A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn lessons about the importance of empathy, communication, and teamwork, as well as the value of strong relationships between siblings. But other than the lyrics to lots of songs, this is mostly for entertainment.
Promotes teamwork, communication, empathy, friendship, loyalty. Strong messages about asking for help, listening to and being honest with your family and loved ones, not allowing fear to guide your actions, and recognizing that things don't have to be perfect to be beautiful or worthwhile. Characters say things like "family is always worth it," or that siblings are "friends who never leave you." A cautionary message is present in the fact that Velvet and Veneer value fame and fortune above all things, including morality and authenticity. There's a subplot about not judging individuals by the stereotypes that may be connected to them.
Positive Role Models
Poppy is a strong, optimistic, and inspiring leader. She's brave, loyal, positive, and a good friend. Branch is intelligent, resourceful, talented. All the BroZone brothers are good singers, clever, and ultimately loyal to one another.
The voice cast -- which includes Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Kid Cudi, Daveed Diggs, Camila Cabello, Kenan Thompson, and Troye Sivan -- is culturally diverse. The characters are also from different species -- troll, Bergen, etc. Trolls come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.
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Violence & Scariness
Velvet and Veneer use a magical diamond cage to keep Floyd kidnapped and siphon his talent for themselves. As he's depleted of it, he grows increasingly sickly, colorless, and see-through. There's a long chase scene and a sequence in which Velvet and Veneer fight off the trolls, kick them, and nearly kill Floyd. Bridget and Gristle are tied up and nearly hurt on purpose before being saved. Scary clown head/face startles characters at a mini-golf facility.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Folks assume that Poppy and Branch, who are a serious couple, will get married. Glitter-covered trolls have bare, sparkly bottoms. Gristle and Bridget, now newlyweds, kiss several times, hold hands, dance, and embrace. Some innuendoes that will likely go over kids' head. Bridget asks to make out and kiss. When she and Gristle are both bound, Bridget jokes that she didn't think they'd both get tied up during their honeymoon. A married couple makes vague references to not knowing how "it" works between them. Velvet jokes about autographing butts.
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Bathroom/body language like "barf," "pee," "butt," and "junk in the trunk," as well as "oh my gosh" and "gol-darned." Tiny Diamond is bleeped at one point when he exclaims in surprise.
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Products & Purchases
Nothing on-screen, but lots of off-screen merchandise tie-ins, including one with Love Island Games. Merch includes toys, apparel, games, and collectibles. The soundtrack, featuring Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Daveed Diggs, Camila Cabello, and an original NSYNC song, is a prominent part of the movie.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Poppy drinks what looks like a fruity cocktail. When the armadillo enters "hustle" mode, the animation turns psychedelic and hallucinatory. Tiny Diamond and Branch treat a Ring Pop as if it's a drug.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Trolls Band Together is the third installment in the popular animated-movie franchise about musical trolls. It picks up after the events of Trolls World Tour and again focuses on Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake), now a happy couple. When it's revealed that Branch has long-lost brothers, Poppy joins him on a mission to rescue one of them. Although there aren't any big scares, you can expect occasional peril -- including chase scenes, some pushing and kicking, and a magical device that allows singers to steal a troll's talent. Minimal language is mostly of the bathroom variety ("pee," "barf," "butt") or "oh my gosh." There are several quick kisses and some innuendo that's likely to go over kids' heads, like Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) joking about getting tied up during her honeymoon or making out before possibly dying. The diverse voice cast includes Kid Cudi, Daveed Diggs, Camila Cabello, and Troye Sivan, and the on-screen characters are of various species, sizes, and backgrounds. Themes include teamwork, communication, empathy, friendship, and loyalty, and there are strong messages about asking for help and listening to and being honest with your family and loved ones. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This charming installment in the musical Trolls franchise is likely to amuse kids and boy-band fans of all ages. Branch and Poppy are now officially a couple, but the movie doesn't focus on their romance -- rather, it's about the rediscovery of Branch's secret past as a boy band member and his reunion with his estranged brothers. The sibling focus means that younger viewers will get to see Branch humorously (and movingly) interact with his big brothers (who still see him as a baby), which adds depth to his behavior in the first movie. Tiny Diamond knows how that feels and hilariously tries to prove that he's "a big boy now"; he even steps in to drive the armadillo van the group takes to track down the brothers. Thompson's voice is naturally fun, but there's something particularly delightful about it coming from a teeny tiny sparkly troll.
The script, by Elizabeth Tippet and Thomas Dam, is filled with silly dad jokes and band name puns, but the tone is so cheerful and earnest that it will make viewers smile regardless. The frenetic music medleys further the plot and include a range of pop, disco, hip hop, new wave, and rock. Schumer and Rannells are funny as talentless, fame-hungry musicians who want a fortune without doing any work, and Camila Cabello gives an understated performance as Viva, a troll who was separated from her family years earlier. Of course, the biggest soundtrack news is that NSYNC reunited to sing the catchy "Better Place" -- their first song in more than 20 years. Not surprisingly, lots of boy band-specific jokes are woven in throughout the film, whether it's how often the songs include the word "baby," "girl," "woman," and "love," to the many hairstyles that JT himself had (but in troll form). You don't need to be an NSYNC or boy band fan to appreciate the jokes, but it definitely helps.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.