A Troll in Central Park

  • Review Date: September 6, 2012
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 76 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Worthy messages, but snarling, scary dogs in animated film.
  • Review Date: September 6, 2012
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 76 minutes





What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Families can talk 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

DVD release date:February 19, 2002
Cast:Cloris Leachman, Dom DeLuise, Hayley Mills
Director:Don Bluth
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:76 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of A Troll in Central Park was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byDominicboo1 August 27, 2013

So...The Incredibles is 7 + up but this is 8 and up?

Are you kidding me? This is easily one of Don Bluth's milder movies...and it's not nearly as violent as say I don't know...The Incredibles? It's a very sweet movie and is very underrated, but it's not half as scary as the reviewer would have you think....


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide