. Poppy is among the Trolls who manage to hide, but discovers that none of the other Trolls dare to venture to Bergen Town to rescue their friends. She initially goes by herself, but is later accompanied by the reluctant Branch, who thinks she will not make it if she goes alone.
Near Bergen Town, there are a bunch of tunnels. One leads to the Trolltree, and most lead to certain death. Branch will have to high five Cloud Guy so he can tell them where to go. But Branch doesn't want to, so they did fist bump, which just made Branch mad and chase Cloud Guy. While chasing him, they stumbleupon the Trolltree.
At Bergen Town, Poppy and Branch find out that Bergen Town will be holding Trollstice that night and witness Creek, one of the Troll hostages, apparently get eaten by the now King Gristle Jr., but Poppy remains hopeful that Creek survived. Poppy and Branch discover that the rest of the Troll captives are being guarded by a scullery maid named Bridget. While attempting to free the Trolls, they discover that Bridget is in love with Gristle Jr., and strike a deal with her: If she frees their friends and lets them get close to Gristle Jr. to confirm if Creek is alive, they will help her get a date with Gristle Jr.
While setting her up for the date, Branch refuses to sing and triggers a big argument with Poppy, revealing that, as a child, he caused his grandmother to be killed after Chef found him because of his singing, and blamed himself since, causing his color to turn from blue to grey. After Poppy comforts him, Branch reluctantly agrees to help Bridget and the trolls on the condition that he still won't have to sing. Bridget, disguised as Lady Glitter Sparkles by the Trolls, gets her date with Gristle Jr. at a roller rink and arcade restaurant, and Gristle Jr. asks her to be his "plus one" at Trollstice, revealing Creek being held captive in the jewel that decorates the king's mantle.
When they get back to Bridget's room, Bridget asks them if they can help her disguise as Lady Glitter Sparkles at Trollstice, but they refuse because they can no longer help her, causing Bridget to cry. The Trolls leave and attempt to rescue Creek from Gristle Jr. room's and steals his jewel, but discover that it is empty. The Trolls are then captured by Chef and are shocked to discover that Creek had agreed to sell out the rest of the Trolls to the Bergens in exchange for not being swallowed himself. Creek returns to the Troll village where using Poppy's cowbell, he lures the other Trolls out of hiding, letting them be captured by Chef and the other Bergen cooks, who lie in ambush. With all the Trolls captured and soon to be eaten, Poppy loses hope as she and all the other Trolls turn grey.
Branch, despite his typical guilt, sings for Poppy to cheer her up, and (through the song) confesses his love for her and restore he and Poppy's color, much to Poppy's surprise, they restore the colors of all of the Trolls and they fell in love. Just before being served, the Trolls are rescued by Bridget who wants them to flee while she is ready to sacrifice herself for them. However, Poppy does not want to abandon her Bergen friend. Together with her friends, Poppy reveals to the Bergens that Bridget was Lady Glitter Sparkles, and for that, it is not necessary to eat Trolls as the feeling, that Bridget and Gristle Jr had on their date was happiness too so, The Trolls invite the Bergen to sing and dance with them, making them feel happy.
Chef, refusing to accept the peace, tries to kill Poppy and Branch, but is knocked into a serving cart that is sent rolling out of Bergen Town on fire with Creek in her pouch. The Trolls and Bergens agree to live in peace, and Poppy is crowned as the new Queen of the Trolls. And at the new troll tree, Poppy and her new boyfriend, Branch share a romantic hug. In the mid-credits scene, the serving cart with Chef and Creek on it stops on a hill in the middle of nowhere. Chef tries to eat Creek, but the hill opens to reveal the mouth of a giant monster and the pair fall into it and get eaten.Anna Kendrick as Princess Poppy, the princess later queen of the Trolls and Branch's love interest
Iris Dohrn voices a baby Poppy.
Justin Timberlake as Branch, a paranoid, disgruntled Troll survivalist (who hates singing, dancing, hugging, music and everything) and Poppy's love interest
Liam Henry voices a younger Branch.
Zooey Deschanel as Bridget, a kind-hearted Bergen who works as a scullery maid to the Bergen Chef and has feelings for Gristle Jr.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Prince Gristle, the prince (later king) of the Bergens.
Christine Baranski as Chef, a mean-spirited Bergen who is in charge of Troll preparation.
Russell Brand as Creek, a Troll with a positive personality and zen-like wisdom.
Gwen Stefani as DJ Suki, the Trolls' resident disk jockey.
James Corden as Biggie, a chubby, friendly Troll.
Jeffrey Tambor as King Peppy, the king of the Trolls.
Ron Funches as Cooper, a giraffe-like Troll.
Icona Pop as Satin and Chenille, twin trolls who are joined by their hair and love fashion.
Kunal Nayyar as Guy Diamond, a glittery silver Troll with a highly Auto-Tuned voice, who is always naked.
Walt Dohrn as Mr. Dinkles, Biggie's pet worm. Dohrn also voices Smidge, Fuzzbert, Cloud Guy, Tunnel Troll and Wedgie Bergen #2.
John Cleese as King Gristle Sr., the ruler of the Bergens at the start of the film.
GloZell as Grandma Rosiepuff, an elderly Troll and Branch's late grandmother. In the UK version, newsreader Susanna Reid voices the character and in the Australian version, Dami Im voices the character.
Meg DeAngelis as Moxie Dewdrop, a dancing Troll. Noodlerella voices the character in the UK version.
Ricky Dillon as Aspen Heitz, a Troll skitterboarder.
Kandee Johnson as Mandy Sparkledust, a Troll who designs and repairs all the treasures of Troll Town.
Quvenzhané Wallis as Harper, a Troll artist who paints with her hair.
Mike Mitchell as Darius, Vinny the Phone, Captain Starfunkle, Spider, Wedgie Bergen #1, Chad, Card
Grace Helbig as Cookie Sugarloaf, one of the trolls.
Curtis Stone as Todd
Rhys Darby as Bibbly
DreamWorks announced plans for a film based on the Troll toyline as early as 2010. This version was to be written by Adam Wilson and his wife Melanie By 2012, Chloë Grace Moretz had already been cast in the female lead role and Jason Schwartzman was reported to have been offered the male lead. In September 2012, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation announced that the film with the working title Trolls would be released on June 5, 2015, with Anand Tucker set to direct the film, written by Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes.
By April 2013, DreamWorks Animation had acquired the intellectual property for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things. Having "big plans for the franchise," DreamWorks Animation became the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights, except for Scandinavia, where Dam Things remains the licensor. In May 2013, the film was pushed back for a year to November 4, 2016. The same month, DreamWorks Animation announced that Mike Mitchell and Erica Rivinoja has been hired as a director and screenplay writer to "reimagine" the film as a musical comedy, which will present the origin of the Trolls' colorful hair. On June 16, 2014, Anna Kendrick joined the cast to voice Poppy, a princess. On September 15, 2015, Deadline.com reported that Justin Timberlake will voice a character named Branch. Timberlake previously worked with DreamWorks Animation as the voice of Arthur "Artie" Pendragon in Shrek the Third in 2007. The full cast announced their respective roles via announcements on Twitter on January 6, 2016.
Justin Timberlake served as an executive producer for the film's music and released the original song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" on May 6, 2016. The song reached No. 1 in the official charts of 17 countries, including the United States and Canada. Timberlake along with the film cast, with guest appearances from Earth, Wind & Fire and Ariana Grande, contributed to the soundtrack. The soundtrack album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Australian Recording Industry Association.
The film's world premiere took place at the BFI London Film Festival on October 8, 2016, and was theatrically released on November 4, 2016, in the United States by 20th Century Fox.
Trolls was released on Digital HD on January 24, 2017, and on DVD and Blu-ray on February 7, 2017. The film topped the home video sales chart for two consecutive weeks.
Trolls grossed $153.7 million in the US and Canada and $190.9 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $344.6 million, against a budget of $125 million.
In the United States and Canada, Trolls was released alongside Doctor Strange and Hacksaw Ridge, and was projected to gross $35–40 million from 4,060 theaters in its opening weekend. On its first day, the film grossed $12.3 million (including $900,000 made from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $46.5 million, finishing second at the box office behind Doctor Strange.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 74% based on 132 reviews; the average rating is 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Trolls brings its instantly recognizable characters to the big screen in a colorful adventure that, while geared toward the younger set, isn't without rewards for parents." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score 56 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Lindsey Bahr of Associated Press gave the film a positive review and said, "Ultimately, the 'get happy' moral of the story, while trite compared to something like Inside Out, is sufficiently sweet enough for its audience. Did you expect more from a piece of candy?" Bill Zwecker of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and said, "You simply will walk out — or perhaps dance out — of the theater feeling very happy yourself." Andy Webster of The New York Times said, "Exuberant, busy and sometimes funny, DreamWorks Animation's Trolls is determined to amuse."
The Hollywood Reporter called the film "an admittedly vibrant-looking but awfully recognizable animated musical comedy concoction." Alonso Duralde of TheWrap said the film "combines the barely-there characterization and irritating cutesiness of The Smurfs with the hideous character design and awful pop covers of Strange Magic."Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media gave the movie 4 stars. She said, "Make no mistake: Kids are going to love this movie. Trolls is cute, it's colorful, it has tons of catchy songs, and the messages are positive and easy to understand (happiness is inside everyone, if you know where/how to find it, and you shouldn't have to change who you are to get someone to like you)."Regarding music award shows, only film-related categories are included on this list.
On February 28, 2017, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation announced that Trolls 2 will be released on April 10, 2020, with Kendrick and Timberlake reprising their roles.
Trolls Holiday is a half-hour television special that will air fall of 2017 on NBC. Set after the film, The queen of the trolls, Poppy, realizes that the Bergens have no holidays to celebrate. She enlists her boyfriend, Branch and her friends (the Snack Pack) to show her best friend Bridget and other Bergens the importance of holidays. Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and James Corden will reprise their roles from the film. It will be directed by Joel Crawford and written by Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener.