Poppy, Branch, and of course, Tiny Diamond are just a few of the iconic Trolls heading back to theaters this November 17, as they uncover a big secret from the past that leads to an emotional journey to rescue and reunite a family, in the next installment of the glittery, bedazzling, and almost always happy franchise.
Glitter, hugs, bold colors and… a boyband? are headed to theaters November 17 in DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls Band Together, the third installment in the studio’s hit Trolls feature film franchise. Check out the first trailer and images below.
According to DreamWorks, after two films of true friendship and relentless flirting… finally, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are now officially, a couple. As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers: Floyd (Golden Globe nominated electropop sensation Troye Sivan), John Dory (Eric André; Sing 2), Spruce (Grammy winner Daveed Diggs; Hamilton) and Clay (Grammy winner Kid Cudi; Don’t Look Up). BroZone disbanded when Branch was still a baby, as did the family, and Branch hasn’t seen his brothers since.
But when Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains—Velvet (Emmy winner Amy Schumer; Trainwreck) and Veneer (Grammy winner and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells; The Book of Mormon)—Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity.
Take a look… and tap a foot or two:
The film stars Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, who return as Poppy and Branch. Also returning are Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel as Bridget; Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Gristle; the Icona Pop duo Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt as Satin and Chenille; Grammy winner Anderson .Paak as Prince D; comedian Ron Funches as Cooper; SAG nominee Kunal Nayyar as Guy Diamond; and Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live legend Kenan Thompson as Tiny Diamond.
Also returning are director Walt Dohrn and producer Gina Shay, joined by co-director Tim Heitz (head of story, Trolls World Tour). Additional cast includes Camila Cabello; Eric André; Amy Schumer; Andrew Rannells; Troye Sivan; Daveed Diggs; Kid Cudi; Zosia Mamet; and RuPaul Charles.
Dorhn and Shay’s last film, Trolls World Tour, was released April 10, 2020, right as the pandemic took hold; their vibrant, colorful musical extravaganza missed a richly deserved theatrical release. “This film is designed to be seen in a theater,” Dohrn says. “It's designed to be seen like a concert experience, with all the music, so the fuzzy immersion of the Trolls’ world can just wash over you. Not to mention just the collective kind of joy you feel when you’re laughing with an audience. That’s so much part of the fun!”
“The collective spontaneous dance party!” Shay laughs.
Trolls Band Together will take audiences to new Trolls worlds, with new characters and creatures. “In this new Trolls universe, we're able to play with all kinds of new textures and surfaces and take you to places you've never even seen before,” says Dohrn. “That’s really exciting, to push the existing visual signature as well as push beyond it. Plus, we go back to Bergen Town from the first film. We get to re-explore that world and how it has changed, how their ideology has changed, since they don't eat Trolls anymore. What does that world look like? How have those characters been affected?”
And, as we’ve seen in the trailer, we get to witness Dohrn’s character, Cloud Guy, share a rather artsy rainbow barf. “Very classy cinema,” he laughs. “Thank you. Well, there's a royal wedding, there had to be a bachelor party of some sorts. And of course, Cloud Guy overdoes it.”
But on a more serious note, both Dohrn and Shay explain that the film explores how we deal with issues and experiences that aren’t necessarily happy, that we don’t always want to share or address. Especially when they involve family. “We deal with interpersonal relationships that are very close, stuff that we don't talk about, that we tamp down,” Shay shares, “that we really should and need to talk about for everyone's mental health.” Dohrn adds, “One thing we wanted to put in the movie is this idea of toxic positivity. We thought it would be really fun in a Trolls movie, which is all about the power of optimism. But we also wanted to get underneath that, and it's like, ‘Sometimes we just put positive thoughts on so we don't have to deal with the negative stuff.’ So, this movie really talks about that, how to strike a balance between those things.”
Trolls Band Together bops into theaters this coming November 17.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.