A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Troll in Central Park is a 1994 Don Bluth animated movie with some cartoonish violence, and a couple chase scenes involving snarling and biting dogs, as well as sinister howling trolls, that might be too scary for younger viewers. Characters tend to fall (including a boy who is thrown off his skateboard but ends up OK), trip, slap, and punch. There are standard positive themes in this one, such as believing in yourself and practicing what you preach. While not the best in the Don Bluth collection, for fans of his work, and for the tween set, A Troll in Central Park should prove an imaginative and exciting story.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Stanley (Dom DeLuise) is a good troll who loves flowers, and even has an actual green thumb. When caught by the other trolls being true to himself, he escapes being turned to stone by the evil troll Gnorga (Cloris Leachman), but ends up being catapulted out of the land of trolls and into Central Park. After some unpleasant (but funny) altercations with New Yorkers, Stanley finds a hiding place beneath a bridge, but is discovered by a baby named Rosie, who is accompanied by her older brother Gus. Suddenly, Gus and Rosie are thrust into the middle of a troll battle royale, in which Gnorga will stop at nothing, including destroying Central Park, in order to save face with the other trolls and turn Stanley into stone.
Is it any good?
There's nothing especially groundbreaking happening in A TROLL IN CENTRAL PARK, at least in terms of the story. Good and bad trolls do battle (and you can guess who wins in the very end), a young boy learns the importance of having dreams and believing in himself, and celebrities ham up their voices for the characters. There are some decent, but not noteworthy songs.
And yet, in spite of the average cartoon premise and predictable-enough storyline, it's the Don Bluth-style animation that will keep the parents as engaged as the kids. For fans of Bluth especially, the dream sequences and Central Park transformations are especially enjoyable. While you know what you're going to get in cartoons like these, still, 18 years after its initial release, A Troll in Central Park is an entertaining movie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animated stories done in the "Don Bluth style." What are some of the distinctive features of Don Bluth-style animation?
How is Stanley the Troll different from the other trolls in the movie? Do you ever feel different from your family or friends? How do you handle that feeling?
What does Gus learn during the course of the movie, about responsibility, having dreams, and believing in himself?
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