Trolls Band Together, which premiered on Nov. 17, is the third in the Trolls franchise—known for featuring widely known artists and upbeat, up-to-date, pop soundtracks.
The DreamWorks Animation movie came to make a statement, bringing Chris Kirkpatrick, Justin Timberlake, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, and JC Chasez together for the first time in two decades.
The motion picture focuses on the concept of family and follows lead characters Królowa Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) as they embark on a journey to rescue Floyd (Troye Sivan), Branch’s brother, from the hands of evil performers Velvet (Amy Schumer) and Veneer (Andrew Rannells), who want to exploit his musical talent.
A secondary storyline recounts the newly founded relationship between Poppy and her long-lost sister Viva (Camila Cabello).
Starstruck by the fact that her boyfriend—finally awarded the title after a two-movie-long slow burn—was once part of her favorite musical group, Poppy encourages Branch to join forces with his brothers in an attempt to save Floyd.
As if mirroring *NSYNC’s reality, the movie’s boyband BroZone is a ’90s band composed of five members, who reunite after years apart. The first member, Spruce (Daveed Diggs), got married, had kids, and abandoned his career in the arts. Once the rascal of the group, Clay (Kid Cudi), grows up and becomes a serious individual, responsible for managing the Putt Putt Trolls subtribe alongside Viva. Lastly, the eldest brother and group leader, John Dory (Eric André), becomes a hermit after the collapse of the band, which was under his charge.
Though labeled as a children’s movie, Trolls Band Together will entertain most audiences, partly due to its remarkable song choices and mashups. “Good as Hell” by Lizzo, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics, and “Island In The Sun” by Weezer are just a few of the hits featured in the film.
Pop culture references are scattered throughout Trolls, adding an extra layer of entertainment to the motion picture. In the first few moments of the movie, the brothers manage to pun on several boy bands in just a few scenes.
“Branch, we’re out of sync,” Floyd said, alluding to *NSYNC. “We’ve gone from [Boyz II Men] and now there’s only [One Direction] for us to go: the back streets [Boys].”
That being said, the musical remarks are not always explicitly mentioned. Floyd, for example, is the only one out of the brothers who has pink hair—a tribute to one of the world’s most well-known rock bands.
Incorporating Pink Floyd’s ’70s vibe, Trolls Band Together has a handful of psychedelic moments throughout the movie. The mega-detailed characters and settings are shown as ultra-colorful sketches, with bright colors and distinct sound effects, as if everything were a drawing coming to life.
Toward the end of the movie, BroZone reunites to perform “Better Place,” *NSYNC’s first collaboration in 20 years.
To fans’ surprise, it seems like *NSYNC might have a future together after all. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bass addressed the situation by saying, “I don’t see this as our last thing.” Though no concrete plans were revealed, the reunion could indicate the start of a new chapter in the band’s career.