After the events of the first 'Trolls' film, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) continues her rule as Queen of the pop trolls while Branch (Justin Timberlake) remains her most loyal companion - though his feelings might run deeper than friendship.... They and the other pop trolls discover there are five other tribes of trolls scattered over different lands, dedicated to different kinds of music: rock, funk, country, techno and classical. But another Queen, Barb (Rachel Bloom) takes a notion to take over all the lands and have them all united under the one "real" music - rock'n'roll. Will Poppy and Branch be able to stop her?
As soon as 'Trolls World Tour' opens with a popping cover of Daft Punk's "One More Time" - soon followed by a rendition of "Hurricane" - you just know you're in for as much music and covers as the first 'Trolls'. Not that that's a bad thing when you've the melodic voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake leading the way. Moreover, the sequel sees such talent as Kelly Clarkson, Mary J Blige and Icona Pop join in. Heck, Ozzy Osbourne drops in for a cameo (as the former King of Rock, of course) too.
You'd want to really be on the band wagon for the amount of music here though - think 'Pitch Perfect' but more rainbows and glitter. Early on, there's a medley of "Good Times, "'Trolls' Just Wanna Have Fun", and "Groove is in the Heart"; later, "Wannabe", "Who Let the Dogs Out", "Gangnam Style", "Good Vibrations" and "Party Rockers" get mashed up. It's all in good fun and the singing is gorgeous - don't expect any 'Les Mis' missteps here.
Of course most of the film's investment must be in that song selection as the plot is quite bare. Fans of the first will miss the Bergens, who brought a surprising amount of heart to the last film. Moreover you can tell from pretty much the very beginning of 'Trolls World Tour' that the ultimate lesson will be about celebrating difference and it's going to end with a big mashup of all the different types of music (don't @ me that that's a spoiler).
Still, the colour and the music will get kids - literal kids and those young at heart - giddy, and parents will enjoy the ride too. There are some pretty trippy bits, such as a male troll giving birth to a mini version of himself, a tear that cries more tears, and a psychedelic sequence that centres on the smoothness of jazz, that give the sequel (as had the first film) a distinct sense of humour and personality.
For the most part though, the movie is just A-OK, with little to make it stand out from other animated hits. It lacks the originality or flair of its predecessor. At the same time, families should quite enjoy it for what it is and that finale will leave you with a big grin on your face (as long as you like music, and can embrace the cheesiness).