The term "troll" has gained a lot of traction over the past few years, largely thanks to social media. An internet troll is someone who intentionally goes to sites and tries to start an argument — someone who, in other words, is not exactly the most pleasant person to be around.
But, of course, the idea of the troll originated in fantasy tales, perhaps culminating in J.R.R. Tokien's books and the 1980s toy line.
Trolls in the DreamWorks movie Trolls and in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit appear to be incredibly different from one another, but they are not different in their overall intent. Tom, Bert and William ("Bill") from The Hobbit and Poppy, Branch and the other host of trolls from the DreamWorks movie Trolls are designed to provide humor to their respective storylines.
In appearance, the trolls from Trolls are:
- generally happy (except for Branch, for the most part);
- interested in parties in any way, shape or form;
- positive thinkers (again, excepting Branch); and
- very colorful (Branch also falls into this category for the lion's share of the film).
William, Bert and Tom in The Hobbit are:
- anywhere from a greenish grey to bluish grey;
- greedy and have poor manners (one sneezes in the soup, and another is worried he'll be the last to get food);
- not so happy.
As far as the trolls from DreamWorks' Trolls are concerned, the colorful creatures are so bouncy and positive to act as an effective counterpoint to the dreary, troll-hungry Bergens. It is the trolls' positivity, in fact, that motivates most of their actions throughout the movie.
One of the best musical numbers in the movie is when Poppy (voiced by the always awesome #AnnaKendrick) embarks on her adventure to rescue her friends — an adventure that she is convinced will be executed without a hitch.
Tom, Bert, and William in The Hobbit, by contrast, are only interested in one thing: eating whatever they can — including Bilbo Baggins (the incredible Martin Freeman) with little regard for who or what gets in their way.
These Hobbit trolls, similar to their "cousins" from Trolls, are designed for comic relief, offering the audience some laughs in what could otherwise be a fairly intense scene. Dwarves could be eaten, after all, were it not for Bilbo's quick thinking and Gandalf's well-timed arrival.
While some might think there is little to relate the trolls in #TheHobbit to the trolls in Trolls, the very fact that both are designed to provide audiences some levity in what could be a fairly serious scene — for instance, the trolls in The Hobbit are encountered right at the start of Bilbo's adventure with the dwarves, while the trolls in Trolls even approach the act of rescuing their kidnapped friends with unending positivity.
So, whether it's for laughs or to lighten the moment, both Trolls and The Hobbit show audiences that these creatures which were once feared are actually wonderful for making people a little lighter in spite of their completely different appearances. Show your love for a troll, today!
Which movie did you prefer: Trolls or The Hobbit?