Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick talk about making DreamWork’s Trolls

Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn, Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake at DreamWorks Animation's Trolls press preview.

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You would think that being one of the most beloved pop stars in the world would make you immune to worrying about your next project, but Justin Timberlake said he very nervous about taking on a new version of Cyndi Lauper’s classic “True Colors” for the movie Trolls.

“I mean, I remember the whole time I was doing the recording session I was like, ‘What is Cyndi going to think?’ You know, like I mean I still don’t know. And I guess it’s too late to worry about it. Sorry, it’s already in the movie,” he said at a press preview of scenes of DreamWorks Animation’ Trolls. There’s no need to worry. His duet with costar Anna Kendrick is wonderful (you can hear a bit of the song at the end of the trailer below).

Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn, Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake at DreamWorks Animation's Trolls press preview.

Timberlake is the Executive Music Producer on the film that creates a world based on the wildly popular toys from the 60s and 70s. There was no backstory to the Trolls and no mythology, which made creating their world really fun, said director Mike Mitchell. Parents will be able to introduce their kids to the dolls that they owned as a child.

Anna Kendrick said she had special criteria for her Troll. “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,'” she said.

The creators wanted to make sure that the Trolls stayed Trolls and didn’t turn into something else. “… 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,” said Producer Gina Shay.

“I had a confusing relationship with my Barbies,” Kendrick said. “But, I love the trolls. I tortured my Barbies.”

Justin Timberlake Anna Kendrick

Kendrick plays Poppy, the singing, scrapbooking leader of the Trolls. She’s very happy all the time. And that’s what the directors of Trolls were going for – Happiness.

“There’s a big idea here that we’re all born with happiness. We just–sometimes we need someone to help us find it, but that we’re all born with this ability to be happy. And I think that’s important,” said co-director Walt Dorhn.

As you can see from the trailer below, it’s seems pretty happy. The Trolls poop cupcakes and stop what they’re doing to hug. And of course there’s the music. Justin Timberlake wrote his hit song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” for the movie.

“I think overall you’ll feel that a lot of the music definitely has like a little bit of like ’70s funk to it,” Timberlake said. “So, that was definitely an inspiration for ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ as well.”

Kendrick also has a special song in the movie, “Get Back Up Again.”

“And we wanted something that felt like, you know, that’s one of those Broadway…Broadway things, like the “I Want” song. It’s her “I Want” song,” she said. “And we had a take that when they were, like, coaching me on Skype and stuff, and we had a take that was good. And after working with Justin for a while, I was like I feel like we should go back. And everyone was like why? It’s fine. And we went back, and I think I would bet 95 percent of what’s in the movie is from my session with Justin because, as someone who’s a singer, he gives such specific notes that are so helpful that it just tightened it so much. And I felt like we got so much more kind of heart and mischief and sass from her.”

You can see some of that sass and hear Timberlake’s hit song in the trailer below. Trolls comes out in theaters November 4, 2016.



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