(Reuters) - Justin Timberlake has long been a heartthrob, from his boy band days in N’Sync to branching out as a solo artist with songs like “Sexyback” and playing rom-com leads, but the singer-actor relished playing a little grey troll in upcoming Dreamworks musical animation “Trolls.”

Timberlake oversaw the music, reworking songs including Earth Wind & Fire and Gorillaz and writing four new tracks including this summer’s hit, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

"Getting to produce all the music for it and help steer the DNA of the film and the story itself was really, really exciting for me. I felt like I got to know so much more about the movie in doing that and it helps steer it in the direction that everybody wanted it to go."

Timberlake, who voices the cantankerous troll Branch, joined co-star Anna Kendrick, who voices happy, adorable troll Poppy, and the directors of “Trolls” at Comic-Con in San Diego on Thursday, where nearly 7,000 fans were treated to about 15 minutes of the film.


The film, based on the popular Danish toy trolls with upright hair, follows the happy world of upbeat, singing and hug-seeking Trolls, who are attacked by the Troll-eating Bergens. When numerous Trolls are snatched by a Bergen, Poppy recruits a reluctant Branch to help her rescue them from Bergen-town.

The animation style of “Trolls,” out in theaters on November 4, is inspired by the 1970s, with vibrant, psychedelic palettes and prints.

“The Seventies are like a fairy tale time,” co-director Mike Mitchell said. “Kids, they don't remember the Seventies. A phone with a cord is like an otherworldly thing so we embraced it as a fairy tale we were telling and also people don't remember the seventies for different reasons but the Seventies is almost like a magical time now."

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