Trolls Band Together fully embraces the boy band era with many references to everyone’s favorites, but it also delivers a lot of heart and family values.
DreamWorks’ Trolls films have been a hit with viewers of all ages, and the third installment, Trolls Band Together, is likely going to be as well. This film is filled to the brim with boy band references, from One Direction, to 98 Degrees, to of course, *NSYNC. Don’t worry, there is more substance to this film than that, however. It is packed with the humor Trolls fans are used to, catchy cover songs, stunning animation, and even important lessons about family.
Justin Timberlake, voice of Branch, is a member of *NSYNC, who recorded their first song in over twenty years for the film. Fans around the world have rejoiced, and have their fingers crossed that this means there could be an upcoming tour. While we don’t want to spoil too much about how involved JC, Lance, Joey, and Chris are with the film, a simple Google search will tell you.
Trolls fans and boy band fans are sure to enjoy this one. It is on par with the first film, and even better than the second one. This is largely in part thanks to the incredible voice cast who really gave it their all this time around, as well as the story itself.
Trolls Band Together kicks off with Poppy discovering one of Branch’s deepest, darkest, secrets — he used to be in a boy band with his brothers. The band, BroZone, broke up due to creative differences and the brothers never saw each other again. When one of Branch’s brothers shows up, he explains that he needs his help to rescue their brother, who is being held captive by two dastardly villains that are stealing his talent and using it as their own.
While this mind sound a little generic, it means we get to go on yet another adventure with Poppy and Branch. Learning more about Branch, and his life as a child, allows us to see why he was the way he was when Poppy and he first met. He still has a hard time expressing his feelings to her, and it is easy to see why after knowing what he went through with his family.
The villains of Trolls Band Together are also on the basic side, motivated by greed and the need to be loved, which is often the case. They are also siblings, a brother and a sister, allowing the film to lean heavily into family dynamics. Each familial relationship is different, showing young viewers that no two families are the same — and all families have their differences with each other, but they are still family.
Along the way, Poppy learns that she too has a long lost sister. They have great chemistry and make for a lot of hilarious on screen moments, but we can’t help but feel that this part of the story is a little bit forced. Their relationship is enjoyable enough, but the reasoning given on as to why Poppy has no idea she had a sister is a tad on the weak side. It’s a little unbelievable that she would not remember her, or have been told about her by any trolls in all of her years.
Still, their part of Trolls Band Together is important, and teaches great lessons about stepping out of your comfort zone, and the bond that you have with your family. If you put aside the strangeness of it all, they bring a lot of fun to the table.
It wouldn’t be a Trolls movie without music, and that is truly where this film shines. The choices are brilliant and fully embrace the boy band era. With hits from *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and more featured, ’90s kids will be grooving in their seats. These movies always entertain the whole family, and this time around the parents will be thrilled to hear many of their favorites included.
Of course, the animation is gorgeous as well. Trolls 3 has the same style as the previous films, with a bit of an upgrade. Technology is always advancing, after all. The water scenes in the movie are done especially way, as it is actually made of water beads — a unique and stunning choice.
While the majority of this movie is spent with Poppy and Branch, we also get a side story featuring everyone’s favorite bergens — King Gristle and Bridget. The movie starts with their wedding and while the Trolls are on their adventure, these two are on their honeymoon. Predictably, their paths end up crossing eventually, as the story comes to a conclusion.
Speaking of the conclusion, the third act of Trolls Band Together features one of the best, action packed, chase scenes we have seen in a while. It is basically a concert on wheels accompanied by visuals that are a feast for the eyes.
Trolls Band Together is filled with boy band references, but that isn’t all it is. It is filled with lessons about family, incredible music, stunning animation, and a whole lot of heart. It is great to be back in this world, and continue on this journey with Poppy and Branch. We can’t wait to see what is in store next for them.
Rating: 4 out of 5
About Trolls Band Together
After two films of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past.
He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers: Floyd (Golden Globe nominated electropop sensation Troye Sivan), John Dory (Eric André; Sing 2), Spruce (Grammy winner Daveed Diggs; Hamilton) and Clay (Grammy winner Kid Cudi; Don’t Look Up). BroZone disbanded when Branch was still a baby, as did the family, and Branch hasn’t seen his brothers since.
But when Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains—Velvet (Emmy winner Amy Schumer; Trainwreck) and Veneer (Grammy winner and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells; The Book of Mormon)—Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.