Know Before You Watch: ‘Trolls World Tour’

Know Before You Watch: ‘Trolls World Tour’

Trolls World Tour

Four years ago, the DreamWorks Animation feature Trolls dropped a glitter bomb upon the world, delighting fans of all ages with its colorful fantasy adventure and pop music soundtrack. The movie was a tremendous box office success, an Oscar nominee and a Grammy winner, and it spawned a holiday special for NBC and television series for Netflix. Now it’s time for a sequel.

Trolls World Tour is the feature follow-up that families have been waiting for, as not just a return to the world of Poppy, Branch, Guy Diamond and the rest of the Trolls but also an introduction to an expanded universe of miniature musical creatures featuring all new characters and songs. The Trolls sequel will have us dancing again to covers of classic hits and new originals. 

What’s in store for the Trolls this time around? What tunes can we look forward to hearing on the soundtrack? Read on for all the answers to your questions as well as a recap of the first movie. Here’s everything you need to know before you watch:


What happened in the first Trolls?

Released in 2016 and inspired by the classic Troll Doll figures, the original movie introduced us to the land of Princess Poppy and her fellow fun-loving and brightly colored little creatures. They lived relatively carefree, partying and singing pop songs together, until they were rediscovered by their enemy, the Bergens, which were larger ogre-like monsters who wanted to eat the Trolls. 

After a bunch of their friends were kidnapped by a villainous Bergen chef, the always hopeful Poppy and her pessimistic pal Branch journeyed to Bergen Town on a rescue mission. Along the way, they befriended a Bergen girl, helped her woo the spoiled new king, got her to help save the other Trolls, and ultimately brought peace between the Trolls and the Bergens.


Do we need to watch the holiday special or TV series?

For fans of Trolls and its lovable characters, the two small screen spin-offs are worth watching but not necessary ahead of the new movie. There may be some references, however, between Trolls World Tour and both the Christmas special Trolls Holiday, which aired on NBC in November 2017, and the series Trolls: The Beat Goes On!, which debuted on Netflix in January 2018.

Trolls Holiday is a half-hour animated short in which Poppy and friends find the Bergens a new holiday to observe now that they’ve done away with Trollstice, which was the time when the creatures feasted on Trolls. The Beat Goes On!, which ran for eight seasons through last year, simply offers an episodic look at life in Trolls Village following the events of the first movie. 


Where does Trolls World Tour fit in, and what’s the plot?

The animated sequel definitely takes place after the events of the first Trolls movie, but there have been contradictory reports on whether Trolls World Tour is set before or after the holiday special and television series. From the looks of it, the chronology doesn’t really matter either way since the new movie tells an isolated story and, unlike the spin-offs, doesn’t really feature the Bergens.

The plot of the movie involves a threat from another land of Trolls. Poppy, who is now queen, and the rest of her village discover there are five other kinds of Trolls, each group representing a different genre of music. The leaders of the hard rock Trolls want to do away with classical, country, funk, techno and pop, the last of which being Poppy’s domain, and reign supreme. 


Which returning actors can be heard in the movie?

Poppy is again voiced by Anna Kendrick, who is reunited with Justin Timberlake as Branch, now Poppy’s boyfriend. Other returning Trolls include Guy Diamond, Biggie, Cooper, DJ Suki and the twins Chenille and Satin, voiced respectively by Kunal Nayyar, James Corden, Ron Funches, Gwen Stefani and Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo of the electropop duo Icona Pop.  


Who is new to the voice cast for Trolls World Tour?

Among the additions for the sequel are Rachel Bloom and Ozzy Osborne, who voice the villains Queen Barb and her father, King Thrash, of the Hard Rock Trolls. Mary J. Blige and George Clinton play the leaders of the Funk Trolls, Anthony Ramos plays the head of the Techno Trolls, Kelly Clarkson plays the mayor of the Country Trolls and Sam Rockwell plays another Country Troll.

Also joining the cast of musical characters, most of whom will also be heard on the soundtrack, are Jamie Dornan, Charlyne Yi, Flula Borg, Karan Soni, Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson, reggaeton singer J Balvin, singer and rapper Anderson Paak, singer Ester Dean, violinist Gustavo Dudamel and the members of the K-Pop group Red Velvet. 


Speaking of the soundtrack, what songs will we hear?

The Trolls World Tour album features some brand new tracks led by singer/songwriter/producer Justin Timberlake, similar to the first movie’s award-winning hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” including “The Other Side” featuring SZA and “Don’t Slack” with Anderson .Paak. There’s also a country song co-written by Timberlake and Chris Stapleton plus other original tunes with the rest of the cast.

As for covers performed by the stars of Trolls World Tour including Kendrick, Corden and Clinton, there’s a medley of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Good Times” and “Groove is in the Heart,” as well as a new version of Clinton’s “Atomic Dog.” Bloom covers the rock hits “Barracuda,” “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and Osborne’s own “Crazy Train,” while Ramos sings Daft Punk’s “One More Time” and Rockwell croons Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces.”


Wait, Sam Rockwell sings?

Rockwell, who makes only his second vocal appearance in an animated feature (the first was G-Force in 2009), is known for his dancing and not so much for his musical talent. But he does love to sing, and he’s been heard minimally doing so in such movies as Glory Daze and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Trolls World Tour marks his first real soundtrack presence.


Are there any fun cameos in the movie?

For those familiar with podcasters Justin, Griffin and Travis McElroy, of the show My Brother, My Brother and Me, the three can be heard in Trolls World Tour in various roles, including a four-headed Troll. How they managed to land their parts is kind of a funny story: they made a podcast called The McElroy Brothers Will Be In Trolls 2 as a joke - but it worked.


Who directed Trolls World Tour?

Walt Dohrn, who made his feature directorial debut as the co-director of the first Trolls (with Mike Mitchell) and continues as the voice of various characters including Mr. Dinkles, is now the lead director of Trolls World Tour. He’s joined by co-director David P. Smith, a longtime employee of DreamWorks Animation who in turn makes his feature directorial debut with the new sequel.


When does the movie come out?

Trolls World Tour will arrive exclusively on digital video platforms, including FandangoNOW, for a premium rental on April 10.


Watch the trailer below.

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