A Troll in Central Park
A Troll in Central Park (also known as Stanley's Magic Garden) is a 1994 American animated musical fantasy-comedy film directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. It was released on October 7, 1994 by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment. The film features the voice talents of Dom DeLuise as Stanley, Phillip Glasser as Gus, Tawny Sunshine Glover as Rosie, Cloris Leachman as Queen Gnorga, Hayley Mills as Hilary, Jonathan Pryce as Alan, and Charles Nelson Reilly as King Llort.
A friendly troll with a magic green thumb grows one flower too many for the queen, whose laws require all trolls to act meanly, be ugly and scare humans whenever possible. As a punishment, he is exiled to a world of concrete, where he should live a life of proper trolldom: Manhattan. But of all places, his pod lands in Central Park, where he feels right at home. He befriends a young brother and sister, out for the day unknown to their parents, and must immediately protect them from the queen's attack. This is an adventure that teaches the importance of love and responsibility.
Why It Sucks
- Poorly-written characters that are mostly total dim-wits and pointless. Stanley is a sappy coward, Gus is a selfish unlikable little spoiled brat who gets whatever dumb thing he wants, Rosie is sickeningly cute, and the parents of Gus and Rosie are pointless as they're barely in the film.
- The unlikable characters never shut up, like in The Magic Voyage (which also starred Stanley's voice actor, Dom DeLuise) and Felix the Cat: The Movie.
- Bad script, bad story plot, and bad storytelling.
- Childishly intelligence-insulting writing, even for animated film standards.
- Rosie's crying is incredibly obnoxious throughout the entire film.
- The magic is never explained and does whatever the plot wants it to do.
- Some scenes are pointless such as the thumb war scene.
- The scene where Gus cries an ocean when been cursed by Gnorga is a rip-off of the exact same scene from Disney's 1951 Alice In Wonderland.
- The ending where Stanley covers up the whole city of New York in plants is supposed to be happy and uplifting, but it is actually rather horrifying if you think about it.
- Way too much filler and pandering.
- The trailer of the movie spoiled the entire plot. You’re not supposed to do that in a movie trailer.
- The scene of Stanley running around Central Park goes on for way too long.
- Just like We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, the movie has a tagged-on last minute message about the love you have with your parents, and the other moral is also tagged on as it tells you that if you don't get what you want, demand it more. That's clearly that bad of a message for kids because that just prompts spoiled people to demand more by getting what stupid thing they want.
- Laughable dialogue from most of the characters, one example is in the scene where Stanley encounters a troll on his way back to his home, the troll sings "I'm a bad troll. A very bad troll."
- Stanley's attraction to Rosie is unnerving, sickening, and creepy.
- Stanley himself is a annoying and unlikable character who is a coward, that even Gus mentions it to him.
- Co-Writer and co-Director Gary Goldman said during an interview that the reason the movie did so poorly at the box-office was the fact that it was released without any promotion, and that release was limited. He also stated that its distributor Warner Brothers did not have any confidence in this movie.
- While the animation is fantastic look at, it has a few errors that can be noticeable. Such as when Gus and Rosie leave Stanley to go home, some of their bodies start to vanish. And when Gnorga and Llort are standing in front of the viewing mirror, Llort is drawn with only one leg.
- Other than the animation errors, the movie also has it's problems with it's own continuity as well.
- During the reprise of "Absolutely Green", some of the cities have been covered in plants in different points (the World Trade Center is an example, which was covered in three different points).
- When Llort locks Rosie in a dog transport box the hinge of the door of the box is on the left side, when Gus lets her out the hinge is on the right side.
- As said before it has beautiful animation, although that's to be expected since this was made by Don Bluth, also known as the director of other animated films, such as GMW, GMW and the original GMW.
- The voice acting is still good. Dom DeLuise (who played Stanley) and Phillip Glasser (who played Gus) are best remembered for their voice work in An American Tail and GMW.
- The musical score is well composed.
- The villains are okay and somewhat entertaining, but only because of how hammy and over the top their acting is.
- There are some moments that are admittedly funny, such as the scene where Gnorga tries to chase Gus and Rosie while... riding a tricycle.
A Troll in Central Park received mostly negative reviews from critics and currently holds a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 3.6 out of 10.
The film only made a domestic box office gross of only $71,368 making it a flop and one of the lowest grossing films Don Bluth made throughout his career in making animated films.
- This film is the last Don Bluth film to star Dom DeLuise.
- Buddy Hackett and Robert Morley were considered for the voices of Stanley and King Llort respectively.