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The animated musical "Trolls" has more sugar than your kid's trick-or-treat bag, but it's got a fair share of sharp flavors, too.

The Trolls, those high-haired little creatures, live a perpetually happy and carefree life, with hourly "hug time" and regular dance parties overseen by the perpetually upbeat Princess Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick). The Trolls' existence is threatened by the Bergens, giant goblilike creatures who can only achieve happiness by eating a Troll — something they haven't done since Poppy's dad, King Peppy (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor), led them to freedom from the Bergens 20 years earlier.

When the Bergens' evil chef (voiced by Christine Baranski) finds and captures some Trolls, it's up to Poppy to rescue them, so she reluctantly recruits the village's only sad Troll, the combat-savvy and antisocial Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake), to help. Inside the Bergen city, the Trolls find themselves helping a scullery maid, Bridget (voiced by Zooey Deschanel), with a crush on King Gristle (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

Screenwriters Jonathan Abel and Glenn Berger have fun tweaking the story's fairy-tale conventions, while directors Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn (who worked as director and head of story, respectively, on "Shrek Forever After") fill the frame with colorful sight gags and funny music cues that Timberlake, Kendrick and company deliver with effusive charm.


Opens Friday, Nov. 4, at theaters everywhere; rated PG for some mild rude humor, 92 minutes.