My Thoughts: A TROLL IN CENTRAL PARK (1994)

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Yes, it’s Don Bluth time again! So let me just open up by saying that I think this is one of the WORST animated films I’ve ever seen. It’s not that far from “Doogal” on my list. With that compelling introduction out of the way, let’s proceed.

The film is about a troll named Stanley who lives in a troll kingdom. The kingdom is run by a disgusting troll named Gnorga and her husband Llort. Gnorga hates everything nice, decent, and beautiful as trolls tend to do. But Stanley is a different kind of troll. He’s kind, respectful, loves flowers, and has a green thumb. No seriously, he has a green thumb!

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When the Queen discovers that Stanley has been secretly growing flowers in his home (which takes place only 5 minutes into the movie), she wants to punish him by turning him into stone. Her somewhat nicer husband convinces her to not “stone-ify” Stanley; but instead mentions how he knows of a place that is all steel and concrete and nothing grows there. Banishing Stanley there would be a better punishment for him. The queen agrees and sends Stanley flying to Central Park, New York!

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Ok, let’s look at the flaws. One, the king just mentioned of the existence of a non-plant life supporting place; but never actually told Gnorga where it was. How did she assume where to send Stanley flying off to? Secondly, as Stanley himself finds out, Central Park does indeed have a lot of flowers and trees; so the whole punishment has already gone askew. There are more flaws to be pointed out I’m sure; and we’re barely 10-15 minutes into the movie.

Stanley then decides to stay in a cave, after a somewhat frightening experience with New York life, and wants to never leave it.

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We now cut to two kids, Gus and Rosie. Their parents are too busy to look after them; so they sneak out to Central Park so Gus can play with his remote control boat. While there, they come across Stanley, become friends; and the vast majority of the rest of the movie is just them…doing things.

Stanley’s green thumb actually has magical powers, not just to make plants grow; but to enlarge boats and create dream-based worlds! Oh boy!

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The end of the movie is about Gnorga coming to New York to try to get rid of Stanley once and for all.

Ok, this movie is horrible! I’m sure many people who grew up watching it will have nostalgic predilections towards it. But other than that, the story is extremely vague and loose. The characters aren’t that likable. The songs are forgettable. The message is…I’m guessing pro-ecological.

The only thing I will give this movie is that the animation is superb as Don Bluth’s animation always is! I still find his human characters kind of weird-looking though, but that’s just me! So now to rank this film amongst other Don Bluth films:

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6 thoughts on “My Thoughts: A TROLL IN CENTRAL PARK (1994)”

  1. I finally watched this film for the first time today and it…was…HORRIBLE! The story was nonexistent, the characters were either bland or annoying and the songs were absolutely atrocious. But the biggest problem I have with this film is how much it panders to children. This is the kind of film that thinks that by just putting happy smiles, that is enough to entertain kids. When in fact it just talks down to them and I absolutely HATE films like that. This is definitely the WORST animated film I have ever seen! The only good thing I can say about it is that some of the animators who worked on this film, left to work at Disney on Beauty and the Beast.

      1. I know you’re not a fan of Don Bluth, but you have to admit it’s pretty sad how his career plummeted in the 90s.

  2. I just watched this for the first time yesterday and I can’t do much more than agree with you. Everything in the movie feels like filler, there’s no creativity and nothing sincere about it. The story is simplistic to the point of worthless when it actually exists and none of the characters are likable or interesting at all. It feels like something made only to sell toys or be on to entertain a 2-year-old in the background. But I can’t imagine enjoying this at any age. A complete failure. At least it bombed at the box office.

    The one area I disagree with you is I didn’t like the animation, either; it was scratchy, unpleasant, often looked like it was barely completed, and didn’t match the tone of the film at all.

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