Countless Hollywood films encouraged us to stop looking for the elusive Holy Grail and realize that the treasure we so desperately crave, happiness, is already in our life. We just need to open our eyes and heart… There is no place like home, learned Dorothy after her misadventures in Oz. You don’t need to travel the world to change it, discovered a suicidal James Stewart on a magical Christmas Eve. The key to fulfillment and success has been in front of you the whole time, was Jerry McGuire’s epiphany.
Trolls, Dreamworks last animated feature, just shared its insight on the matter. And it’s the last thing you would expect from a merchandise-driven movie.
The film introduces us to the monstrous, miserable Bergens, these guys just can’t get no satisfaction, and their nemesis the Trolls, the shiny, happy tiny people who live in the forest and regularly throw dancing party, hug each other with gusto and make scrapbooks of every precious moment of their rainbow and cupcakes life. They also fart glitter. If only the Bergens could be full of joy like them… They go for the easy fix and eat them. It works, they’re happy… as long as the Trolls feast goes on. When, after many years, the little creatures break free and scarcity ensues, the whole realm falls into a deep depression. Whoever will find the much needed, adorable walking snacks will be rewarded with money and power…
But it turns out the Trolls are no Prozac, just a placebo. At the end of the adventure, Trolls show to their enemies that happiness is already inside all of us. Everybody can be happy. Bergens just need to open their heart to their fellow citizens and embrace life. They can and have to find their contentment on their own.
(Not surprisingly it’s the trolls themselves who teach that lesson to their enemies, being the first ones to find true satisfaction in the new world order. As if the pigs tried to convince us that bacon and sausages are not going to fill us with pure delight… yeah, good luck with that).
There is a powerful and welcome anti-consumerism message at the very core of the film.
You can’t eat or buy happiness and don’t trust anybody who wants to convince you of the opposite, they are only trying to take advantage of your natural desire for fulfillment. We are like the Bergens, tricked into believing some sparkling object of desire will change our life for the better. It won’t. Trolls are adorable but they’re just fetishes and we don’t need them.
It is incredible that this liberating life lesson comes from a movie based on, and conceived to relaunch, a popular collectible gadgets line. Now redesigned, with more colors and shiny details! In different sizes and prices! Cuter than ever! In every toy store near you. But hey, remember the film, kids: you don’t need these pretty little things to be happy! For some reason I doubt they’ll write it on the box.
What were the producers thinking, sabotaging their own merchandise?! That makes no sense!
I don’t care. I’m so impressed by the refreshing and bold anti-consumerism message, I’m going straight to buy my kids two toy Trolls as a sign of my appreciation.
Oh, wait, they tricked me again. Damn!