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Remember watching 'Trollz' back when it first aired, back when CBBC was on the BBC for a couple of hours on weekday teatimes (like CBeebies in the morning and CITV on ITV, and when educational shows and weekend morning cartoons were still being aired on BBC and ITV). Didn't care for it then, it was not easy to get into but stuck with it to see whether it would get better (seeing as there are shows out there that have rocky starts but get better), and it didn't really.
Decided to re-watch it as a young adult (having suddenly remembered some forgotten shows watched in my youth), though judging it for what it was and bearing primary target audience in mind. My thoughts are sadly the same as they were initially as a 13 year old when it first aired, 'Trollz' didn't last long and it's not hard to see why. There are worse shows around, ones that insult your intelligence far more and make you more physically ill, but 'Trollz' has very little to it and feels little more than an attempt to market the trolls toy line (sounds cynical, and apologies, but that's just my feeling). Even when not demanding too much, adults are more than likely to find it a chore and even younger audiences may not find that there is much to offer.
'Trollz' is not a complete waste. The most memorable asset is the theme song, actually the only asset that stuck in my head even after years of not seeing the show. It's pretty catchy and funky with an inviting final line. The colours are nice and vibrant sometimes and there is the odd inventive visual and a real attempt to immerse the viewer into the characters' world.
Characterisation is wanting on the most part but there are a few exceptions. The most likable character is Onyx, like how fun and caring she is. Sapphire is the second most likable character of the five main characters, and the most relatable, being bookish and smart without being dumb. Out of the other characters, the one that comes off best is Snarf, certainly the one who sticks in your head the most and the least obnoxious, being pretty fun and, being the smarter one of the two, deserving of better treatment from Simon.
None of the rest of the characters work. Topaz fits the generalised and unfair stereotype of the dumb, ditsy blonde, a stereotype taken to extremes. Amethyst is severely underdeveloped and bland, as well as too much of a pushover. Faring worst is Ruby, the bitchiest and the brattiest, done in a way so annoyingly overdone that it was amazing that she stayed friends with them. Simon to me has got to be one of television animation's lamest and most annoying villains ever, his schemes are repetitive and extremely weak, an insult to villains that are actually sinister but with conflicts that make them more than standard, and he wouldn't even be threatening as a school bully (his appearance alone wouldn't intimidate a fly).
Voice acting is a mix of shrilly hyper-active and going through the motions, mostly the former and it's grating. Apart from the odd inventive visual and vibrant colour, the animation is less than brilliant. Too flashy and bright on the most part and careless and scrappy in detail and drawing. Outside of the theme song, the music is neither dynamic or memorable.
Writing wise 'Trollz' fares very weakly, full of cliché-ridden, incredibly forced and mundane banter between the girls, repetition-heavy lines and a lot of vapid banality. The cringe factor is high when it comes to 'Trollz's' writing. A lot of it feels forced and any attempts of morals and messaging is over-shadowed significantly by the negative, unoriginal and done-to-death stereotyping, and the constant negativity and dubious messaging leaves a bad taste at times. The one shred of originality is naming the five main characters after gems/jewels and giving them features to match the gem's/jewel's colour (i.e. red for Ruby, blue for Sapphire), even that feels on the cheesy side.
The stories have no creativity or variation, almost all of them are predictable and repetitive and even with the presence of magic the atmosphere of the show is often less than magical. The good versus evil concept is always intriguing in general and used a lot everywhere but it's rarely been done this unimaginatively or blandly, thanks to the evil not being threatening enough, instead being lame and silly, and the good being both bland and irritating to make one care properly. There is often too much emphasis on the banter between the girls and even then one realises that we learn very little about any of them throughout the show outside of their stereotypical personalities.
In conclusion, less than welcoming. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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