April 8, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown. Then a brand-new NC intro plays, starting from the same opening shot as the 2019 intro and then transitioning to a room that plays clips in the background. For Doug Walker, 2017 Pennywise is seen in the middle of the room dancing, and Chester A. Bum and Uncle Lies are seen spinning around on the outer rim. The clips that play are of NC and Devil Boner. Next, we see Malcolm Ray's credit, which displays Bill in the middle and Black Willy Wonka and Benny spinning around, the clips playing are Carrotjuice and Cyborg (from the Justice League review). We then see original Mary Poppins and Rey in the background for Tamara Chambers' credit with a joyous Hyper Fangirl in the middle and Aunt Despair and Wonder Woman are seen spinning on the outer rim. Then, for the supporting cast of Jim Jarosz, Rob Walker, Walter Banasiak, Heather Reusz and Aiyanna Wade, we see 2019 Joker (from the It: Chapter Two review) in the middle and on the outer rim, an analyst, a floating Beverly (from the 2017 It review), Doe and the same shot of Jim drinking from a mug. After this, we pan up to see the "WRITTEN BY DOUG AND ROB WALKER" credit as a flame comes out from the middle and engulfs the screen several times as the "Intro by Fard Muhammad" credit appears. We are revealed to be zooming out from the O in the Nostalgia Critic logo, which zooms back into place with Channel Awesome's social media appearing below shortly after. We then fade to the NC at his desk (the wall is in the yellow color from last time))
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. DreamWorks has had an...interesting history, hasn't it?
(As NC speaks, the logo for DreamWorks Animation SKG is shown, before showing several articles involving DreamWorks, including one on Jeffrey Katzenberg announcing some "very, very difficult" layoffs, as well as the poster for Shrek and logos of two of DreamWorks' distributors, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox)
NC (vo): It seems like whenever you look into them, they're always either on top of the world or hanging on by a thread. Despite many of their films making money, they haven't had a solo production in 15 years, always working with another major studio.
NC: Part of the odd, but also charming, reason that might be is that you never really know what's gonna be good or bad with them.
(We are shown various shots and posters of various DreamWorks Animation movies that NC mentions)
NC (vo): If you told me Jack Black as a panda would be an emotional roller coaster and Will Smith as a fish would haunt my everlasting nightmares, I'd say you're as high as those who predicted Boss Baby would be the hit we didn't know we didn't want. Yes, it's hard to say why Shark Tale, Home and Abominable took the world by storm, but Rise of the Guardians, Peabody and Sherman and Sinbad didn't. I guess each one has its own complicated reasons.
NC: (crosses arms) But one that was easy to see why it bombed and bombed hard was the one that was based on the toy that hadn't been popular for years–
(He is interrupted, however, as another news article, this one on the movie he is referring to, Trolls, was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival)
NC (vo): Oh, that was a hit?
NC: Of course it was.
(The title for Trolls is shown, before showing various clips)
NC (vo): Trolls, based on the toys your sister played with when she wanted to be a voodoo priestess... (Images of the Troll toys and a girl posing with a Troll toy are shown) ...was a bit of a surprise hit, because the toy line hadn't been popular since the '90s. But with a colorful redesign, pop songs, and celebrity voices...
NC (vo): ...Trolls became a smash. Its sequel, Trolls World Tour, might even be seen as a game-changer, as it's the first major kids' film to be released in theaters... (An image of a cinema website which reveals the cinema is temporarily closed is shown)...ish, but mainly on demand. (A news article called "Trolls World Tour could change everything or absolutely nothing" is shown) This'll be especially interesting, as animated sequels have not been the moneymakers they once were. So many are watching Trolls World Tour, or, as I call it, the less funny (Poster of...) Troll 2, with great interest. Before the fallout of that, though, I thought it only made sense to see why the first Trolls movie was such a big hit for DreamWorks, and if it's worth all the kinda-ish praise it got. (The film's Rotten Tomatoes score is shown, with the critics' score being 76% and the audiences' score being 67%) So let's take a look and see how this became popular again... (The Trolls toys are shown again) JUST TAKE THEM OFFSCREEN!!
NC: I CAN'T LOOK AT THEM! (abruptly calms down) This is Trolls.
(The title opens on a cuddly-looking storybook)
Narrator: Once upon a time in a happy forest, in the happiest tree lived the happiest creatures the world has ever known: The trolls.
NC: Bullshit! I go online. Trolls are dangerous losers, unless I agree with them, in which case, they're edgy rapscallions! (The sentence "THE INTERNET IN ONE SENTENCE" pops up)
Narrator: They loved nothing more than to sing, and dance, and hug, (speaking more rapidly so as to sound higher pitched) and hug, and sing, and dance, and sing, and hug, and dance and hug, and dance, and sing, and hug, and dance, and hug.
(The narration then stops, however, as one of the trolls on the page gasps for breath and falls over in a faint)
NC (vo): Sorry, YouTubers who talk to kids with sped-up voices, fast voices, and little cartoons.
NC: Trolls is doing it bet... Trolls is doing it.
NC (vo): It's revealed there's a race of creatures called the Bergens, who like eating the trolls' happiness, which, thank God, also means eating the trolls. Thus, they gather around the tree once a year to feast on them on the holiday called Trollstice. They light up the grills, which I have to say, I love the dark tone they're starting out on. Don't worry, it won't last...kind of; we'll get to it when we get to it. ...as Prince Gristle is given his first troll to eat.
(When he does, however, he spits it out in disgust)
Prince Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse): (to the chef who gave it to him) That was rotten!
(The chef picks it up and looks at it. She pulls the hair off and knocks on it; it makes a wooden, knocking sound)
Chef (Christine Baranski): It's...fake?
Bergens: (shocked) Fake?!?
(As we cut back to NC, the fake troll is shown in the left corner, followed by an image of Baby Yoda in the upper-right corner)
NC (vo): The trolls escape underground, which is not exactly a shock. It's kind of like (An image of a stand of pines is superimposed, with one tree having a nervous face and human legs, as if trying to run away) a pine tree selling his plot before Christmas; there's fair warning. ...as King Peppy saves every last one of them.
(As King Peppy addresses the trolls, he is naked from having lost his clothes in the escape)
King Peppy (Jeffrey Tambor): No troll left behind!
(The other trolls cheer)
Young troll: Peppy, where's Princess Poppy?
NC: (as this young troll) Follow-up question: am I traumatized by that?
(King Peppy parts his hair, revealing a tiny troll, Princess Poppy, who is safe as well)
NC (vo): Princess Poppy is safe as well, but the Bergens are outraged and throw out the chef named...let me guess, just Chef?
(Yep, that's right, as seen on the movie's IMDB page, the chef is just named Chef, who is voiced by Christine Baranski, as stated before)
NC (vo): I gotta IMDB-ing these; it just depresses me.
Prince Gristle: (to his father, King Gristle) What's gonna make me happy now?
King Gristle (John Cleese): You will never, ever, ever, ever be happy.
NC: Oh, the current state of Star Wars fan.
(Meanwhile, King Peppy sticks his torch into a toadstool as he addresses the other trolls)
King Peppy: Right here, this is where we will rebuild our civilization!
NC (vo; as King Peppy): After the sweet mass genocide of Smurfs living here, I say we call this home! (normal) Twenty years later, Princess Poppy, voiced by Anna Kendrick, tells the story of their history to their hairy gumdrops.
Young troll 1: And that's why we hug every hour.
Young troll 2: I wish it was every half hour.
Poppy: So do I, but that wouldn't leave much time for singing and dancing now, would it?
NC: This is a cult.
NC (vo): So they sing about how they're going to have a big celebration of their freedom.
("Move Your Feet"/"D.A.N.C.E." starts to play)
Trolls: (singing) Yeah!
Poppy: (singing) Everybody's coming to the celebration...
NC: I guess I shouldn't judge other cultures, but...
NC (vo): ...I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be a troll racist by the end of this.
(As the song continues, Poppy and another troll ride on the back of an insect of some kind)
Poppy: (singing) Stick to the B-E-A-T / Get ready to ignite...
(Poppy pulls on the insect's antennae, and it explodes in a cascade of flowers)
NC: (smiling) Well, that thing's dead. Fun!
Fat blue troll: Something's missing.
(A troll covered in silver glitter runs up and aims his butt at a painting of a caterpillar, then through flatulence, he blasts silver glitter at the painting, adding glittery hair and a bow tie to it)
NC: (his head resting on his hand listlessly) All humor is gonna be butt-based, isn't it?
NC (vo): I guess my ass does do that when I put Easter egg glitter on Taco Bell. Honestly, I'd be more concerned if that didn't happen. (Poppy continues to sing) The song is a little annoying, but I guess still upbeat, as a troll named Branch, voiced by Justin Timberlake, is concerned as he's always paranoid the Bergens are coming.
(We cut to a montage of flashbacks, where troll festivities are disrupted by Branch, who rushes in worrying about the arrival of the Bergens. First, there is a birthday party)
Branch: The Bergens are coming!
(He knocks over a table with the birthday cake on it and runs off, screaming. Next, we have a wedding party)
Branch: The Bergens are coming!
(He knocks over a table with the wedding cake on it and runs off, screaming. Finally, we have a funeral)
Branch: The Bergens are coming!
(This time, instead of knocking over a table with a cake on it, he knocks over the coffin containing the body of the dead troll in question, who looks like a clown. The corpse falls out onto the ground. Branch then runs off again)
NC: Well, I know what should have been the poster!
(A made-up poster for this movie is shown, depicting the dead troll, having been knocked out of the coffin by Branch. Then the movie resumes)
NC (vo): Russell Brand Troll tries to calm everybody down, and while I'm sure his character has a different name, he's basically what (A photo of Brand is shown) Russell Brand is now, right down to, I'm pretty sure he's a troll.
Creek (Brand): (to Poppy) Chill now, his negative vibrations, Poppy. They're toxic. Some folks just don't want to be happy.
NC: (as Creek) What's important is, I'm above you somehow, even if it means...
NC (vo): ...physically instead of metaphorically.
NC: I'll take it! My standards are that low!
NC (vo): The party is thrown, but as Branch predicted, Chef hears them and hunts them down.
(Chef captures some of the trolls, including Creek)
Poppy: (as Creek is seized) Creek!
Creek: (taken away) NOOOO!
NC: No, let him go! His career will destroy himself!
NC (vo): She leaves with several of them caught as Poppy says they should save them, but the king says they should hide.
Poppy: What about "no troll left behind"?
King Peppy: That was a long time ago, and I'm not the king I once was.
NC: (as King Peppy) As I get older, I watch less MSNBC and more Fox News. You know how it works.
NC (vo): Poppy goes to Branch to ask for help, who it looks like has spent years preparing an underground bunker. Who's crazy now?! No, really, who's crazy now? In this day and age, this almost sounds rational.
Poppy: It's my fault they were taken. Now I don't know what to do.
Branch: Why don't you try scrapbooking them to freedom?
Poppy: Solid burn, Branch.
NC: I think we both know that's the plot for the third movie.
NC (vo): She invites all the trolls left to live in the bunker, which Branch says will make his ten-year rations only last a couple weeks.
Branch: You won't last a day out there.
Poppy: And you won't last a day in here. Solid burn returned.
NC: (laughs sarcastically) This is entirely your fault! (A snippet of Poppy's party from earlier replays in the corner)
NC (vo): She sings a song about not being afraid, and while the song I guess is all right, I will admit this got a laugh out of me.
(The scene involves several creatures eating one another in a food chain style as Poppy watches)
NC: I give credit to any movie with a body count.
NC (vo): She gets trapped by spiders, though, but is saved by Branch.
Branch: (seeing Poppy wrapped up by the spiders) Oh, no! Poppy!
(He runs and places his ear on her chest, listening for a pulse)
NC: (as Branch) At least she looks slightly less adorable than (image of Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) dead Elijah Wood webbed up.
Poppy: (coming to) You were right on time.
Branch: Oh, right, like you knew I was coming.
Poppy: Yes. I figured out by the third hug time, getting eaten by a Bergen wouldn't seem so bad.
NC: Again, in this day and age, maybe.
(He nods apprehensively as we go to a commercial break. Upon return from the break, the movie resumes)
NC (vo): So Poppy and Branch – get this – bicker and argue because (sarcastically) they're totally not gonna be together by the end. That's why every Meg Ryan movie ends with a killing spree.
Poppy: You don't sing, you don't dance, so gray all the time! What happened to you?
Branch: (putting his finger over her mouth) Shh!
NC: (as Branch, holding up his finger in imitation of his shushing motion) My tragic backstory attempting to make you cry will have to wait.
Poppy: There's no Bergen, is there? You just said that so I'd stop talking!
(Cut to a clip of X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman): Pick one.
(Cut back to Trolls)
NC (vo): They try and get some sleep, but Poppy can't help but sing herself a lullaby while Branch enjoys the quiet.
(As Poppy sings while playing her song on a guitar (which is "Sound of Silence"), several creatures of nature join in harmonizing)
Poppy: (singing) And the vision that was planted in my brain...
NC: I'm sure this is the scenario Simon and Garfunkel had in mind when they wrote this.
NC (vo): And given how this is done, I do fittingly have the look of (Image of Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross on the bus at the end of The Graduate is shown) Hoffman and Ross at the end of Graduate.
(Branch takes Poppy's guitar and throws it in the campfire)
NC: This is what we call a relatable character. (nods)
NC (vo): They come across two tunnels. One leads to certain death and the other leads to the Bergens. A cloud, though, apparently says he knows the answer. Oh, this is just gonna be like that riddle you've heard in other movies, except dumb!
Cloud Guy (Walt Dorhn): First, you have to give me a high five, then I'll tell you.
(Branch reaches out his hand to do so, but Cloud Guy retracts his hand and makes shapes and signs with it)
Cloud Guy: Whoop! Shark attack! (makes a biting motion with it on Branch's hand) Nom-nom-nom! (shapes his hands like a...) Jellyfish! (places both hands on Branch's hand) Hand sandwich! (makes other crazy shapes with his and Branch's hands) Turkey! Snowman! Dolphin! Helicopter!
NC: (watching listlessly) Please kill him.
(Suddenly, Branch can't take it anymore and he and Poppy chase after Cloud Guy, who makes crazed screaming sounds as he runs)
Branch: That's right, you'd better run, Cloud!
NC: Again, relatable character. (nods)
NC (vo): The cloud leads them the right way, and they end up in Bergen Town...where they sing Gorillaz songs.
(Said Gorillaz song is "Ain't Happy". A male Bergen has flies swarming around his head and he tries to hit them with a fly swatter. Meanwhile, a female Bergen is pushing her baby in a buggy while the baby sprays milk from its bottle in her face)
Male Bergen: (singing) I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad...
Female Bergen: (singing) I got sunshine in a bag...
NC: (looking up in thought briefly, then holds up right hand) Happy kids are hearing a good song... (holds up left hand) pissed they're not seeing...
(The Bergens are shown again, with a shot of the original "Ain't Happy" music video superimposed)
NC (vo): ...the darker version with "Motherfucker" in it.
NC: I think I'd rather corrupt a child than patronize him.
NC (vo): This would be like singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in Peter Pan... (A shot of the poster for Pan is superimposed) Why do I keep forgetting that it's a thing?
(Chef approaches Prince – or rather, King Gristle, revealing to him the captured trolls in her pouch)
NC (vo): The Chef approaches Prince Gristle, who is now King, and tells him all about the trolls that can make him instantly happy.
Gristle: The only way I'll ever be happy is by eating a troll, and that ain't gonna happen, thanks to you! (sits down on his throne in a pout)
NC: Again, if this was a Gorillaz video, it'd something else that could do that.
NC (vo): The King tells the Chef to bring back Trollstice, meaning she will have power once more. Meanwhile, Branch and Poppy sneak into Hotel Transylvania, but it looks like it's too late, as Russell Brand Troll is being eaten. The film gives the appropriate response...
(With Creek in his mouth, King Gristle is placed at a table, wearing a sombrero and holding maracas in his hands. Then two of his servants play a mariachi tune on some trumpets and start spinning His Majesty around, trying to get him to dance and make him swallow the troll)
Poppy: We didn't see him swallow!
Branch: Face it, Poppy, sometimes people go into other people's mouths and they don't come out!
NC: (nodding and smiling) The guy who did Dick in a Box, everybody.
NC (vo): Poppy goes after her friends and discovers the scullery maid named Bridget, voiced by Zooey Descahnel, is not allowed to Trollstice. Thus, she sings about her love for the King. It sounds nice, but the imagery is still uncomfortable like most of the songs.
Bridget: (singing) I can see it in your eyes...
NC: You know, one night, I combined crystal meth with Vicodin...
(A shot of King Gristle is shown, but with his eyes turned into the head of Bridget)
NC (vo): ...and that is exactly what I saw.
(Poppy and Branch spot the captured trolls in a cage)
Trolls: (overjoyed) Poppy!
NC (vo): They get their friends out, but Bridget spots them. Poppy says she can help her meet the King, though, and get Russell Brand Troll back. But Bridget doesn't believe them because Branch won't sing. And if you think that doesn't make any sense, wrap your brain around this...
Poppy: (to Branch) You have to sing.
Poppy: You have to!
Poppy: Why won't you sing?!
Branch: Because singing killed my grandma, okay?!
(Having revealed the truth, he looks away, hanging his head. Then we cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons, "Homie the Clown", as the family sits around, looking stunned)
Bart Simpson: I don't think any of us expected him to say that.
NC: Yeah, okay, I'll bite. How was that sentence breathed into existence?
(We have a flashback to Branch's childhood)
NC (vo): It looks like Branch was singing so loud, he didn't notice the Bergen behind him and his grandma sacrificed herself to save him.
(Branch watches in horror as Chef captures his grandmother)
Young Branch: Grandma! (voice echos)
NC: You do know this is a movie where they fart sparkles, right?
Trolls: (singing behind Branch and Poppy) Once upon a time, there was love in his light... And now there's only love in the dark...
NC: (sarcastically) Wow, you guys really know how to let emotions sink in. Like a...
(As the scene replays, an image of a bowling ball on a concrete road is shown)
NC (vo): ...bowling ball in the concrete. That was terrible!
Poppy: I just assumed you had a terrible voice.
Branch: No, no, it was like an angel's.
NC: (as Branch) I was humble as fuck, too.
NC (vo): So, after that totally out-of-nowhere death scene... Yeah, again, sprinkle butts! ...they dress up Bridget so that no one will recognize her and she can get close to the King.
(They go to a pizza place, where they are served a pizza with strange shapes on it (presumably troll bits))
NC: Aw, they went to Little Caesars.
(King Gristle reaches out to take a slice, but Bridget slaps him away and grabs the slice for herself, which she noisily devours)
NC (vo): Uh, no, sorry, nobody acts that passionate towards Little Caesars.
Gristle: True happiness is a lot closer than you think.
(He opens up a jewel that ties the robe around him, revealing Creek inside, who had not been eaten after all. He gasps in fright at the Bergens surrounding him. Poppy and Branch, watching from a distance, are amazed as well)
NC (vo): He reveals the Troll he had earlier is still alive...
NC: Okay, (holds up two fingers) that's strike two! You had a chance to kill Russell Brand and you didn't!
NC (vo): ...but she leaves when she sees Chef comes in.
Poppy: (to Bridget) You and the King can make each other happy.
Bridget: Impossible! Only eating a troll can make you happy!
NC: I know, I've been prescribed (An image of Norm MacDonald appears in the corner) two Norm MacDonalds a day for my depression.
(Suddenly, Chef appears and slams a cage down over the trolls, imprisoning them)
NC (vo): The trolls are captured again by Chef, who reveals she has a secret weapon to catch the rest of them.
(Chef then reaches into her pouch and pulls out...Creek?!?)
Branch: He's selling out!
(Branch lashes out at Creek with his hair through the bars)
Poppy: Branch! (pulls him away) Please give him a chance!
Creek: Thank you, Poppy. I'm selling you out.
NC: Did they even have to write lines for him? I'm pretty sure Russell Brand...
NC (vo): ...just showed up and they were like, "Just say what you normally would in this situation."
Creek: I'm selling you out.
NC (vo): He reveals that in exchange for his life, he would show where the rest of the trolls are. And he does exactly that, luring the trolls into the open.
(With Creek's help, the Bergens capture all the trolls and pour them into a pot)
Chef: The trolls!
NC: (as Chef) We have enough cereal mascots for five Lucky Charms spinoffs! The next one were (A shot of a made-up Lucky Charms cereal box, Lucky Charms Donuts, is superimposed) donuts!
NC (vo): Poppy feels like she failed, which... I mean, that party set this all in motion, so yeah. ...which causes all the trolls to go gray because...I guess the film's deep now. Yeah, I liked it more when you were a Disney Channel sing-along with butt confetti! I never thought I'd say that, but at least you weren't kidding yourselves when you were!
Branch: (singing) You with the sad eyes...
NC (vo): Of course, Branch starts singing to lift Poppy's feelings, bringing the color back to all the trolls, and even confesses his love to her.
Branch: (singing) That's why I love you...
NC: Not since Rey and Kylo Ren has a romance dare to take seconds to explore.
NC (vo): Yeah, they had all the bickering, but they forgot to put in the part where they're romantically involved. Unless...was the dead grandma scene supposed to be that part? Did anyone find that particularly romantic? Dead grandmas are hot? Thanks, Trolls.
Bridget: (appearing before the trolls) Poppy!
NC (vo): Bridget breaks them out, but the trolls can't let her be blamed for their escape, so they return to reveal she was the girl the King fell in love with.
King Gristle: (gasps) Lady Glitter Sparkles?
NC: (as Gristle) You're not a natural rainbow?
Poppy: (to Gristle) When you were with Bridget, you were feeling something, weren't you?
Gristle: I just thought it was too much pizza.
Bridget: Me, too.
Poppy: That was happiness!
NC: It's true, having too much pizza is happiness. (A shot of a deep dish pizza with a slice being cut out is shown in the corner) I live in Chicago, so I know.