Posts tagged "music"

“Trolls World Tour” delivers a message amidst fun music and animation

April 10th, 2020 Posted by Review 0 thoughts on ““Trolls World Tour” delivers a message amidst fun music and animation”

“Trolls World Tour,” the sequel to the rocking hit kids’ film “Trolls” from DreamWorks, is now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video and other digital platforms in the comfort of your home, skipping its theatrical release due to Covid-19. And parents, this is going to make your life a lot easier for a couple of hours as this newest rendition is just as vibrant and shining as its predecessor. With much-needed messages of acceptance, acknowledgment, and understanding of one another’s differences, it’s a story that will keep the little ones’ attention and older kids alike.


Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) pick right up where they left off. Poppy is now the queen and Branch wants to tell Poppy how he feels about her, but his plans are thwarted by the eminent arrival of Barb, the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll who wants to take over the world. Poppy, the Queen of Pop (and all thoughts positive) can’t begin to understand that Barb would see music as anything other than a way to unite others, but as she travels to the other Troll countries including Techno, Country, and Classical (Symphonyville), she learns that Barb’s evil ways may lead to the loss of all types of music.

The focal point of the film is pretty straight-forward and hard to miss as every scene hammers home the concept of tolerance and acceptance of those who appear different. And that’s not a bad thing. From Cooper (Ron Funches) and his need to feel that he’s not alone in this world to Hickory’s (Sam Rockwell) Country Music heart allowing appreciation for other genres, it’s a message you couldn’t miss if you tried. While this certainly is a kids’ movie, there are plenty of adult-only references that will make you laugh out loud. Yes, pop lyrics do “crawl into you head like an ear worm,” history does seem to repeat itself and assistants typically don’t get paid, they only get college credit, are just a few of the fun snippets that only those of us over the age of 25 will understand. Of course, there’s plenty of classic rock and hit pop song medleys that will get your toes tapping, too, bringing back a flood of memories—for those of us who remember the ’70’s and ’80’s.

The music is the beat that drives the plot and characters, but the animation in all its vivid glory will keep the younger viewers glued to the screen. The introduction to a variety of types of music such as funk, hip-hop “Hamilton” style, disco, country, and even smooth jazz with all their stereotypes accentuated, give both kids and adults reasons to pay attention in this rather simplistic storyline.

This is Poppy’s coming of age film as she wrestles with her preconceived notions and the pressure of being a good queen for her people. Unsure of what that really means, Poppy, with the help of Branch and Biggie (James Corden), opens her eyes to a new way of seeing and begins to actually listen. Poppy is naive, but that naiveté allows her to see others without prejudice. One of the most poignant lines in the film comes from King Quincy (George Clinton) who reminds Poppy that all Trolls are not the same, but that’s a good thing and should be embraced. Again, messages that are not only appropriate but needed for all age groups.

With music at its core and recognizable hits like Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” changing to “Trolls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Gangnam Style” by PSY as well as Kelly Clarkson’s “Born to Die” (also voicing the Dolly Parton-looking character Delta Dawn) and “Barracuda” by Heart, there’s also original vibrations going on as well. And when you assemble some of the most talented and varied musical artists such as Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, George Clinton, and classical violinist Gustavo Dudamel among many others, you really do have perfect harmony. As they say in the film, you can’t have harmony with just one.

“Trolls World Tour” is a spirited and lively animated feature that delivers exactly what its precursor “Trolls” did—fun music that gets your toes a tapping, brilliantly rich animation, and positive life lessons. It’s definitely a kids’ movie, but adults can have fun with this one, too.

Be sure to check out the Home Premiere Party Pack at TrollsPartyPack or go to Youtube to learn how to draw Poppy, Branch and the newest little Troll, Tiny Diamond.

Or join the WATCH PARTY at noon today on Twitter hosted by Director Walt Dohrn & The McElroy Brothers! TROLLS WATCH PARTY
3 1/2 Stars

“The Great Green Wall” Solutions to Climate Change Have Already Begun

November 25th, 2019 Posted by Review 0 thoughts on ““The Great Green Wall” Solutions to Climate Change Have Already Begun”

“Water is wealth.” These three words not only define our future, but also our world today, according to the new documentary film “The Great Green Wall” by filmmaker Jared P. Scott. His previous film, “The Age of Consequences,” laid out in visual detail the road map of climate change and all it will and is currently impacting; the devastation permeating every aspect of life. Now, “The Great Green Wall,” the counterpart to his previous film, offers a gorgeously uplifting message giving us hope while it soothes our soul with incredible music from Malian artist Inna Modja.


Scott follows Modja, a majestic singer and songwriter, as she travels across Africa’s Sahel Region, between the Sahara Dessert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Over the past decade, this 7000km swath of dessert land is beginning to transform itself back to its original state thanks to committed local inhabitants who are joining a collaborative effort to make a positive difference in the environment. The seemingly simple effort of planting trees then, in turn, gives economic stability as it returns the area’s environmental health. As Modja travels the region, recording songs with other talented artists along the way, she raises awareness and helps inspire the youth in these regions. Speaking with the indigenous people who witness the atrocities that climate change has already created, we see first-hand the impact of damaging our environment. Violence, safety, and en masse exodus are all a result of those who take advantage of poor communities.

What she discovers is at times disturbing; young women are abducted and forced to marry; violence taking over communities and taking advantage of poor situations; and vast migration of young people abandoning their homeland in search of a more prosperous life elsewhere. The “desertification, insecurity, and conflict” of areas such as Modja’s homeland of Mali is unfortunately quite typical, but she finds hope along the way. Witnessing the effects of communities undertaking the planting of trees, it seems that miracles do happen. In a relatively short period of time, these communities prove that taking responsibility of their own futures, being respectful of and understanding Mother Nature, balance can be restored.

The beauty of this film is undeniable with original songs from Modja and Didier Awadi, a pioneer of West African hip hop, and native musician Dakar, the dulcet tones and rhythms reach your soul, emphasizing the beauty of humanity. Modja’s thoughtful conversations directly with you, the viewer, and interviews with other musicians gives this film an intimate feel. We comprehend the strife and begin to ignite hope for our future. Her honesty as she speaks to you and others, sometimes questioning the overwhelming goal of creating a swath of green more than 14,000 miles long, echoes our own thoughts. It’s this sincerity that connects us with her, even though we are tens of thousands of miles away.

As with all of Scott’s documentaries, the amount of information provided is mind-boggling, but not overwhelming. We learn about a previously unknown area, its people, traditions, and cultures. We discover new heroes who reside in everyday environments, sparking a movement that just might save our world.

Scott’s “The Great Green Wall” counter balances his previous film, encouraging us to take responsibility for our future and most importantly plants a seed of hope. The glorious musical overtones throughout the film are the through-lines, uplifting our spirits as we look introspectively to find solutions in our own back yard.

4/4 Stars


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