“Troll Holiday” Novelization Review
Okay guys, MAJOR spoilers for the holiday special. I bought the novelization and finally caved and read it so I could write this review. Remember to buy the book yourself! Or buy the movie too when it comes out!
First off, I think this is going to be a wonderful short film to add to the Trolls canon, and fans are going to love it! Everyone’s going to see things they wanted and things they didn’t expect. The root of the story seems to be Poppy’s motivation to make the Bergens happy by giving them a new holiday. But can the Bergens find a Troll holiday to love when the two groups are so different?
SPOILERS START HERE
Everything about this story is so cute. Poppy and Bridget are like the embodiment of “BFF Goals.” They have adorable nicknames for each other, do cool handshakes, and are overall just share this powerful bond of sister-like love.
Speaking of nicknames, Bridget calls Gristle “Grissy” and Gristle calls her “Bridgie” and “babe.” Isn’t that the cutest?!
Not only do we see Poppy and Bridget’s sisterly love, we see Branch trying to fit in as a troll. The writers seem to recognize that moviegoers fell in love with Branch’s sarcasm and satirical paranoia. We can’t have just an overly happy peppy Branch who has his colors. We need a sarcastic and mildly pessimistic Branch who has his colors. We’re going to see plenty of that and also hear his angelic voice. Win-win!
Now, Poppy’s presentation of Troll holidays is going to be messy and quite over-the-top, based on what I read. It’s going to be hilarious and possibly cringe-worthy to watch, but it’s still perfectly in-tune with Poppy’s personality. She’s the type of partier who goes all-out and puts her heart and soul into everything she does. I honestly can’t wait to see the holiday presentation, even if I do cringe for poor Bridget, Gristle, and Barnabas.
The one part I’m not so sure about is the scene where the Trolls go through a wormhole while on a Caterbus (driven by Cloud Guy). It’s a very strange, quite bizarre scene that implies references to the original Good Luck Troll dolls. I feel like this was either two things: an attempt at over-the-top, satirical humor or the storytellers got a little tipsy while writing and the animators just rolled with it. Either way, it should be fun…….I think……
More of my commentary is attached to my favorite passages, also listed in this review. I can’t wait for the special to come out so I can compare it to the image I have in my head thanks to this wonderful novelization.
Enjoy some of my favorite passages below! And remember to buy the book! I only included a select few, and the novel is so worth the buy.
Passages I loved:
Pg. 2: Super-Scrapbooking Day was jam-packed with fun activities. Harper, who loved art, showed the Trolls how to make their scrapbooks more artistic. King Peppy told young Trolls thrilling stories about the adventures of scrapbooking heroes in the olden days. Guy Diamond showed everyone how to dance new steps while they add the sparkle of glitter to their creations.
First off, Super-Scrapbooking Day sounds so much fun! And when Trolls celebrate, they go all-out (there’s even a parade). I love it! I mean, Peppy is telling little ones about “scrapbooking heroes.” I just love all of it already.
Pg. 3-4: “May I see your scrapbook?” Poppy asked.
Branch hastily hid it behind his back. “It’s not done,” he said. “It’s actually my first scrapbook ever.”
“Aw, c’mon!” Poppy said, grinning. “Gimme a sneak peek!”
“Well…….okay. But promise you won’t laugh!”
“I won’t laugh—no way! What’s the theme of your scrapbook?” Poppy asked eagerly. “Rainbows? Cupcakes? Rainbows made out of cupcakes?”
Branch rolled his eyes. “Rainbows made out of cupcakes? How is that even possible?”
“With scrapbooking, ANYTHING is possible! So what’s your theme?”
Aww, look at our little Branch! He’s trying so hard to be happy and fit in with the other Trolls now that he has his colors back. But he still has some of that leftover greyness. In this special, I feel like we’re going to see quite a bit of Branch trying to figure out who he is: what is Blue Branch and what is Grey Branch?
Pg. 6-7: Not that the Bergens never had fun nowadays. They weren’t nearly as miserable as they’d been before the Trolls helped them find the happiness inside themselves. They were perfectly capable of being happy. They just weren’t very good at it. One Bergen’s idea of fun was to organize a picnic at a mud puddle. Nobody came. In fact, even the Bergen who’d invited everyone didn’t show up. Another Bergen thought it might be fun to play soccer with a wooden cube. She ended up in the hospital.
The Bergens are all undergoing changes and learning new things. They spent so much time thinking that true happiness came from eating a Troll. Just because they know they have happiness inside them doesn’t mean they know how to feel it. It must be such a big change for them to lose their only holiday and have no idea how to feel happiness without the Trolls.
Pg. 9: In Troll Village, Cooper walked around collecting mail. After he’d gathered it all, he quickly delivered it. This was easy, since most of the time he only had to walk over to the next pod and hand its owner a card or a party invitation.
This seems like a reference/throwback to an early concept design for Cooper, where our favorite giraffe-like troll was a mailman for the village. Very clever, Dreamworks.
Pg. 13: Poppy turned and saw Branch looking at himself in
her mirror. He was making a face that looked tense. Painful, even. “What are
you doing? What’s happening with your face? Are you about to barf?”
Branch shook his head. “No, I’m practicing my smile. You know, I’m new to this whole being happy thing.”
I see some discussion about Branch’s dulled colors in the special. This further proves some of the theories that Branch as PTSD-like symptoms. He’s trying to be happy and be like the other trolls, but those are two different things. I think he’s definitely happy, especially when he’s with Poppy. But he’s not just like the other trolls, not anymore.
Pg. 25: “Wait a minute,” Branch said. “Making his own echo? Where have I heard that voice before?” Then he remembered! “Oh, no … not him.”
Poor Branch still doesn’t like Cloud Guy very much, which I find hilarious.
Pg. 35: Branch pointed toward the meadows. “Well, that way looks friendly and inviting, but you just know it’s going to turn out to be horrible and terrible once you get there.”
Aw, there’s our cute little pessimistic Grey Branch. Honestly, I’m glad the writers kept some of Branch’s sarcastic, sometimes-pessimistic personality even when he has his colors. After all, I think most of us fell in love with Branch because he contrasted so much against Poppy.
Pg. 39: Gigantic snowflakes fell from the sky and stuck into the ground on their sharp points. Each flake stood twice as high as a Troll!
See, what stands out to me here is that I recognize this as a brief scene from Trolls during Poppy’s song “Get Back Up Again.” Once again, the writers show how they recycle things used in the movie or concepts scrapped from the original cut. That’s the great thing about writing and filmmaking. Something that doesn’t work in one place may be awesome somewhere else in a related field.
Pg. 44: “Uh-oh,” Biggie sighed. “Who’s good at untying
“Pirates?” Cooper guessed.
I’m sorry, that was like an awesome Dad Joke. I actually laughed out loud.
Pg. 52-53: Cloud Guy had an amazing voice. But he was loud. Really loud. In fact, he was so loud, several critters’ faces scrunched up. Others covered their ears with their feet. Some fell to the ground. As the critters writhed on the ground, tortured by Cloud Guy’s thundering vocals, the Trolls slipped away.
Oh geez. I’m not sure I’m looking forward to hearing that.
Pg. 56: “Cooper,” Poppy said, “pyrotechnics.”
“Huh?” Cooper said. “I thought I was doing the fireworks.”
“Pyrotechnics are fireworks,” Branch explained.
“Oh,” Cooper said. “In that case, ready!” He gave a confident nod and a welding mask fell own over his face. he raised a gas torch, which was already lit and flaming.
Um………is anyone else concerned by that image?
Pg. 62: “On Tickle Day, we all get tickled by … SPIDERS!”
Okay, this is the part where I start to question the Trolls’ way of life, no matter how cute it looks. I respect all living creatures, even spiders, but I don’t want to be tickled by one.
Pg. 76: Bridget took a deep breath. “I guess what I’m saying
is none of this really means anything
“Um, okay,” Poppy said, not exactly sure what her friend meant. “But I just want you to have something to celebrate.”
Serious moment at last after all the craziness of the holiday presentations. This is significant. Trollstice was the Bergens’ only holiday, the only time they could be happy. Bridget has a point: none of the Trolls’ holidays mean anything to the Bergens. They don’t have any emotional attachment to said holidays. But Poppy also brings up a good point: the Bergens need something to celebrate. They need a way to exercise their new happiness, and what better way than a special, annual occasion that they can share with each other?
Pg. 80: Branch approached the pink shrub. “Poppy, I know you’re
hiding in your hair.”
The pink shrub sudden turned around and howled. It was a strange pink-haired critter!
“Not Poppy! Not Poppy!” Biggie said, clutching Mr. Dinkles protectively.
“Sorry,” Branch said. “Wrong hair.”
Major LOL! I hope we actually see that scene in the movie!