Trolls is a gloriously happy, family film, with a sing-along soundtrack. But there are also hidden depths to the storyline. And these can help children question the playground assumption that we can make ourselves happy by pushing others down.
The Trolls are delightful, colourful, happy creatures. But their lives are threatened by the Bergens who believe they can absorb the Troll’s happiness by eating them. In fact, the Bergens are convinced that the only way to be happy is through taking the happiness of a Troll.
The Trolls have found a safe place to live, but when Poppy, the happiest Troll ever, throws an enormous fireworks party, their location is revealed, and the Bergen’s Troll-catcher takes some of them prisoner. So, Poppy sets out on a daring rescue mission, armed only with happiness and songs. Through her sacrificial actions the Bergens discover that they don’t need to take another’s happiness, because it is already inside all of us, we just need someone to help us find it.
This is a fun-filled family film. But it can also cause us to think about what it means to be happy, and whether this must be at the expense of others. Is life really a ‘zero-sum game’ in which one person’s gain depends upon another person’s loss? Trolls provides an opportunity to consider what it really means to ‘find your happy place’, and maybe reflect on the words of Jesus who said: ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’