Branch's backstory shows his singing attracting Chef, who kidnaps his grandmother, presumably eating her. Even if one comes up with a reason Chef didn't find the other trolls then (maybe Branch and his grandma lived distantly from the rest), why didn't Chef take that troll back to Gristle to try and get back in the kingdom? She had a troll to feed him, as she claimed she would.
That flashback probably took place before 20 years ago, before the events of the movie, before bergens couldn't find trolls anymore, and before Chef was exiled. Back then, they probably did have Trollstis annually, so they didn't have to gather so many trolls. Gristle Jr. wasn't born yet, so Chef never had to gather a ton of them for him.
How old does that make Branch, then? It's implied that he and Poppy are around the same age, but this means he's at least several years older...unless Trolls age differently...
Branch does have crows' feet and distinct wrinkles around his mouth, which could mean he's probably closer to thirty than twenty. Given that Poppy seemed close to two years old in the beginning of the movie given that she could talk and Branch looked like he was around five or six in his flashback, the timeline would fit for Grandpa Rosiepuff to be eaten at the Trollstice prior to the movie opening (or perhaps the occasional single troll was harvested outside Trollstice for special occasions).
Given Branches personality, it is very possible that he looks older than he is. Constant stress and worrying over the span of years (like how Branch is said to do) can lead to wrinkles appearing as early as your mid-twenties.
Branch is very likely a few years older than Poppy. If you look carefully at the background during his flashback, you can make out the bars around the Troll Tree, which would imply that Grandma Rosiepuff's demise occurred before King Peppy led them to escape. Branch falls to the ground, but is still within the boundary of the gate.
Maybe she did try to use Branch's grandmother to try and get back in, but was told that one troll isn't enough. Or, maybe she was still depressed from her recent banishment and, without thinking, just ate the grandmother herself to (literally) make herself feel better.
Chef's main flaws are her greed and her gigantic ego. Why go back after only finding one troll (or technically two) when she can find them all and get a hero's welcome for it?
Plenty of other bergens are selfish creeps too. Possibly Chef got cheated by the palace guards, who detained her at the front gates so they could "show the troll to the king", only to eat her captive themselves and turf her out of town without ever mentioning it to the ruler at all.
Who is the protagonist of this story — Branch or Poppy? The trailers made it seem like it was Branch (which would certainly be nothing new), but the story seems to be more Poppy's journey. They both get more-or-less equal Character Developmentand a climactic moment where they more-or-less save the day (Branch in the "True Colors" scene, Poppy by going back to the dining hall). I think I might be biased, though, because Poppy reminds me so strongly of protagonoists Joy and Judy Hopps. Is there a Word of God or general fan consensus?
It's kind of like Zootopia and Jurassic World...two leads where one female is kind of naive about stuff and the male is more savvy. But it's always her journey or character arc that drives the flick since he's already so well versed in stuff.
The main page says that Poppy is the protagonist while Branch is the deuteroganist.
Was Creek really supposed to be Poppy's Romantic False Lead? Because I didn't get that vibe at all watching the film. Maybe I'm just too used to the cliche of "grumpy guy and optimistic girl go on adventure and fall in love along the way" to have thought she had romantic moments with anyone but Branch, but I just saw Creek as a member of her circle of friends. I figured if any of the others had been possibly eaten she would have been just as insistent on trying to save them.
It's hinted at. She has hearts around his picture when she pulls out the unfolding picture frame, and, IIRC, takes on a distinctly more giggly tone when saying goodnight to said picture in particular.
She also subtly threw him flirty eyes behind his back while he was giving Branch a positivity speech in the party invitation scene and was the only one she attempted to rescue when he was snatched up by Chef.
What the hell is Cooper? He's so vastly different from the other trolls, being quadrupedal, having a long neck, and his hair not having any power.
In the original toy line decades ago, sometimes manufacturers would either mold a doll incorrectly by accident or mold a doll differently than the others as a rare collector's item. The giraffe troll was seen as a lucky and valuable find among troll fans. So Cooper is a shout-out to that.
He also poops cupcakes.
The sequel gives us an in-universe answer: hes actually a Funk Troll. When he was still an egg, he was snatched from the nest and dropped into Pop Village, where the Pop Trolls raised him.
Did Chef hinge her entire plan for capturing all the remaining trolls on one troll willing to betray everyone when about to get eaten? What was her plan if that didn't happen?
No she didn't. She knows she only captured 6 trolls but she was too impatient to hunt for more cause she wanted to get rid of Prince Gristle first. Her plan was to just eliminate Prince. Chef never planned on feeding trolls to all of Bergen Town and she deduced she only needed to feed Gristle a troll so she can overthrow him and take over his throne. Feeding the other Bergens is not required, even if strongly helpful, in claiming the throne as the new ruler of Bergen Town.
What did Chef go after Smidge for? During her rampage on Poppy's "biggest, loudest, craziest party ever", all the other trolls were obviously bigger than Smidge. Smidge can't make much of a meal for a Bergen.
Chef never intended/thought about serving sizes when grabbing trolls, she just wanted to impress the king with her haul. Shes completely thrown for a loop when King Gristle points out that theres not enough trolls for everyone to eat, size notwithstanding. Smidges unique appearance probably caught her eye and she thought thatll work.
Also Bergens dont eat trolls for sustenance but for their feelings. Smidges size doesnt change that she feels just as happy as the other trolls.
During Chef's rampage capturing a few trolls at the movie's beginning, why didn't she just scoop trolls with both of her hands together into her pocket rather than just taking one by one with two fingers?
Its probably a cross between Rule of Drama and A Million Is a Statistic - the audience is shown a large though unknown number of trolls, and is only introduced to a handful or so. Chef grabbing all of Poppys friends (minus Branch), is more dramatic (though no less frightening) than if she had taken twenty something trolls who the audience don't know at all.