Trolls 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 250, June/July 2020

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Fox/DreamWorks Animation
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Some mild rude humor.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Mike Mitchell & Walt Dohrn
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Trolls" takes place in the colorful, richly textured Troll Village, full of optimistic Trolls, who are always ready to sing, dance, and party. When the comically pessimistic Bergens invade, Poppy (Kendrick), the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Branch (Timberlake) set off on an epic journey to rescue her friends. This mission is full of adventure and mishaps, as this mismatched duo try to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done. Based on the Good Luck Trolls created by Thomas Dam. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a Play Mode in which you can sing, dance, and laugh along with the Trolls in this interactive feature; five featurettes: Travel Through Troll Village (HD 04:43), The Potion For Stop-Motion (HD 05:06), Creating Troll Magic (HD 05:21), Troll 2 Troll (HD 04:46), and Inside The Bunker (HD 02:54); deleted scenes (HD 07:24); the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and a digital copy.

The 2.35:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was produced digitally and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture uses stop-motion scrapbook animation, along with conventional animation, incredibly well. Amidst the youngest children viewing this, the imagery will seem wonderfully colorful, with fully saturated primary and pastel hues throughout. It seems, every imaginable color and shade comprises the palette. The numerous characters are really cleverly depicted. HDR contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and dark shadows, as well as bright highlights and nuanced colors that pop. Resolution is superb, with fine detail throughout in Troll and Bergen felt-like textures, and earthy environments, and especially in Bergen Town. This should be a thrill for the younger ones, with fascinating characters and vivid colors throughout. A WOW! segment begins at 01:15:14 to 01:16:50. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack on the Blu-ray release is quite dynamic, while the Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD seems, at times, to have less depth, but still delivers great sound effects, often enhanced with deep bass. Of course, there is a lot of singing and dancing throughout, which is nicely enveloping throughout the soundfield. The music occupies a very wide soundstage and extends aggressively to the surrounds, all four of them, for a wonderfully immersive soundfield. All throughout, dialogue is perfectly intelligible and well integrated spatially. And the songs and singing are wonderful as well. Unfortunately, differences are minor and, in some cases, the DTS track seems to have more depth about it. A few of the film's heaviest low-end pushes, which come around the 5:15 and 1:12:27 marks, are substantial in both cases, but the DTS track seems a little more aggressive and, more than that, a touch more filling in terms of diffusive depth and presence around the stage. Overhead engagement isn't regular nor is it very pronounced; the track certainly entertains some support bits that seem to create a more generally full sense of top-layer spacing, but there's not a substantial and regular barrage of added top-end goodness. The tracks are otherwise fairly similar in terms of musical delivery and fidelity, dialogue clarity, and the like. Both are excellent listens and the differences, favoring one or the other, are generally slim. This is a really fun holistic® presentation with reference-quality fidelity and dynamic punch.

Unfortunately, the Immersive Sound element is virtually nothing to speak of, consisting of one to three seconds of sound effects, such as Bergen foot steps, a spider squeal, Troll hair whip, a cloud voice, female voices, an echoed voice saying "Never say never," a Bergen's voice against thunder background, a falling Troll, echoed Troll voices, a cellar hatch door opening, and a roller skate flying in the air. As noted, the Immersive Sound elements are object-based and quiet brief. Some carry some SPL weight and are effective with exceptional power and precision, but for the most part they deliver insufficient impact. Virtually all of the visually suggestive soundscape dimensions have been ignored by the sound designers. (Gary Reber)