Trolls Band Together
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWalt Dohrn
Screenplay byElizabeth Tippet[1]
Based onGood Luck Trolls
by Thomas Dam
Produced byGina Shay
Starring
Edited byNick Fletcher
Music byTheodore Shapiro
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • October 12, 2023 (2023-10-12) (Denmark)
  • November 17, 2023 (2023-11-17) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$95 million[3]
Box office$208.8 million[4][5]

Trolls Band Together is a 2023 American animated jukebox musical comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures, based on the Good Luck Trolls dolls from Thomas Dam. It serves as the sequel to Trolls World Tour (2020), and the third main installment in the Trolls franchise. The film was directed by Walt Dohrn and co-directed by Tim Heitz (in his feature directorial debut), from a screenplay written by Elizabeth Tippet. Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who wrote the screenplays for the previous installments, returned to serve as executive producers alongside Dannie Festa. Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Icona Pop, Anderson .Paak, Ron Funches, Kenan Thompson, Kunal Nayyar and Dohrn reprise their voice roles from previous films, with newcomers Eric André, Kid Cudi, Daveed Diggs, Troye Sivan, Camila Cabello, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, RuPaul and Zosia Mamet joining the ensemble voice cast. In the film, Branch (Timberlake) and Poppy (Kendrick), who are officially a couple, attempt to rescue Floyd (Sivan) while reuniting Branch's brothers after the boyband phenomenon, BroZone, was disbanded.

Ideas for a third Trolls film began prior to the release of Trolls World Tour in April 2020, when Timberlake expressed interest in participating during his Apple Music takeover. DreamWorks Animation officially confirmed the third film's development in November 2021. New characters for the film were announced in March 2023, along with new cast members and the title. Despite being predominantly CGI animation, with some additional animation by DNEG, the film includes some 2D animation sequences with animation styles inspired by Yellow Submarine (1968) and Fantasia (1940). Theodore Shapiro, who previously composed the score for Trolls World Tour, returned to compose the score for this film.

Trolls Band Together was theatrically released in Denmark on October 12, 2023, and in the United States on November 17. The film has grossed $209 million worldwide and received mixed to positive reviews from critics and audiences.

Plot

An infant Branch and his four older brothers John Dory, Spruce, Clay and Floyd perform as a boyband called BroZone. When their clashing egos prevent them from performing the "Perfect Family Harmony", a powerful ability that Trolls can achieve when they are in complete sync, the brothers argue and break up the band. Branch is left alone to be raised by his grandmother Rosiepuff.

In present day, about a month after preventing the Rockpocalypse, Branch and Poppy attend Bridget and Gristle's wedding in Bergen Town. They are interrupted by John Dory, who reveals that Branch's closest brother Floyd has been captured by Velvet and Veneer, two Mount Rageon teenagers who wish to be pop stars. The siblings have imprisoned Floyd in a diamond perfume bottle, which they use to extract his essence and improve their singing, although the process could eventually kill him. As the Perfect Family Harmony is the only thing that can destroy diamond, Branch reluctantly agrees to help John Dory find their brothers and rescue Floyd. Along with Poppy and Tiny Diamond, they set out in John Dory's armadillo-like portable van named Rhonda.

They find Spruce at the Vacay Island resort, where he has changed his name to Bruce and started a family. Bruce is reluctant to help, until his wife and 13 kids convince him to do so. The group later finds Clay at an abandoned Bergen miniature golf course, inhabited by a hidden colony of Pop Trolls who do not know that the Bergens are no longer their enemies, having been separated from the other Pop Trolls when they fled the final Trollstice.[a] The hidden troll colony's leader, Viva, reveals herself to be Poppy's long-lost sister. At first, Poppy is delighted, but the visit turns sour when Viva refuses to believe the Bergens have changed, and tries to stop Poppy's group from leaving the golf course. They manage to escape thanks to Clay, and Poppy and Viva separate with broken hearts.

Meanwhile, Velvet and Veneer continue to strip Floyd of his essence. Velvet reveals that she forged Floyd's handwriting and sent a note to John Dory, in order to bait Floyd's brothers to come and rescue him. Furthermore, Velvet and Veneer's assistant Crimp invents shoulder-pad suits that enhance the extraction, which the siblings plan to use when they capture all of BroZone.

The Trolls make it to Mount Rageous, but once again argue and fail to reach Perfect Family Harmony. When his brothers decide they will split up again after saving Floyd, Branch scolds them for abandoning their family and still treating him like a baby, reminding them that he lived his whole life alone after their grandmother got eaten. Branch, Poppy and Tiny locate Floyd on their own, but Velvet and Veneer capture John Dory, Clay, and Bruce, making a rescue even more difficult. Branch and Poppy confront Velvet and Veneer when they start mingling with a crowd of fans, prompting them to drive away in their limo. During the ensuing chase, Velvet and Veneer begin using the shoulder-pads to extract the essence from Branch’s brothers in order to put on a show. Branch and Poppy are soon helped by Viva, who joined forces with Bridget and Gristle after they stumbled onto the golf course during their honeymoon. Branch, Poppy and Viva were able to save three of the brothers, except Floyd.

Seeing that Floyd is just about out of essence, Branch tells his three brother's that they don't need to be perfect in order to be in harmony and they just have to be as they are together as a family. Taking Branch's words to heart and accepted that he has grown up, John Dory, Clay and Bruce recoiled with both each other and their youngest brother, as they let Branch take the lead. They, along with Poppy and Viva, perform the Perfect Family Harmony and break free of their prisons just as Floyd loses the last of his essence, but he is quickly revived through their family bond. Veneer, who had been second-guessing Velvet's machinations, publicly confesses their crimes, simultaneously enraging his sister and sending themselves to prison.

The Trolls return to Vacay Island and witness BroZone's comeback concert, joined by Kismet, another band Branch was once part of. Later, Poppy and Viva join BroZone, under Branch's proposal, as honorary members.

Voice cast

Main

Additional

Production

On April 9, 2020, Justin Timberlake expressed interest in participating in the future Trolls films during his Apple Music takeover, "I hope we make, like, seven Trolls movies, because it literally is the gift that keeps on giving".[6] On November 22, 2021, it was announced that a third Trolls film would be released in theaters on November 17, 2023.[7] Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake were confirmed to reprise their voice roles as Poppy and Branch, respectively. On March 28, 2023, with the release of the first official trailer, new cast members of the film were officially announced, including Eric André, Kid Cudi, Daveed Diggs, Troye Sivan, Camila Cabello, Amy Schumer, Andrew Rannells, RuPaul, and Zosia Mamet. Walt Dohrn returned to direct the third film after doing so in its predecessor, while Gina Shay returned to serve as producer. Tim Heitz was later announced as co-director. The same day of these announcements, DreamWorks Animation revealed the official title, Trolls Band Together.[8]

According to Shay, the idea for the film came about right after Trolls (2016). Although Trolls Band Together was predominantly CGI animation, the film includes some 2D animation sequences done by Titmouse, Inc.,[9] with animation styles inspired by Yellow Submarine (1968) and Fantasia (1940).[10]

Music

Main article: Trolls Band Together (soundtrack)

On March 6, 2023, Theodore Shapiro was confirmed to compose the score for Trolls Band Together, returning from its predecessor.[11] On September 14, 2023, following the release of the second trailer, DreamWorks announced that NSYNC would perform an original song for the film, called "Better Place" marking the group's first song in 22 years.[12]

Release

Theatrical

Trolls Band Together began releasing in international markets, starting with Denmark on October 12, 2023,[4] and was later released in the United States on November 17. After Trolls World Tour (2020) was simultaneously released on video on demand in addition to a limited number of theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this film returned to being released exclusively in theaters.[7]

Marketing

Universal and DreamWorks collaborated with several brands and product partnerships to promote the film for its marketing campaign, including ShineWater Beverages,[13] ICEE,[14] Shake Shack,[15] Southwest Airlines,[16] Candy,[17] CAMP Store,[18] and Puma,[19] as well as the international brands such as Zing Flowers.[20]

A video game based on the film, titled Trolls: Remix Rescue, was released on October 27, 2023 by DreamWorks Animation and Game Mill Entertainment for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC. In this game, which takes place after the events of the second film Trolls World Tour, Poppy, Branch, and the player character must embark on a quest to save the Troll Kingdom from Chaz the Smooth Jazz Troll when he tries to take over the place by hypnotizing the residents with his saxophone.[21]

Home media

Trolls Band Together was released for VOD on December 19, 2023.[22] The film was released on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K UHD on January 16, 2024.[23]

As part of Universal's deal with Netflix, the film will stream on Peacock for the first four months of the pay-TV window, then will move to Netflix for the next ten, and then will return to Peacock for the remaining four.[24][25][when?]

Reception

Box office

As of February 20, 2024, Trolls Band Together has grossed $102.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $105.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $208.8 million.[4][5]

In the United States and Canada, Trolls Band Together was released alongside Next Goal Wins, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, and Thanksgiving, and was projected to gross $27–32 million from 3,800 theaters in its opening weekend.[26][3] The film made $9.4 million on its first day, including $1.3 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut $30.6 million, finishing second behind The Hunger Games.[27] The film made $17.8 million in its second weekend (a drop of 40.6%), finishing in fourth.[28]

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 61% of 87 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The website's consensus reads: "Trolls Band Together serves up another amusing, eye-catching outing that should entertain young fans of the franchise while remaining perfectly painless for parents."[29] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 53 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[30] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, same as the first film, while those polled by PostTrak gave it an 85% overall positive score, with 67% saying they would definitely recommend the film.[27]

Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, writing, "Elizabeth Tippet's screenplay garners laughs thanks to the sheer volume of jokes (the hit-to-miss ratio is pretty unbalanced), and there are several amusing one-liners about the music business."[31] Tatiana Hullender of Screen Rant rated the film 2.5 out of 5 score, writing "Trolls Band Together shows clear signs of franchise fatigue, but a few new songs and vivid animation choices keep it afloat a little longer."[32]

Accolades

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 15, 2023 Original Song – Animated Film "Better Place" – Shellback, Justin Timberlake, and Amy Allen Won [33]
Song – Onscreen Performance (Film) NSYNC – "Better Place" Nominated
Music Supervision – Film Angela Leus Won
Music Themed Film or Musical Trolls Band Together Won
Soundtrack Album Trolls Band Together Nominated

Notes

  1. ^ As depicted in Trolls (2016)

References

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  3. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (November 15, 2023). "Box Office: 'Hunger Games' Prequel 'Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes' Targets $50 Million Debut". Variety. Archived from the original on November 16, 2023. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
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