Comic-Con: 'Trolls' Producer Talks "Responsibility" for Positive Body Image in Film

Stars Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake were also members of the DreamWorks Animation panel in Hall H on Thursday.
Dreamworks/Screenshot
Gina Shay

DreamWorks Animation kicked off San Diego Comic Con’s film programing in Hall H with an extended look at its upcoming feature, Trolls.

But despite the happy theme of the movie and the proceedings, the panel got serious when Trolls producer Gina Shay talked about the need for realistic body image in movies, especially animated fare geared for younger audiences.

“We feel it’s our responsibility as filmmakers to offer a positive image,” said Shay, adding “We broke every princess rule in the book.”

One of the main characters in Trolls is a princess voiced by Anna Kendrick, who Shay said they deliberately kept in a very troll-like shape. Her references to the princess rules is the criticism that heroines are drawn in forms that are too unrealistic for young girls to strive for.

“My daughter is 11,” Shay said. “She has a powerful mind. I’d rather have her use it imaginatively than be obsessing in the mirror.”

Beyond that, the Trolls panel was very much like the characters in the upcoming movie: fun and upbeat. DWA unspooled a 15-minute clip that showcased how key music is to the movie with hilarious, and even hallucinatory, sequences. (“Wow, that was a chunk of the movie you just showed,” remarked Justin Timberlake, making his first Comic-Con appearance with the panel.)

Director Mike Mitchell called Timberlake the movie’s “sonic wizard.”

“He helped make it cohesive and tied it into the story,” Mitchell said. "The songs are telling and adding to the story.”

DWA also took the opportunity to surprise the audience with a first-look at The Boss Baby. Alec Baldwin made his fist Comic-Con appearance (“Don’t eat me,” he said).

comments powered by Disqus