Putting on a movie for the kids during the day is how I get a chance to make dinner or finish a cup of tea while it’s still hot. Putting on a movie for family movie night is completely different. First, there’s the choice of movie: it has to be something we’ll all enjoy. Usually we know by midweek what we’ll be watching on Friday evening, and we talk about how much fun it’s going to be. Cub shares his father’s bizarre love of watching movie trailers over and over again, so he’s often quoting lines from whatever movie we’re planning to see. My husband loves to build up the anticipation: “You know what tomorrow is? It’s MOVIE NIGHT!” There’s discussion of what kind of snacks we’ll have, and the promise of treats for movie night can temporarily stave off checkout-aisle begging for anything eye level. Once dinner’s out of the way, it’s pyjamas on and movie in!
We geared up to see Trolls thanks to some colourful and fun printables from Dreamworks and our imaginations. Cub found Cloud Guy amongst a gaggle of trolls:
We assembled a set of activity dice and Cub was hooked on them. One die tells you what action you have to do, the other says to whom you have to do it. He’s had a sister for over eighteen months now, and thanks to the Trolls activity dice, she got her first hug when he rolled “Hug” + “Your sibling.” (He also learned the word “sibling.”) Looking for birthday party ideas? Dreamworks’ printable decorations and activities will have you covered … then throw in the movie!
We did a bit of crafting before the movie, and my husband was inspired to create some troll hair just like Poppy’s!
Cub worked on some blue hair to match Branch, and Little Miss just ripped up pieces of paper with glee. The family that crafts together has fun together! I think my husband’s troll hair masterpiece could be the next Pinterest sensation. He came up with it all by himself, too!
Our Trolls “Party Edition” Blu-ray disc features “Party Mode.” This is an interactive way to watch the movie using the buttons on your Blu-ray player’s remote. There are high-fives, hugs, glitter and cupcake poop galore. There are lyrics for the perfect sing-along. (Useful for my husband, who is notorious for completely misunderstanding song lyrics.) But fear not, Trolls isn’t just cupcakes and rainbows, and it’s also not just a bunch of irritating, saccharine songs to drive parents insane. Guess who’s the executive music producer? JT himself! The music features some absolute pop classics—plus original songs—all performed by Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and Zooey Deschanel.
The lead characters, Poppy and Branch, are an adorable on-screen pair. Poppy lives life like me: always hoping for the best. Branch lives life like my husband: always expecting the worst. If he had his way, my husband would also be living in an underground bunker, and if I had my way, I’d try to rescue every stray human and animal that crossed my path. Luckily, opposites attract—there are times when sheer, unadulterated optimism is the key to success, and times when being cautious and methodical is the name of the game. Yes, that’s right, we related more to a pair of animated trolls than any live-action on-screen couple we’ve ever seen. Little Miss was captivated by the bright colours and expressive faces, and Cub loved the jokes and the songs. But honestly, my kids haven’t really seen a cartoon they haven’t liked. The people you need to entertain for family movie night are the grown-ups. I’m happy to say that Trolls is the kind of kids’ movie that people without kids will also thoroughly enjoy. Even if you go into this movie in a bad mood, I bet you can’t resist a grin by the time the credits roll. True story: my husband turned the movie on again the next morning so he could hear Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick sing some Cindy Lauper! (I’ll let you guess which colourful Lauper tune made the soundtrack.)
As the mom of a girl—scratch that—as a mom, I’m so happy to see yet another children’s movie with a strong female lead character. Sure, Poppy is a princess, but she is a feisty, determined and confident leader with oh so much spunk. She’s the hero!
Has your family had a Trolls family movie night yet?
This post is brought to you by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment but the images and opinions are my own.