Trolls 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Trolls is yet another animated film aimed at kids that is probably going to be frustrating and slightly annoying to any adults forced to watch it. Movies like THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE, ICE AGE 5, THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS and others have all made the kids laugh and smile and inadvertently made the adults groan and roll their eyes. TROLLS is not a good film, but at least we get the vocal stylings of Justin Timberlake to entertain us…at the end of the film.
TROLLS introduces us to a world where little creatures called Trolls are happy, go-lucky beings that love to sing, dance and hug all day long. Their world was wonderful until the come across giant creatures called Bergens. Bergens are the opposite of Trolls in that they’re miserable all the time and can’t sing or dance. But, the Bergens discover that if they eat a Troll, they become happy for a day. The film picks up with Princess Poppy (Kendrick) and the grumpy Troll Branch (Timberlake) teaming up to go rescue a handful of Trolls that have been kidnapped by a Bergen.
So the first thing to keep in mind while watching TROLLS is that the whole film centers on tiny, happy creatures trying to avoid getting eaten alive by giant, angry creatures. There was something disturbing about this for me in that I didn’t like the idea of my four or five year old watching a movie where the happy Trolls they were singing along with one minute were being digested the next. It cast a dark cloud over the film and was completely unnecessary. That, along with a few other creative choices told me that the filmmakers involved didn’t have kids in the targeted age range. TROLLS should have been a light hearted adventure with annoying songs, but the addition of the dark themes gave the film an awkward tone.
I know I grew up on musical animated classics like ALADDIN and THE LION KING, but I’m of the impression that animated films today need more songs, so I liked that TROLLS was very musical. And even though I was embarrassed at myself, I, for the most part, liked the music. Say what you want about Justin Timberlake, but the guy can sing and if he’s involved, I’m sold. The weird thing about TROLLS is that he plays a character that refuses to sing, so we have to go the majority of the movie without him singing, which I found odd. I understand it fit into the plot, but I can’t stop the feeling (get it?) that the movie would have been better with more singing from JT.
TROLLS is not a horrible film, but I do think adults are going to find it hard to get through. However, my wife downloaded the soundtrack within minutes of the closing credits, so if the goal was to sell music, the film was a success on that front. Otherwise, this one might be too dark for little kids and too poorly written for adults.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: If you’ve read any of my reviews of an animated 4K UHD, then this will sound like a broken record, but that doesn’t make it any less true; the 4K UHD of TROLLS looks sharper and brighter on 4K UHD, but it’s only marginally better than the Blu-ray. That’s not a knock on the 4K UHD, it’s just that these high quality, newer animated films look incredible on Blu-ray and there’s not much more room for improvement. On the Blu-ray, you can notice the felt-like texture of the Bergen, so when you see it in slightly more detail on the 4K, it’s not that big of a deal. Still, the colors are slightly more vibrant and the added detail does give you a pseudo-3D effect during some of the more crazy musical numbers, so there are advantages to the upgrade.
Audio: The 4K does include a very nice Dolby Atmos track. If you like the soundtrack, you’ll appreciate having the music blared at you from all angles.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Mini-featurettes (22:50): I lumped these five featurettes together because none of them amount to much on their own. They’re all geared for little kids and they take you through some of the making-of aspects of the film.
Deleted Scenes (7:25): These are a handful of deleted scenes that the directors explain to us what they are and why they were cut.