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The Smurfs More at IMDbPro »

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A Nutshell Review: The Smurfs

Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
4 September 2011

It is inevitable that the cartoons my generation grew up with are finding its way back to the new generation with the more recent adaptations in 3D gimmicky glory no less, where we had the Flintstones and Scooby Doo made into live action films years ago and others like The Jetsons stuck in development hell. This trend continues with Alvin and the Chipmunks going into its third and 3D installment by year''s end, the summer action film Transformers in the previous summers and for now it's the mythical Smurfs created by Peyo, where blue creatures no larger than three apples tall live in mushroom houses and being chased by the arch- enemy Gargamel (Hank Azaria here with loads of prosthetics) and his kitty cat Azrael.

And it's not that bad for nostalgic reasons save for the usual formula and one-track objective set out, with meddling humans in our world getting in the way for that feel good provision of a moral message to its target audience. It did feel like an extended television cartoon episode with the perennial chase by Gargamel and Azrael stretched into our world, almost always represented by New York City of course – talk about something strange happening in the neighbourhood, a Disney princess coming for a visit, and now this. A subset of the Smurfs, led by Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) find themselves sucked to New York City through a magical vortex along with their enemies, and it is their objective now to stay clear of any human trouble, look for an exit sign, and keep clear of Gargamel's clutches as best as they can, no doubt assisted by the inherent bumbling qualities of the wizard.

Hank Azaria really needed to pay his bills in taking up this role, as you can tell there's little effort gone into making the villain well, villainous rather than acting like a buffoon for the most parts, so much so that the CG Azrael had more personality. Neil Patrick Harris' Patrick Winslow is the advertising executive whose life got turned upside down no thanks to the Smurfs finding a reluctant human ally, Jayma Mays as Patrick's expectant wife Grace, and Sofia Vergara as Odile, Patrick's mean boss, who had a subplot with Gargamel that was unceremoniously dumped mid way. Together they form the notable human contingent to spread the word about the importance of family and what matters, which got repeated a number of times to drive home the point.

What I had liked about the film is how it kept itself canon rather than to reboot or ignore established aspects from its source material. For instance, the origin of Smurfette got mentioned to certain detail at least twice, and there was an admission multiple times that yes, the Smurf song does get a tad annoying (though when young I would hum it quite often too). While it won't have room to feature all 99 Smurfs prominently, the introduction (deliberately made for 3D with the flight into Smurf village) had common sense to invoke that sense of nostalgia with the more common Smurfs from the cartoon series, such as Jokey, Baker, Vanity and Handy, amongst others. That was the hook, and I was secretly hoping that more could be on offer, but alas the bulk of the film centered around Papa, Smurfette (Katy Perry), Brainy (Fred Armisen), Grouchy (George Lopez, the go-to man for voicing just about any creature or animal in a talking animal / animated 3D film), Clumsy (Anton Yelchin) and Gutsy (Alan Cumming).

For a kids' film it was rather grueling on the runtime, as the Gargamel-chases-Smurfs development getting quite repetitive, with Gargamel fumbling as if on cue, and the Smurfs outwitting everyone as always. The message of not judging a book by its cover, or that everyone has a time to shine in glory, probably got lost somewhere, and worse, becoming really self conscious especially with the remarks about the theme song. You sure don't get that when watching the many episodes of the cartoon series, but the film somehow drew too much attention to it that it really became disastrous. I mean, mocking your own theme song? Come on. Animation wise the Smurfs do at times come off as rather artificially rendered, as does Azrael, which is a pity since Sony Pictures Animation were the ones responsible for the awesome looking Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Whether there will be a sequel will depend on its box office takings, and hopefully if a next one is to be made, a strong story should be grounds for justifying that. After all, if it didn't engage the kids with this effort, it'll likely need a meteoric effort for the next to materialize.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: Grade Two Class from Singapore
11 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Smurfs 1 Setting In a forest and New York in modern times but in the forest it looks old. There is a evil wizard. Plot The smurfs village was in danger. But clumsy went to a sign saying "GO THIS WAY" But he tripped it said "DO NOT GO THIS WAY" clumsy was in danger and he almost fell in the fall. The smurfs made a smurfs bridge but it was too late ! Because the blue moon rises and it was windy but they got a stick but Gagamel, the evil wizard was holding it the only choice was to go to New york so they flew to New york by the wind in the hole. They twirled side to side through the holes and they arrived at the city. They were worried! Then they got kidnapped then clumsy fell in a box and then they met a man called Patrick. Soon they arrived at New York but the smurfs didn't know the city. Favourite part When they went home. And clumsy was a hero to Patrick's wife and papa were proud .and then they said bye to New york. Gramamel was just in New york for the rest of his life. Recommendation I think someone will like this because it's funny and fun adventures. A. Age 7 This movie review was submitted as part of a class project where we learnt about writing book reviews and movie reviews. We hope it is useful for you.

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The Smurfs are Great!

Author: ZalmanAran
24 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I would like to recommend the movie "The Smurfs". In this movie the actors share the screen with cartoon characters. The movie is in 3D.

The movie occurs at the Smurf's village in the Middle Ages, when one of the smurfs called "Clumsy" is being chased by the evil sorcerer Gargamenl. Clumsy is running into a magic waterfall and arrives in present day New York.

The Smurfs go after him in order to save him and get into the waterfall too. I liked it very much because of the plot, the 3D effects, and the famous actors. I rate this movie a 9 out of 10 because I enjoyed it so much and think that anyone who watches it will love it as well.

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My 6 year old daughter laughed lots

Author: alex smith from United Kingdom
25 February 2012

In short simple, silly and amusing.

Too many of the reviews I read are clearly disappointed adults (or meant to be adults) who seem to be judging this film as if it were the latest big movie with a cast of elite actors. It's a kids film and my daughter laughed enough for it to have been worth every penny and I laughed a lot too.

The animation's not perfect. The mix of it with the people doesn't fit perfectly. Me I liked that there's a bad guy and good guys and it's a nice clear split without all the ambiguous shades of grey that too many kids titles get populated with. It doesn't try hard at being anything but a smurf story which I also like.

I've been over generous with an 8 because I think too many people have been too unfair at the other end. Properly a 7.

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Can't Believe the Bad Reviews

Author: Bored78 from United States
23 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am glad i do not put a lot of stock into bad reviews. I just watched this movie on DVD and it was much much better than the ratings at IMDb.

*SPOILERS FOLLOW* I watched Smurfs as a kid and this movie keeps in step with that. The storyline, the jokes/humor, and the plot pretty much follow the smurf cartoons. The major difference here is this movie takes place mostly in NYC and it mixes human and smurf interaction much like the Bee Movie.

The movie is mostly about the smurfs getting stuck in NYC after entering a magical portal to escape Gargamel. In NYC they meet a human couple who becomes sort of like their temp home/guardians. Meanwhile, they try to find a way back home while trying to fend off Gargamel.

I had a lot of laughs in this movie.It's got a lot of plain basic humor that reminds you of a smurf cartoon. Its not a complicated movie nor is full of special effects and fancy whistles but it will give you some good laughs and it is enjoyable.

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Disappointing but not as bad as expected

Author: anouk77 from Netherlands
19 January 2012

This movie is no Oscar material but it's not as bad as I expected it to be after reading some of the reviews.

Hank Azaria does pretty well as Gargamel and I loved seeing the Smurf village. The latter is what actually disappointed me in this movie because it's mainly set in our modern New York instead of in the world of the Smurfs so you barely get to see this wonderful place. The story only has a couple of Smurfs in it for the most part and I think that's such a pity! I especially missed Hefty, Jokey, Lazy, Painter, Vanity and Chef!

I honestly think that they should have just taken one or two episodes of the t.v cartoon series and made that into a movie. I would have liked that a lot more because it would have given us a much bigger view on the Smurf's world and it would have created a more original plot for the movie.

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A Very Smurfy Movie

Author: Vincent Black from United States
16 January 2012

I took a quick look at some of the "bad" reviews and I can't find any basis for giving this movie such a low rating. Most critics are mad that the movie takes the Smurfs into the "real world" or complain about the animation. Sorry but I found the movie is mildly entertaining for adults and very entertaining for young children. Let's face it, the movie wasn't made for people much over 12 but maintains some jokes for adults.

In my opinion Hank Azaria steals the show as the evil Gargamel. His comments to his cat and jokes about the smurfs are hilarious. He made the role his own. Azaria, who mainly does voice overs for the Simpsons, looked and felt the part of the wizard Gargamel. The next actor who "fit the role" and did an excellent job was George Lopez in the role of Grouchy.

I never thought much of Neil Patrick Harris stiff cardboard acting and I wish they had someone else in the role. Also there was a lot of voice talent wasted such as Paul Reubens as Jokey who got a scant two lines. Other than this the movie had no real flaws other than the under developed plot.

Little kids will enjoy watching the Smurfs over and over. I assume most adults will find it amusing at best. I suppose there are the adults that watched the cartoon back before I was born who will have love/hate issues. There is no need to pick the movie apart, it wasn't made to be a blockbuster after all.

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Blue fun

Author: kosmasp
14 January 2012

I like the smurfs in general. I don't quite remember them exactly as they are portrayed in this. And the movie does use quite a lot of clichés. But it still keeps the fun factor high. It is done nicely for a family movie. Gargamel and the cat are great and the humans fulfill their part nicely.

Try not to think too much about the story (which is plain, if you want to call it something nice). But going into this movie you should expect this. Kids in general will love this (exceptions as stated in another comment are prone to happen of course) and if you let yourself into the vibe of the movie, you might too.

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Sure I've seen worse but don't recall where or when

Author: hrc_public from Denmark
5 September 2011

It was a pain to watch and my kids agree in that opinion. The story was bad and the best acting in the film was done by the Smurfs themselves.

The first 4/5'th part was boring and my 5 year daughter even asked if we could leave. It was her and her twin brother's first visit to the Cinema! My 7 year old buy only laughed in the end where Gargamel got what he deserved.

Apart from that the story was very poor with a plot almost not existing and actors trying their best with what they had of manuscript and talent.

The last 10 minutes reminded me of old Enid Blyton novels. All loose ends tied up within the last two pages. No need to stay around when the bad guy's down.

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Not a movie for kids (some spoilers)

Author: mbrach-137-541025 from United States
19 August 2011

This movie was not for kids... I don't mind that the smurfs end up in the human world and get stuck, but have them meet up with some kids... not a married couple about to have a baby... what kid can relate to a guy working in a cosmetic company? seriously.... I thought up of a better storyline in the car on the way back home!! have them meet up with a family of kids (or orphans??) one girl who can relate to smurfette because she's the only girl, a smart boy can relate to brainy, clumsy kid who relates to clumsy, and the oldest brother(or orphan) who relates to pappa smurf because he feels he has to take care of his siblings (or younger orphans) yea, it's kinda cheesy but kids like that. Plu Neil Patrick Harris and the lady from Glee had no chemistry and the lady from Glee is just so Blah... she should be like a background character or something. But smurfs help the kids find a family while the kids help the smurfs get home. Chessy but sweet.

I didn't mind the smurf characters, except for maybe George Lopez (he just really smurffed me off)what was with him falling in love with a big M&M?? Katy Perry was cute as Smurfette... didn't need to have her skirt blown up in my opinion. Gargamelle and Azele were great.

Storyline was just horrible!!!

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