Genre: CG Animation
Director: Kelly Asbury
Cast: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Jake Johnson, Mandy Patinkin, Ellie Kemper, Gabriel Iglesias, Tituss Burgess, Gordon Ramsay, Michelle Rodriguez, Ariel Winter, Julia Roberts
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Sony Pictures Releasing
Opening Day: 6 April 2017
Synopsis: In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
Everyone’s into reboots recently. Not too long ago, the Power Rangers brought real life teenager problems to their reboot. Up next, Spidey is getting a reboot (for the record, it’s the second reboot) where we see a young Peter Parker getting mentored by Tony Stark. Before we see the web slinger and Iron Man saving the world, let’s revisit Smurfs’ Village and find out how Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Clumsy Smurf, Hefty Smurf and Smurfette are doing.
Admit it: 2011’s The Smurfs and its 2013 sequel The Smurfs 2 were not great movies, but they did a decent job of keeping the young ones entertained. The last two movies were live action and animation hybrids, and seeing Hank Azaria as Gargamel was a tad creepy. As much as we love Neil Patrick Harris, his performance was rather bland. So, if you ask us, ditching the humans in this movie and opting for a fully computer animated feature is a good move.
Based on The Smurfs comic book series created by the Belgian comics artist Peyo, this is a reboot movie (yay!) which is unrelated to Sony Pictures Animation’s previous two Smurfs movie. To be honest, the trailers had us excited for a while – finally, we are going to address the issue of how dude Smurfs survive with only one gal Smurf in the village.
The screenplay written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon has Smurfette questioning her existence in the village (that’s kind of dense, isn’t it?). When she encounters a being similar to her in the ForbiddenForest, she finds herself venturing into the titular lost village with her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty. Presto, that village is inhabited by female Smurfs. So, we are going to discuss gender issues, and uncover how boy Smurfs and girl Smurfs interact?
Unfortunately (or fortunately for parents who want to keep their tots quiet for one and a half hours), this wholesome family outing is purely for the young ones. Adults may break into occasional chuckles (the Smurfs take a wefie using a bug camera, and Hefty uses the word “bro”), but a large part of the 90 minute movie is kid friendly material. Gargamel is quite hilarious whenever his perceived smartness gets the better of him, and he ends up in a mess.
We love the voice cast – Demi Lovato (who remembers Disney Channel’s CampRock?) displays girl power as Smurfette, Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike! Magic Mike! Magic Mike!) flexes some muscles into Hefty, comedians Danny Pudi, Jack McBrayer and Mandy Patinkin are Brainy, Clumsy and Papa respectively.
It gets better – Julia Roberts is leader of the girl Smurfs, Michelle Rodriguez is feisty as a warrior girl Smurf, Modern Family’s Ariel Winter is a gentle girl Smurf, while The Office’s Rainn Wilson and Ellie Kemper take on the roles of Gargamel and an over excited girl Smurf respectively. The filmmakers even got Gordon Ramsay cameo as Baker, a Smurf that, well, bakes cakes.
The animation is gorgeous, colours are vivid and landscapes are beautiful, thanks to director Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet). While there is nothing out of the blue for this Smurfs movie, it works well for a family trip to the cinemas.
(This, ahem, reboot of The Smurfs doesn’t offer more than it should, and works well for its young target viewers)
Review by John Li