Trolls World Tour
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWalt Dohrn
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Jonathan Aibel
  • Glenn Berger
Based onGood Luck Trolls
by Thomas Dam
Produced byGina Shay
Edited byNick Fletcher
Music byTheodore Shapiro[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • April 10, 2020 (2020-04-10)
Running time
91 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$90–110 million[3][4][5]
Box office$48 million[6]

Trolls World Tour is a 2020 American animated jukebox musical comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures, based on the Good Luck Trolls dolls created by Thomas Dam. The sequel to Trolls (2016) and the second installment in the franchise, the film was directed by Walt Dohrn and co-directed by David P. Smith (in his feature directorial debut), from a screenplay by Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Elizabeth Tippet, and the writing team of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and a story by Aibel and Berger. The film features an ensemble cast that includes the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Ron Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, George Clinton, and Mary J. Blige. The film follows Poppy and Branch as they discover several more troll tribes that represent music genres other than their own. Troubles arise when the Queen of the Rock tribe plans to overthrow the foreign music genres to unite the trolls under rock music.

A sequel to Trolls was announced in February 2017, with Kendrick and Timberlake returning to their roles. Podcasters the McElroy brothers began campaigning for roles in the film in March 2017, with DreamWorks Animation confirming they would make cameo appearances in September 2018. Much of the new cast was signed from May 2018 to June 2019. The custom marking animation to promote the film was provided by Minimo VFX and Jellyfish Pictures.

Trolls World Tour was released in the United States in a limited number of theaters on April 10, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was simultaneously released on video on demand. AMC Theatres subsequently announced they would no longer distribute the studio's films, though this was later reversed after AMC and Universal agreed on a new contract.[7][8][9][10] Like its predecessor, the film received generally positive reviews from critics.

A third film, Trolls Band Together, was released in theaters on November 17, 2023.[11][12][13]


In the techno kingdom, King Trollex's tribe of Techno Trolls are attending a rave, when Hard Rock Trolls led by Queen Barb arrive and use weaponized guitars to destroy everything. Barb demands Trollex surrender and hand over his "string".

In Pop Village, two years after the events of the first flim, Poppy later receives a letter from Barb, inviting her to bring her "string" to unite the trolls. Poppy’s father King Peppy explains there were once six magical lyre strings that represented major tribes of music - Techno, Funk, Classical, Country, Hard Rock, and Pop, but the six tribes took their strings and went their separate ways after their differences broke into arguments. King Peppy, Branch, and the others do not trust Barb's invitation, but Poppy decides to sneak out with her string, to prove Barb is the same as any other troll. Branch, who is trying to confess his love, and Biggie, who stowed away, accompany her. At the same time, Cooper finds old illustrations of trolls his shape, and sets off to find them, eventually getting beamed up into a spaceship.

Meanwhile, Barb sends bounty hunters of smaller music genres to find Poppy, promising to spare the tribe of the successful one. Poppy's group soon arrive at the ruins of the Classical tribe's town, Symphonyville and meet a sentient flute named Pennywhistle, who tells them that Barb wants to forcefully unite all trolls under Rock. They then head to Lonesome Flats to warn the centaur-like Country Trolls. Poppy feels their music is too downbeat and decides to try to cheer them up first, despite Branch's reservations. The Pop Trolls wind up imprisoned, but are rescued by a smooth-talking Country Troll named Hickory, who builds them a raft to take them to Vibe City to warn the Funk Trolls. They encounter Chaz, a Smooth Jazz troll, who paralyzes them with his music, until Hickory, using gumdrop earplugs to remain immune, drives him off. Biggie deserts the group, angry that Poppy broke an earlier promise to keep him safe.

The group reaches Vibe City, which turns out to be the spaceship that took Cooper. They reunite with Cooper, who reveals that he is the long-lost son of King Quincy and Queen Essence, and twin brother of their son Prince D. Poppy asks for the King and Queen's help against Barb, in hopes of convincing her that all trolls are the same, but they explain that the initial split of their tribes was actually caused when the Pop Trolls tried to unite all trolls under Pop, and that trolls cannot live in harmony by denying their differences. The Hard Rock Trolls attack the ship, and Poppy's group is ejected to safety. After arguing with Poppy over her refusal to listen, Branch walks off and is captured by Reggaeton and K-Pop trolls, who fight over him until he convinces them to work together with him against Barb.

A repentant Hickory is exposed to be a Yodeling troll, who disguised himself and his brother Dickory as a centaur to steal Poppy's string. He tells Poppy to run, but Barb arrives and captures her. Meanwhile, Biggie returns home to find Pop Village destroyed, realizing he should have never left Poppy, and rallies his friends to rescue her.

At Volcano Rock City, Barb forces her captives to attend a concert, where she uses the six strings on her guitar to turn them into Rock Zombies, including Branch when he and his new friends try to rescue Poppy. Poppy herself seems to have been turned, but then reveals that she used gumdrops to block out the music. She smashes Barb's guitar, restoring the zombies, but the strings are destroyed, ending music and sending a huge wave turning all trolls gray.

Cooper hears his heartbeat and starts beatboxing with Prince D, convincing other trolls to make sounds to create a rhythm. Poppy leads everyone into singing together from their hearts, restoring their music and colors, including Barb, who accepts Poppy's offer of friendship, while Branch finally confesses his feelings for Poppy, and the trolls all return to Pop Village to celebrate.

In the final moments of the initial credits, Bridget and Gristle worry if they are "late to the party".

Voice cast


On February 28, 2017, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation announced a sequel to the 2016 film Trolls, with Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake reprising their roles as Poppy and Branch.[16]

In March 2017, podcasters the McElroy brothers began campaigning for roles in the film via a podcast titled "The McElroy Brothers Will Be in Trolls 2".[17] Following the campaign's success, DreamWorks confirmed in September 2018 that the McElroy brothers would make cameo appearances in World Tour.[18]

Sam Rockwell, Chance the Rapper, Anthony Ramos, Jamie Dornan and Flula Borg were added to the cast in May 2018. Corden, Icona Pop, Funches, and Nayyar returned to reprise their roles.[19] On June 12, 2018, the film was retitled as Trolls World Tour.[20][21] In October 2018, it was confirmed that Kelly Clarkson had joined the cast, and will perform an original song.[22] In June 2019, along with promotional posters, new cast members have been announced, which include: J Balvin, Mary J. Blige, Rachel Bloom, George Clinton, Ester Dean and Gustavo Dudamel.[1]

The marking custom animation to promote the film was provided from Minimo VFX & Jellyfish Pictures, who would do the animation for Spirit Untamed and have produced assets for The Boss Baby: Family Business and The Bad Guys.


Main article: Trolls World Tour (soundtrack)

Along with Timberlake, Clarkson, .Paak, Blige and Clinton, songs are provided by Chris Stapleton and SZA.

The first single from the movie's soundtrack, "The Other Side", by Timberlake and SZA, was released on February 26, 2020. The Trolls World Tour: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on March 13, 2020.

The score is composed by Theodore Shapiro, in his second DreamWorks Animation film, following Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.



Universal Pictures had originally planned to release Trolls World Tour theatrically in the United States on April 10, 2020.[23] It was later pushed up to February 14, 2020 before being pushed back to April 17, 2020. Following the delay of No Time to Die, it was once again pushed up to the original April 10 release date.[16][24] It was also set to be released on March 20 in the United Kingdom, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, its release date was pushed back to April 6.[25]

On March 17, Universal announced that the film would be released simultaneously in theaters and for digital rental on April 10 in the United States and Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[26][4] By then, Trolls World Tour had only been released in Russia,[27] Singapore, and Malaysia.[28] Other films distributed by the studio, such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt were also released digitally before the end of the usual 90-day theatrical run.[29][26]

As the lockdown measures receded, the film was released in three Santikos Theatres locations in San Antonio, Texas on May 1, 2020.[30] Theatres in Hong Kong also started to show the film a week later on May 8, 2020.[31] In Russia the film was made available in IMAX cinemas.[32] In Austria and the Netherlands, it was released in both 4DX and Dolby Cinema.[33][34]

Home media

Trolls World Tour was made available for an early digital purchase on June 23, 2020. The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on July 7, 2020. All releases include an original short film entitled "Tiny Diamond Goes Back to School".[35][36] By July 19, the film had totaled $23.6 million worth of DVD and Blu-ray sales. The movie was also available to stream on the streaming service Peacock.[37]


In response to Universal releasing the film without consulting theater owners, as well as comments from NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell suggesting that future Universal releases would premiere on streaming simultaneously in theaters, AMC Theatres stated that they would not license films that also premiere at the same time on digital release; "Going forward, AMC will not license any Universal movies in any of our 1,000 theatres globally on these terms."[38] Regal Cinemas followed suit in a statement not just directed at Universal, saying "we will not be showing movies that fail to respect the windows".[39] However, in July 2020, AMC and Universal announced they had come to a deal to shorten the minimum theatrical window to 17 days (down from the usual 90), and that AMC would receive an undisclosed share of subsequent PVOD sales, resulting in a termination of AMC's ban on Universal's films.[40]

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that some of the cast, including Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, were not aware of the film's VOD release, and that their representatives were trying to secure the actors' bonuses they would have received had the film performed well theatrically.[41]

Video game

A video game set after Trolls World Tour, titled Trolls: Remix Rescue, was released on October 27, 2023 by DreamWorks Animation and Game Mill Entertainment for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. In this game, 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.[42]


Box office

In the U.S., the film made about $60,000 in its opening weekend from 25 drive-in theaters, amid extensive movie theater closures due to restrictions targeted at the COVID-19 pandemic.[43][44] By May 12, despite no official reports, Deadline Hollywood said media outlets including Box Office Mojo had underreported the figures and estimated the film was approaching $1 million from theatrical grosses.[45] By June 7, Deadline said the film had amassed $3.6 million from the domestic box office, and likely had been the first place film every weekend since its release.[46][47] It continued to play in drive-ins in the following weeks.[48][49] Box Office Mojo reported the domestic gross at only $450,000 and reported the total worldwide gross at $48 million.[6] did not count any domestic gross, and put the worldwide total slightly higher at $49 million.[37]

VOD sales

Following its debut digital streaming weekend, it was reported by FandangoNow that the film had set the record for most streams on a release weekend by the company. The film also finished number one for Amazon Prime, Comcast, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube, and DirecTV, with Universal reporting it was purchased 10-times more than its previous day-one rental Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which had made $2–3 million on its first day. Altogether, the film made at least $40 million over the weekend.[50] Through the first 19 days of release, it was estimated between three and five million people had streamed the film, resulting in about a $95 million gross ($77 million of which went to Universal, more revenue for the studio than the original film made during its entire theatrical run).[51][52][53] After three months of release the film remained in the top-five across most services, and occasionally returned to the top spot on Amazon Prime, FandangoNow, and iTunes.[54][55] By August, IndieWire estimated the film had made about $150 million from rentals.[56]

Deadline Hollywood estimated that due to the film's approximate $95 million production cost, plus another $30 million spent on marketing (although rival studios claim Universal spent more than that, as high as a normal $80–100 million campaign), the film could break-even if 9–12 million people rent the film, resulting in about $200 million in revenue.[57] The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "in the opinion of some industry veterans, [the film] may never make a dime" although "Universal believes it can make $40 million or more in profit from all revenue sources."[58] In October 2020, The Hollywood Reporter said the film was the second-most popular PVOD title amid the COVID-19 pandemic, behind Mulan.[59]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 71% based on 161 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "A fun follow-up for fans of the original, Trolls World Tour offers a second helping of colorful animation, infectious energy, and sing-along songs."[60] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[61]

Owen Gleiberman of Variety magazine gave it a mixed review, calling it a "music-drenched fairy tale" and "for all its surface pleasures, it's a likable but underimagined one, with more enthusiasm than surprise and, at the same time, an overprogrammed sense of its own thematic destiny."[2]

Entertainment Weekly gave a mixed review, calling it "Infinity War with lower stakes".[62]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Cinema Audio Society Awards April 17, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated Tighe Sheldon, Scott Millan, Paul Hackner, Christopher Fogel and Randy K. Singer Nominated [63]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards January 27, 2021 Best Original Song in an Animated Film "Just Sing" – Max Martin, Justin Timberlake, Ludwig Göransson and Sarah Aarons Won [64]
Best Music Supervision – Film Angela Leus Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 13, 2021 Favorite Animated Movie Trolls World Tour Nominated [65]
Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie Anna Kendrick Won
Justin Timberlake Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards April 6, 2021 Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Walt Dohrn, Gina Shay, Kendal Cronkhite-Shaindlin and Matt Baer Nominated [66]
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Luke Heathcock, Zachary Glynn, Marina Ilic and Michael Trull (for Techno Reef) Nominated
Brian LaFrance, Sara Cembalisty, Christopher Sprunger and Ruben Perez (for Volcano Rock City) Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Stephen Wood, Carl Hooper, Spencer Knapp and Nick Augello Nominated
Saturn Awards October 26, 2021 Best Animated Film Trolls World Tour Nominated [67]


Main article: Trolls Band Together

On April 9, 2020, Justin Timberlake expressed interest in participating in 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".[68] On November 22, 2021, it was announced that a third Trolls film would be released in theaters on November 17, 2023.[11][69]


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