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Trolls films recap: The story so far including Trolls Band Together

Join us for a trip down Troll-memory lane…

(from left) Branch (Justin Timberlake) and Poppy (Anna Kendrick) in Trolls Band Together, directed by Walt Dohrn. (Universal/Dreamworks)
Branch (Justin Timberlake) and Poppy (Anna Kendrick) in Trolls Band Together, directed by Walt Dohrn. (Universal/Dreamworks)

Featuring colourful characters and an all-star voice cast, the Trolls movies have become one of the most popular and successful kids’ franchises of recent years.

With two stand-alone movies, two holiday-themed specials, a handful of short films and two television series under its belt, the series has wasted no time in expanding its cutesy world since it first launched back in 2016.

Cut to 2023 and we find ourselves with a third Trolls feature film, titled Trolls Band Together, out now in cinemas — so what better time to take a stroll down memory lane?

Here’s everything that’s happened in the Troll movies so far.

What happened in the first Trolls movie?

The overly cautious Troll Branch (R, voiced by Justin Timberlake) shows off his Fear Bunker to optimistic Troll Poppy (L, voiced by Anna Kendrick) in DreamWorks Animation's TROLLS.
The first Trolls film introduced audiences to the effervescent Princess Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) and the reserved and cautious Branch (Justin Timberlake). (Dreamworks/Alamy)

Released in 2016, the first Trolls movie featured the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden and Gwen Stafani and featured more than a handful of chirpy, happy pop songs.

In it, we meet a perpetually happy troll named Poppy (Kendrick) who lands her entire troll village in hot water when she hosts a loud music-filled party that attracts the attention of evil, troll-eating creatures named Bergens.

From left: Young Bergen King Gristle (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is smitten by by the newly made over Bergen scullery maid Bridget (voiced by Zooey Deschanel) in DreamWorks Animation's TROLLS.
King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Bridget (Zooey Deschanel) were sympathetic to the Trolls in the 2016 film, later becoming their friends. (DreamWorks/Alamy)

With her friends are kidnapped and soon to become Bergen food, Poppy is forced to team up with a grumpy, survivalist troll named Branch (Timberlake) to visit Bergen Town and save their pals.

Along the way, the pair become unlikely friends, with Poppy learning the painful secret behind Branch’s overly-prepared nature and grey colour and fixing the feud between the trolls and the Bergens.

By the end of the movie, Poppy is crowned Queen of the Trolls.

How to watch: Trolls is available to rent or buy on digital from Prime Video.

What happened in Trolls World Tour?

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake in 'Trolls World Tour'. (Credit: Universal)
Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake in Trolls World Tour. (Universal)

Released during the height of the pandemic, Trolls World Tour once again reunited the all-star voice cast from the original movie, this time adding Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, Mary J. Blige and Keenan Thompson into the mix.

Film two expands the Trolls universe when Poppy discovers new Troll tribes, each of which has its own musical style which takes its cues from a different musical genre including techno, funk, classical, country, hard rock and pop.

TROLLS WORLD TOUR, from left: Poppy (voice: Anna Kendrick), Queen Barb (voice: Rachel Bloom),
Queen Barb (right, voiced by Rachel Bloom) ruffled many feathers in Trolls World Tour. (Alamy)

However, the fun of this new musical Troll discovery is short-lived, as the evil Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom) hatches a plan to do away with differing musical genres and instead have every troll tribe love rock and roll instead.

It’s down to Poppy to reunite each tribe and bring peace to the entire Troll universe — something she ultimately achieves whilst convincing Queen Barb to embrace friendship instead of division.

How to watch: Trolls World Tour is available to rent or buy on Prime Video.

What will happen in Trolls Band Together?

(from left) John Dory (Eric Andre), Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) in Trolls Band Together, directed by Walt Dohrn. (Universal/Dreamworks)
In Trolls World tour John Dory (Eric Andre) returns to Branch's life to enlist him for a band reunion. (Universal/Dreamworks)

The upcoming third film in the Trolls franchise is entitled Trolls Band Together and will welcome Eric André, Camila Cabello, Kid Cudi, Troye Sivan, Daveed Diggs, Amy Schumer and RuPaul to the Trolls universe.

Plot-wise, the movie will see Poppy and Branch attempt to rescue one of Branch’s brothers who was also a member of a disbanded troll boy-band named BroZone.

According to the movie’s official synopsis: “When Branch's bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains — Velvet and Veneer — Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue Floyd from a fate even worse than pop-culture obscurity.”

Trolls Band Together is out in UK cinemas now.

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Watch a Trolls Band Together trailer below.