Film Review: DreamWorks Trolls

TrollsDreamWorks make some of the best children’s films. Their movies are the ones which frame childhoods and create memories and Trolls is no exception. If you’re looking for a frenetic, joy filled musical extravaganza then this is the movie for you.

I should say that Fifi was a little bit worried about the Trolls being scary (she admitted this when we were halfway to the screening) but she soon realised how silly she was being and is now a massive fan. They really are the cutest little movie characters, possibly ever and the scenes which involve what can only be described as fuzzy felt to explain what might happen are a stroke of genius.

I was excited to see Trolls as I remember having the little dolls when I was little and they really were a feature of my childhood. I still have them and I even have a little jewel box which sat on a wrist band and held a Troll- something which is referenced in the film for uber fans of a certain age like me.

Despite being 41 instead of 7, there was no stopping us getting a photo with the Trolls at the gala screening. In all honesty I don’t think I could have been more excited!

trolls

This film is a musical and the soundtrack is awesome, we were all jigging about it our seats and singing the songs all the way home. These Trolls are cast as little Party People with pink haired Poppy Troll (voiced by Anna Kendrick) in charge. She’s a sassy little girly troll with an attitude not unlike my daughter and there were some brilliant almost teenager like one-liners from her.

The film is a roller coaster ride of emotions, particularly for younger kids. The bad guys (Bergens) are a little bit scary. Branch  the boy Troll (voiced by Justin Timberlake) reminded me of my eldest son in attitude and latent musical talent.

If you like Shrek, then you will like this movie as it has a very similar sort of feel about it. However, we thought it was better than Shrek, its much more visually stimulating, the comedy is more contemporary and the music really takes it to the next level.

It is without doubt the perfect movie for a rainy autumn half term and will serve to raise the spirits of even the battle hardened parent. I defy you not to feel happy once you’ve seen it. We all love it and the soundtrack is now a fave on our Spotify playlist.

Have a look at the trailer:

The Blurb:

DreamWorks’ TROLLS is a hair-raising comedy filled with unbelievable adventure and incredible music.  Known for their crazy, colourful, and magical hair, Trolls are the happiest, most joyous creatures ever to burst into song. But their world of rainbows and cupcakes is changed forever, when their leader Poppy (Anna Kendrick,) must embark on a rescue mission that takes her far beyond the only world she’s ever known.

TROLLS stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Ron Funches

DreamWorks TROLLS is released in cinemas from October 15 in 3D and 2D.

I’d love to hear about your childhood memories of Trolls and if you see the film yourself don’t forget to leave a review here.

Film Review: Pete’s Dragon

petes dragonWe were lucky enough to go along to the gala screening of Disney’s latest live action movie Pete’s Dragon. This is a  film that had slipped a bit under my radar, i’m not entirely sure why, it just had. However, as soon as the film started and I began to get flashbacks to my childhood. The original film was exactly within the genre of films I used to watch over and over again; Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, that kind of thing where there was a mixture of songs, animation and ‘jokey’ acting. However, I think I had blocked it out of my mind because from what I recall (although I haven’t seen it for 30 odd years) there was an element of sadness and the underlying story was a little bit traumatic for me compared to the other movies.

 

dragon balloon

Awesome balloon dragon!

This years update of Pete’s Dragon sees a slightly different scenario where Pete loses his parents in a car crash and ends up living in the woods with Elliot the dragon. Until that is, they get discovered. The film features Bryce Dallas Howard who plays a superb surrogate mum figure and Robert Redford as her dad alongside Oakes Fegley who does a brilliant job playing Pete. The dragon is clearly animated but in a wonderful way which somehow manages to sit unobtrusively in the film and there were moments where the dragon reminded me of the one in my all time favourite kids movie, The Neverending Story.

There were many things which I loved about this film, not least that it reminded me of some of the best movies of my 1980’s childhood. They have captured the essence of what I imagined life to be like in America at that time, elements of what I remembered about the original film and weaved in a magical feeling of folklore and the preciousness of the wild. This isn’t a big hitting, all action movie, rather a gentle but epic roller coaster ride of emotions which I think is an antidote to many of today’s children’s movies which can feel over produced for thrills and laughs.

Have a look here:

I thought this was a lovely film which I’d very happily snuggle up with the husband and some popcorn and watch again. However, I have to say that the four year old found it a bit scary and the ‘sophisticated’ nine year old was a little bored by it. I think this is because he feeds himself an endless diet of ‘high reward’ action packed films. I must rectify this because this is the sort of movie which can make summer holiday memories. It is an engaging, thoughtful children’s film and I loved it. So I guess what i’m saying is, if you want to take the kids to a film and you’re a child of the 1980’s then pick this one as you’ll love it. I hope your children enjoy it too.

Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard introduces the film

Info and Synopsis

“PETE’S DRAGON”

UK Release date: 12 August, 2016

Genre:  Live Action

Rating: TBD

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford

Director: David Lowery

Based on a story by: Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field

Producer: Jim Whitaker

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

Film Review: Robinson Crusoe

Robinson CrusoeHave you ever read Robinson Crusoe? Well, if you have this version from StudioCanal wont be anything like you expect. This is a completely unique take on the story which will keep the adults entertained as well as the children. Forget ideas about survival with very few things, this is about friendship, good versus evil and how you don’t necessarily need to explore the world to realise that the best things can be on your doorstep.

StudioCanal films are always brilliantly animated and if i’m being highly critical i’d say they usually fall down slightly on the dialogue. I assume this is because they translate them from the French/ Belgium. This film is no different in this. Although there are plenty of laugh out loud moment.

However, this film really comes alive with the use of 3D animation. It is simple incredible and has to be one of the best uses of 3D I’ve ever seen in film. We all literally jumped or flinched at various moments because the action seemed so real.

Fifi my 7 year old is a real animal fan and she really loved this movie. I think it surprised her, as we didn’t quite take on board that it was really about the animals and their friendships. Funnily enough she’s just been reading a book about a Tapir so this film struck a chord.

In terms of appeal I asked the 9, 7 and 4 year old whether they enjoyed it and received a universal ‘yes!’ Interestingly their favourite characters were the mean (evil) cats which surprised me but just goes to show that children do enjoy seeing a bit of meanness in movies

Robinson Crusoe arrives on UK shores with May Bank Holiday previews (April 30 – May 2), and a full national cinema release on May 6th 2016. We think its the perfect film for a May Bank Holiday so get booking your tickets!

If you’d like to get a flavour of the film have a look at the trailer:

Synopsis

On a tiny exotic island, Tuesday, an outgoing parrot, lives with his quirky animal friends in paradise. However, Tuesday can’t stop dreaming about discovering the world. After a violent storm, Tuesday and his friends wake up to find a strange creature on the beach: Robinson Crusoe. Tuesday immediately views Crusoe as his ticket off the island to explore new lands. Likewise, Crusoe soon realizes that the key to surviving on the island is through the help of Tuesday and the other animals. It isn’t always easy at first, as the animals don’t speak “human.” Slowly but surely, they all start living together in harmony, until one day, when their comfortable life is overturned by two savage cats, who wish to take control of the island. A battle ensues between the cats and the group of friends but Crusoe and the animals soon discover the true power of friendship up against all odds (even savage cats).

Check out the Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/RobinsonCrusoeTheMovie