Parents trolling for family fare need look no further than “Trolls” (Fox).
This charming animated comedy makes enjoyable viewing for all age groups, excluding only the very youngest.
It originates with a product line of plastic dolls, but directors Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn’s infectiously fun 3-D fable feels more like a party than a commercial.
The heroine is an irrepressibly sunny optimist named Poppy (voice of Anna Kendrick). Poppy’s companion on the quest to which most of “Trolls” is devoted, is a Woody Allen-like perpetual worrier named Branch (voice of Justin Timberlake).
This odd couple is thrown together and forced to hit the road after several of their friends are kidnapped by an evil — and otherwise unnamed — Chef (voice of Christine Baranski) from a race of Troll-eating giants called Bergens. Bergens, so we’re informed, believe that their only source of happiness lies in a tummy full of Trolls.
It’s up to Poppy and Branch to save an ensemble of their pals — including Biggie (voice of James Corden), the community’s unofficial leader, and DJ Suki (voice of Gwen Stefani), its top tune spinner — from being served up in a stew or a casserole.
As the titular creatures sing, dance and group-hug their way through the proceedings, screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger promote loyalty and teamwork.
Only the looming threat of one set of characters consuming another, along with touches of slightly naughty humor, indicate that “Trolls” is not a good choice for the smallest moviegoers.
The film contains a flash of rear nudity, brief scatological humor and wordplay and a few very mild oaths. (A-II, PG)