DreamWorks’ Trolls — an animated musical based on the troll dolls of your childhood — has already been through several iterations, which doesn’t always bode well for a film. It’s cycled through several directors and screenwriters over the years, and gone from starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Jason Schwartzman to starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. It’s had its release date pushed back at least once and already been swiftly “reimagined,” transforming from a straightforward troll-doll comedy (you know, those!) into an “irreverent comedy extravaganza with incredible music.”
Now, here we are, in early 2016, already faced with a preview of what DreamWorks calls the “most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year.” And what a preview it is. Like many of DreamWorks’ films, Trolls appears to be obsessed with simultaneously courting the affections of both innocent children and hardened adults; as usual, it attempts to accomplish this feat by appropriating a recent touchstone of black culture. This time, it’s Silentó’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” a song and accompanying dance that white people sadly murdered in cold blood earlier this year.
Not content with trouncing wildly upon the grave of “Whip/Nae Nae,” the Trolls are also hell-bent on desecrating the holy tomb of the 69 Boyz “Tootsee Roll.” And, of course, destroying the great dream of the ’90s, which was that our troll dolls, should they come to life, would be socially aware. Trolls hits theaters November 4, 2016. What will we do come November 5, 2016, when we’ve already seen the best, smartest, and most bone-shatteringly irreverent piece of art we’re going to see for the entire year?