With ‘Trolls: World Tour’ Coming Soon, Where Is ‘Trolls’ Available to Stream Online?

Movies based on toys don’t always work. And we’re not even talking about whether a film is successful on a creative level. Remember the UglyDolls movie? How about Playmobil: The Movie? We didn’t think so. And yet, both films were released in 2019, the latter to a paltry $1.1 million domestic gross.

In this context, the $346 million worldwide box office of Trolls is even more impressive. Following this success, a sequel was pushed into development. Now with the second film’s release coming up fast, families might be looking to revisit the first Trolls. But is it available to stream anywhere?

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake for 'Trolls'
Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake for ‘Trolls’ | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

‘Trolls’ kicked off a multimedia franchise

Based on the popular dolls, Trolls isn’t just a hit animated musical featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. In fact, the 2016 movie became the latest Dreamworks Animation release to kick off an extensive multimedia franchise.

A year later, a holiday TV special aired on NBC. Then, in early 2018, Netflix launched an eight-season run for animated series Trolls: The Beat Goes On! That same year, DreamWorks opened up a pop-up attraction in New York City. Of course, there’s also the touring stage show.

Now with Trolls: World Tour on the way, fans have a lot more of Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) to look forward to. Unfortunately, plans for the sequel haven’t gone exactly how the studio, creative team, or fans would have wanted.

The sequel hits video on-demand on April 10, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major studios began to postpone or pull upcoming movies from their schedule. Although Universal pushed Fast and Furious 9 until 2021, it’s taking another approach with Trolls: World Tour. Rather than releasing it at a later date, the studio opted for a simultaneous theatrical and digital release of the movie.

Of course, Universal made this announcement — which also included early on-demand releases for The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma — before theaters nationwide began closing down. But the decision to make the Trolls sequel available at home on its theatrical release date sets a fascinating precedent.

In fact, Trolls: World Tour could be the lynchpin upon which the industry’s future hangs. If it’s on-demand release proves hugely successful, more studios could go this way. Instead of releasing movies to theaters, they could begin to rely more on video-on-demand platforms. After all, recent reports indicate streaming is slowly taking over the industry anyway.

Is the first ‘Trolls’ movie streaming anywhere?

So, self-quarantining fans of the franchise will be able to see Trolls: World Tour at home the very same day they would have hit their local theater. But families looking to catch up before the sequel are in bad luck. According to JustWatch.com, the first movie isn’t available on any of the major streaming services.

So Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video subscribers won’t find it on any of those. Rather, the only places Trolls is available to stream right now are FXNow — available through cable providers — and DirecTV. The former makes sense because, unlike Trolls: World Tour, the first film is a Fox production.

Still, it feels like a missed opportunity that none of the major streamers have Trolls in their streaming libraries. Although the Dreamworks connection complicates matters, fans might have assumed the movie would be included on Disney+.

In any case, Trolls fans will have to be a bit more creative to revisit the first film before checking out Trolls: World Tour at home on April 10, 2020.