Triggers to happiness, in Trolls (2016), are music, hugs, love, friendship, community and positivity. And parties. It’s not that the trolls are born happy. They would sooner be happy than not. So they turn on the parties, turn up the music, hug every hour, and have meaningful friendships, and they love each other in a kindly community of trolls.

The Bergens are unhappy, a bunch of monsters who live in the vicinity of the trolls, in a Smurf-like fantasy land, the trolls somewhere on one side, and the Bergens on the other.

So the Bergens start a day called Trollstice Day, where they attempt to eat trolls so happiness will rub off on them. But they are hard to find. The Bergens don’t know that their cure is in finding triggers to happiness.

The movie says there are ways to unlock happiness. Happiness is about turning happiness on—through music, love, and friendship…

This 3D computer animated family film, released to DVD February 7, 2017 in North America, features voice work from Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, and Justin Timberlake is executive music producer. It’s an almost very good family film with a sense for nostalgic music and loads of color and happiness.


Turning on the happiness, in Trolls.
Turning on the happiness.

We can’t be happy all the time, though. Even the title characters have a down point when everything seems to turn to custard, when trying to rescue a troll from the Bergens. But the usually bland Branch (Justin Timberlake) sings True Colors and everything’s looking up again. In this sense, those kind of contributions can trigger happiness in others down on the lip.

The Angry Birds Movie made me think that happiness is not found in others because Red is always angry with others, as if expecting too much from them. Trolls shows us that happiness will make you treat others well.

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