The Smurfs: Movie Review

Being a child of the 80s, I adored The Smurfs cartoon, giggling every time that Brainy received a kick out of the village.  Though, I must admit that I was terrified upon seeing the original teaser trailer. The continuing trailers did not ease my fears. Yet, when I received tickets to an advanced screening, I decided to attend and judge the movie itself.

I found it to be quite enjoyable indeed. I'm not sure if it's that the smurfs were nearly identical to what I remembered from the 80s or if I was overwhelmed by how good the smurf CGI actually looked. Though I truly did enjoy the movie.

The story was okay and typical for the most part, as we watch a handful of Smurfs and Gargamel move from the lands of Smurf Village to the streets of New York City.  It has your basic story with Gargamel wanting the smurfs this time for their magical essence. In New York, the Smurfs find themselves enlisting the help of Patrick and Grace Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays) to find their way back to Smurf Village before they are trapped in New York.  It's  your run of the mill story, spiced up with the jokes and pokes at the smurfs themselves.

The effects of the movie were great. They were took their time with the animation to make it work for the most part in the movie. Occasionally, you can see problems with humans handling the smurfs; but other than that, it's not too impossible to believe that smurfs were running through New York. The make-up for Gargamel was decently accurate and perhaps the best they could do to transform Hank Azaria into the evil wizard.

The voices for the smurfs were well known names. Katy Perry for Smurfette, George Lopez for Grouchy, Jeff Foxworthy for Handy, Anton Yelchin for Clumsy, and Jonathan Winters for Papa Smurf, plus many many more. All of the voices pretty much work except for maybe George Lopez for Grouchy. Lopez's accent seemed a bit too strong at times and not enough grouchy. Frank Welker voiced Azrael, Gargamel's cat and minion, and did an amazing job which shouldn't be surprising.

The human cast did a good job as well. Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays made a cute couple. Sofia Vergara's Odile would have made an excellent villian and cohort with Gargamel, however they did not follow through with that particular subplot. I don't believe they will either in cut scenes, based on the ending with Odile.

Perhaps the best part of the movie is the fact that the Smurfs recognize the cheesiness of certain situations with them. For example, their names are named after their personalities, hobbies, or habits receive a few jabs. Some jokes, though, will be quickly dated by their references to the current pop culture.

My favorite smurf turned out to be Clumsy Smurf, who had a sweet, innocent turn that made you just feel for the little blue guy. The other smurfs were okay, though not all of them were used enough to really get a feel on whether or not they were just like the cartoon version.

Overall, the movie turned out far better than I expected. I went in with zero expectations and came out of the theater thoroughly entertained. This time, the 3D of the movie was perfect and they actually took advantage of it in the movie.  If you have kids, they will adore it and you just might even, too!

Entertainment Earth

 


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