Chatting With The Cast & Filmmakers of The New Animated Film TROLLS!

TROLLS Press event

Hey All!

I recently had the amazing opportunity to visit the Dreamworks Animation Studio for a DreamWorks Animation & 20th Century Fox media event for their upcoming film TROLLS. I got to chat with Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Director: Mike Mitchell, Co-Director:  Walt Dohrn, and Producer: Gina Shay from the film. It was pretty awesome as I’ve never gotten the chance to really chat with Justin Timberlake. I met him briefly at the Sundance Film Festival years ago, but haven’t had the chance to sit down with him since. I was excited to get the opportunity to take a look at this movie and the amazing music Justin helped produce for the film. I’m sure you have the title track ” Can’t Stop The Feeling” that he created for the movie already stuck in your head. It’s played on the radio non-stop. The film is also based off of one of my favorite little toys to collect when I was a kid, treasure trolls!

I have to mention that we started the day by getting our very own pink TROLLS hair, which you saw if you follow me on Snapchat and these AMAZING rainbow donuts.

Rainbow Donut Variety

I literally dream about these donuts! I loved them that much and I want them in my life every day.

Rainbow Donuts

We started with viewing some clips of the film with Director Mike Mitchell and Co-Director Walt Dohrn.

Trolls Directors-1

They were very animated and loved demonstrating how the trolls have a timer on their watch like flowers that tell them it’s time to give each other hugs.

Trolls Directors-2

They also shared how they loved working with Anna and Justin on the film. That’s also when we learned that Justin Timberlake was actually Musical Director on this film and that the film is almost like Moulin Rouge in which they remake existing songs we all know and love and make them work with in the movie. Anna Kendrick plays the leader of the Trolls Poppy who loves to sing and dance.


Justin Timberlake (ironically) plays a grumpy troll named Branch who doesn’t sing or dance at all! Hence why he’s a mix of gray colors. If a troll is grumpy and or sad, he or she loses it’s color. From the clips we saw, the film is going to be one to both tap your shoes to and to shed a tear to in true Dreamworks Animation fashion. It’s from the producers who did some of the Shrek movies. It’s a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists. The film’s total cast includes the voice talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more!


Since we chatted about how big a roll the music is and how they had to sift through nearly a thousand songs, we wanted to hear from Justin how long was the process of narrowing down that 1,000 songs to the ones chosen for the film and the four he also that you created for the film? Justin and everyone on the panel actually chimed in to answer.

Justin Timberlake:

I mean, there were four different versions of “Get Back Up Again”. I feel like there were songs that we cleared or, you know, tried out for different scenes, and different scenes are still coming up with ideas, yes, to service those moments.

Mike Mitchell:

But, it’s definitely a big part of the meetings when we first started the movie. It was like we would spend three hours. Like, here we go, just list and list of songs, which was cool. We’re just going to listen to music today.

Gina Shay:


Mike Mitchell:

It had to fit the story. It had to fit the tone of the movie, and it had to have kind of this everlasting feel.

Justin Timberlake:


Mike Mitchell:

Something we like to call guilty pleasures. Oh, I know this song. How silly. But, by the end of it, you were weeping.

Justin Timberlake:

There’s a reason this song sticks around.

Anna Kendrick:

Oh, right.


Trolls Cast and Filmmakers

Justin Timberlake:

Oh, and then every once in a while too come across some irony, like Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood”. That is literally the line is, you know, happy and feeling glad. I got sunshine in my bag. And we’re using it for the Bergens in complete irony because there’s nothing happy about that scene.

Gina Shay:

And we’ve been working on the movie for three years. So, you can just imagine how two hours a day of going through music. It’s probably more than 1,000 songs, right?

Justin Timberlake: Right.

Gina Shay: Yes.

Justin Timberlake: Let’s not talk about that.

Gina Shay: I enjoyed it. I’m happy.

Justin and Anna-3

We of course needed to know if Justin and Anna had any trolls growing up!

Anna Kendrick:

I had trolls.

Mike Mitchell:

Be careful how you answer that.

Anna Kendrick:

I had trolls growing up. My first question to them after we finished pitching the movie was does Poppy have a fattened belly button because the jeweled belly button trolls are the best trolls. And they said no, but she has glitter freckles. I was like okay, that’s okay.

Mike Mitchell:

We got her that way. Negotiations.

Anna Kendrick:

And I had the pencil toppers, which made it seem like homework was fun even when homework wasn’t fun. Yes, but they are that kind of ugly cute. Like, it’s hard to say what draws kids to them. But, I think it’s like pug dogs. They’re like so ugly that they’re cute. And my favorite song is “Can’t Stop the Feeling”.

Justin Timberlake:

Oh. Check is in the mail. They become disarming because, you know, not to like speak ill of things like Barbies, but I think–.

Mike Mitchell:


Justin Timberlake:

But I think they, you know, like they disarm I think especially young females probably. I remember when I was a young female–no. I mean I can imagine that it’s very disarming to have this female image growing up.

Anna Kendrick:

I had a confusing relationship with my Barbies. But, I love the trolls. I tortured my Barbies.

Justin Timberlake:

I’m sure growing up easy to go through like, you know, some sort of body dysmorphia thing. And I feel like they probably are very many little girls who dealt with that. I remember in sort of second or third grade, I didn’t have one. But, every girl in school had one. And they had the Treasure Trolls, the ones with the jewels on the belly, and I remember the pencil toppers and, you know, just like girls would brush their hair. And they were every bit as big as any other doll that came out geared towards young females.

Gina Shay:

Yes, it’s very important that you say that because it was important to us that we retain their bellies and some of their heft and everything and make sure that they didn’t turn into Barbie dolls.

Mike Mitchell:

Their stumpy legs and their little toes.

Gina Shay:

Because that was very important, yes.

Walt Dohrn:


I loved that the answer turned into speaking about positive body image for little girls.

Justin and Anna-4

The cast and film makers also had a great time making the film. The was a lot of laughter in this interview.

Justin and Anna-2

You could tell they all got along great behind the scenes.

They do a take on the song “True Colors”, which they performed at the Cannes Film Festival live. That’s such an iconic song, so we had to know if they got nervous to take on a classic like that?

Justin Timberlake:

I was very nervous, to be honest. I mean I remember the whole time I was doing the recording session I was like what is Cyndi going to think? You know, I still don’t know. And I guess it’s too late to worry about it. Sorry, it’s already in the movie. So, Absolutely. I’m sure you sort of felt the same.

Anna Kendrick:

I do think though that having an acting objective, it’s easier for me. When we sang it at Cannes, I was totally terrified. But, when I’m singing it in the movie and I’m listening to Justin, I’m thinking about like what we have to accomplish for the story, it sort of distracts from that. And it gives me a simpler intention.

Justin and Anna-1

We ended the interviews and Justin was kind enough to take a selfie with me. I was the only person he took a picture with and I feel very special to say the least!

Me and Justin Timberlake

Check out this fun trailer below for a preview of what’s in store for this colorful musical film!



DreamWorks’ TROLLS is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures is in theaters in November of 2016! Nothing can prepare you for a new Troll world!


I can’t wait to see the final film as I’ll surely be bringing my treasure trolls with me as I still have mine from when I was a kid!