After watching Trolls Band Together, it's obvious why the hot topic surrounding the movie has been star Justin Timberlake reuniting with his will boy band *NSYNC after more than two decades. There is simply not much else worth commenting on, despite the myriad storylines buzzing around in order to accommodate the ever-growing cast of A-listers. The third film in the Trolls franchise opens with the revelation that the grumpy Branch (Timberlake) was once the bright-eyed baby of the boyband BroZone (not voiced by *NSYNC, but more on that later) — until the failure to achieve a perfect harmony ripped them apart and sent them crooning in separate directions.

The importance of family is the central theme of Trolls Band Together, and the script (penned by Elizabeth Tippet and littered with '90s pop references) is about as subtle on that point as a brick to the back of the head. Branch's girlfriend Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick in a performance that remains as effervescent as her character's name would suggest) lets the world and audience alike know just how important family is when she bemoans her lack of sibling status in one of her first scenes, establishing the kind of foreshadowing that leaves no room for surprises. The third Trolls movie shows clear signs of franchise fatigue, but a few new songs and vivid animation choices keep it afloat a little longer.

The first order of events is Gristle and Bridget's wedding, which is interrupted by the return of Branch's eldest brother John Dory (Eric André). The ex-leader of BroZone is on a mission to rescue their sensitive brother Floyd (Troye Sivan) from the latest pop group on the scene, Velvet and Veneer (voiced by Amy Schumer and Andrew Rannells, the latter of whom is hard carrying both the vocal performance and the interesting character growth). After all, with talent as fake as their songs are processed, Velvet and Veneer have no choice but to consume Floyd's essence to make their way to the top of the charts. The premise in and of itself holds promise, as does the fact that Branch's remaining brothers are played by Daveed Diggs and Kid Cudi, but Trolls Band Together never lets the family adventure color outside the lines.

To focus on the positive, however, the animation really is the highlight of the viewing experience. The protagonists of the franchise are as cute and cuddly as they ever were, but the character designs for newcomers are both eye-popping and unexpected. Viva's (Camila Cabello) instant braids, for example, are a nice reminder that spontaneity still has a place in children's fare. Velvet and Veneer are especially interesting to look at, like if Toy Story 4's Forky found a long-lost sibling and they started acting like High School Musical's Sharpay and Ryan together. Finally, I would be remiss not to shout out Rhonda's "hustle" sequences, which feel like an excuse for the animators to throw everything at the wall and find what sticks — but in the best possible way.