Movie review: Trolls World Tour
Just when you thought the hit 2016 DreamWorks Animation adventure musical comedy Trolls could not get any happier or more colourful, the sequel does - almost to the point of being psychedelic.
Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is now queen of the Pop Trolls and eager to prove her worth, while her best friend Branch (Justin Timberlake) struggles with bridging the differences between them.
What makes Trolls World Tour more fun - and funnier - than its predecessor is the expansion of the universe and introduction of five other Troll tribes: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical and Rock, plus sub-genres like Smooth Jazz, Reggaeton and K-pop (alongside their comical stereotypes).
The movie opens with a high-energy rave under the sea, where the neon Techno Trolls are partying their fishtails off to Daft Punk's One More Time.
The gig is rudely interrupted by Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) of the Rock Trolls, who belts out Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane and whose master plan is to rid the world of inferior music genres and turn all trolls into rock zombies.
Bloom really lets it rip as the electric guitar-shredding, heavily pierced and mohawked rock goddess, the antithesis of Poppy and true headliner of Trolls World Tour, upstaging everyone else in her wake.
Then there are the Country Trolls, portrayed as sad cowboy-horse hybrids Poppy and Branch want to cheer up with their "rad medley" of the biggest pop hits ever, including Wannabe, Who Let The Dogs Out and even Gangnam Style.
The takeaway from the first film was how true happiness can be found within everyone, even the ugly miserable creatures known as the Bergens.
The message of Trolls World Tour is, quite literally, a whole lot louder. And certainly more relevant to the time we are living in.
Diversity is to be celebrated and not destroyed, because real harmony takes lots of different voices, and you cannot harmonise alone.
It is actually quite a big idea, and by using the history of music to illustrate its points, even a five-year-old will get it.
Amid the doom and gloom of the coronavirus epidemic, all the singing, dancing, hugging and good vibes from the franchise that gave us the earworm Can't Stop The Feeling! by Timberlake is a welcome escape from real-life fears.
And for music and pop culture lovers, Trolls World Tour hits the right notes. -3.5/5 Ticks
FILM: Trolls World Tour
STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom
DIRECTOR: Walt Dohrn
THE SKINNY: Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) discover they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over different lands and devoted to different kinds of music. But rock queen Barb (Bloom) wants to destroy them all for rock to reign supreme.