A Troll in Central Park

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
A Troll in Central Park Movie Poster Image
Worthy messages, but snarling, scary dogs in animated film.
  • G
  • 2002
  • 76 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

In the words of Stanley the Troll: "There's no end to what you can do if you put your mind to it." Also, messages about being true to yourself, even if it's different from the norm. Plus, believing in your own abilities.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Stanley is a troll with a green thumb (literally), who espouses virtues like planting gardens with lots of flowers and doing your best. Gus is a boy who learns to take responsibility for his actions and also learns to believe in himself.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoonish violence. Characters fall, drop, trip over. Some of the chase scenes, especially those with vicious dogs or screaming sinister trolls, might be a bit scary for younger viewers.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLebron12James3 March 23, 2020

The 7-year-olds who wrote this movie are very talented!

Very clever writing with lines such as “I’m Stanley”. Oh, such original dialogue!!
Adult Written byT J November 17, 2018
Teen, 13 years old Written byPoppy From The ... March 29, 2020


8+? This is only mildly scary. Also very sweet.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCoolpool785 September 17, 2018

Sappy, forcefully happy. ICK!

Jesus, we went from "Secret of Nimh" to this sh*t. Avoid this at all cost.

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animation

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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