This past Weekend Sony’s latest theatrical outing for everyone’s favorite little blue gnomes debuted in theatres worldwide and thankfully unlike the previous two live action atrocities this one is full animated! But will even that be enough to save the Smurf’s Hollywood carrier!? Lets find out!
Focusing on the positives of the film first the most obvious one as mentioned is that thankfully Sony had the smarts to keep the film fully animated this time around. In fact despite some people calling the film Smurfs 3 this is more of a soft reboot for the film franchise. The film all but ignores its predecessors and instead tries to stay more in line with the continuity of the original Peyo comics and earlier seasons of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. And on the subject of animation this film looks wonderful! The colors are vibrant, the motion is fluid and the whole thing feels as it is brimming with life! Sony Animation put some genuine effort in making this film. There is also an updated voice cast that gives much better performances then the previous incarnations as well. Dani Pudi is a perfect choice for Brainy and Demi Levato is a much better Smurfette then Katy Perry was. And speaking of female Smurfs the film also introduces all new female Smurfs that are a much welcome and needed addition to this decades old franchise. The Amazonian like lost village Smurfs are both cute and fierce and their personalities range from intimidating like Stormy, Wise like Willow or Kind like Blossom. The forest the live in is also a visually stunning place, even if it does borrow a few minor things from James Cameron’s Avatar for its aesthetic. Compared to the past feature lengths films this is obviously the strongest outing yet.
On the negative side however the plot of the film is extremely simplistic & straightforward as it involves Smurfette trying to discover what her role in Smurf Village should be as she feels like an outsider being a artificial Smurf created by Gargamel as opposed to a naturally born er Smurfed one. It is set-up well though despite being simple children’s storybook fare. Another negative is it never explains why the titular lost village was lost in the first place or why the male and female Smurfs ended up creating their own separate societies.
Overall Smurfs: The Lost village is step in the right direction for the cinematic interpretation of the series, given not the leap it needed but progress is progress and I can’t fault it for wanting to play it safe after the last two less than Steller outings.
So far the film has had a fairly weak U.S. opening with only fourteen and a half million earned the opening weekend, but unsurprisingly has done better in the international box office with 40 million earned. And I for one would urge others to go see it as I would much rather see more fully animated Smurfs films as opposed to what they were doing before hand and despite what you may hear it is much more worth your time and money then talking babies and yet another soulless live action remake of a animated Disney classic. But hey, that’s just my nerdy opinion.