A Troll in Central Park

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A Troll in Central Park
Trollcentralpark.jpg
DVD cover for the film
Directed by Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
Produced by John Pomeroy
Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
Written by Stu Krieger
Starring Dom DeLuise
Phillip Glasser
Tawny Sunshine Glover
Cloris Leachman
Charles Nelson Reilly
Music by Songs:
Robert Folk
Barry Mann
Norman Gimbel (lyrics)
Cynthia Weil (lyrics)
Score:
Robert Folk
Edited by Fiona Trayler
Production
  company
Don Bluth Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment (Theatrical, VHS)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (DVD)
Release date(s) October 7, 1994
Running time 76 min.
Country United States
Ireland
Language English
Budget $23,000,000 (estimated)
Box office $71,368

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, creators of Thumbelina, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Secret of NIMH and An American Tail. 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. It is the last Don Bluth film to star Dom DeLuise. The film failed terribly at the box office, barely earning back 0.3% of its budget.

Plot[edit]

The film begins in a Kingdom of Trolls, where Stanley (Dom DeLuise) has a magical green thumb with the ability to bring flowers and plants to life at a touch. When he is discovered doing so, the other trolls take him as prisoner to Gnorga (Cloris Leachman), the Queen of the Trolls, who concludes that Stanley "gives a bad name to trolls everywhere" and demands that he be turned to stone. At the behest of her consort King Llort (Charles Nelson Reilly), Gnorga instead banishes Stanley to Central Park where, after a series of mishaps, Stanley hides himself under a bridge. In New York City, two young siblings named Gus and Rosie (Phillip Glasser and Tawny Sunshine Glover) learn that their father Alan (Jonathan Pryce) and mother Hilary (Hayley Mills) cannot take them to Central Park. while left alone with their nanny, Maria, Gus takes Rosie to the Park himself. While playing with Gus's toy boat, Rosie befriends Stanley. When Queen Gnorga discovers Stanley happy in exile, she creates a flood to drown them by making Gus cry, but Stanley enlarges Gus's toy boat to escape. Soon after, Stanley shows the children his own ideals, depicted as a world of his own.

Determined to suppress Stanley, Queen Gnorga sends a tornado to destroy Central Park, and kidnapps Rosie. Gus, having failed to persuade Stanley's help, himself faces Gnorga. In the resulting fight, Gnorga transforms Gus into a troll, while Stanley rescues Rosie. Having arrived, Stanley challenges Gnorga to a thumb-wrestling match, which when Stanley gains advantage, plants roses all around Gnorga's body. As Stanley, Gus, and Rosie escape and celebrate their victory, Gnorga uses Gus's thumb to turn Stanley to stone. Gus and Rosie fall into their apartment and the last of Stanley's power changes Gnorga into a rose bush. Gnorga, Llort and their dog then return to the Kingdom of Trolls, while Gus returns to his human form. The next day, Gus, Rosie, and their parents enter Central Park, where Gus and Rosie place the petrified Stanley on a makeshift pedestal, and attempt to revive him without apparent effect, only to find him revived after a moment's pause. Restored to life, Stanley recreates Central Park and covers Manhattan with flowering plants. In the Kingdom of Trolls, Llort takes Gnorga's place as a kinder ruler. Llort is last seen reading a newspaper with "Gnorga: Queen of Posies" written on it, and Gnorga's pet dog bites him for saying that.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Work on A Troll in Central Park began in 1990. In the production, Don Bluth said to his employees that they should put their best in this film, but if they don't, they can "go plant themselves in another garden". A while after he said that, some animators left to work at Disney on Beauty and the Beast. Buddy Hackett and Robert Morley recorded their voices for Stanley and King Llort, but were eventually replaced by Dom DeLuise and Charles Nelson Reilly. And even though the film was completed in 1992, it was never released in theatres until 1994. At that time, the film was originally slated for a March 1994 release, but due to production difficulties and the producers deciding to release Thumbelina first, the film's release date was changed to October 1994.

Reception[edit]

Box Office[edit]

The film did extremely poorly at the box-office, only grossing $71,368 domestically (with a budget of $23,000,000 it grossed less than 0.33% of its budget), making it Don Bluth's lowest-grossing film to date (though not his film to lose the most money overall). Gary Goldman has said the reason for this was because the film was released without any sign of promotion and its release was limited. He also stated that its distributor Warner Bros. did not have any confidence in the film.

Critical Reception[edit]

It currently has score of 17% at Rotten Tomatoes based on six reviews (five bad reviews and just one good review). The film's score among audiences is higher, at 48%. The film is universally hated by Don Bluth fans, since they find the movie to be nothing compared to the rest of his films. Don himself said in an interview with ToonTalk, that "the development of a story is like the development of a child in a womb; it takes time and it must be done right and building A Troll in Central Park, taught us this lesson, the hard way."

References in other media[edit]

In a comedy sketch in a 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin played Charles Nelson Reilly in a parody of the show Inside the Actor's Studio. During the course of the sketch, host James Lipton (as played by Will Ferrell) comments on how he loved A Troll in Central Park — he says watching it "is like looking into the face of God and seeing him smiling back, saying: 'You are my most wondrous creation'" — and asks if he can "speak to King Llort". Reilly accommodates by holding index cards to his ears and saying: "Well, hello, James Lipton! I'm King Llort! There's a troll in Central Park! I'm King Llort!".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]