Hello, Smurfey….i mean Spongey here.
Two Animated films two weeks in a row? Now that’s s Smurfng nice treat! …Okay, I’m not doing that during this whole review. But anyway, let’s talk Smurfs. I went into them a bit in my review of the 2011 film so you can there for my info.
The Smurfs is one of those things that’s just there for me. Haven’t seen too much from it but of course I know the basic details. Most people seem to think Smurfs in general is just kinda there, a harmless mildly amusing kids thing and yeah, that’s how I feel.
So I’m in the middle, I can go either way. I certainly went to the negative way when it came to the Live Action films I reviewed years ago. They got some parts right, but they were mostly soulless cash ins that send them to our world for some baffling reasons.
They made money but the 2nd one didn’t do AS well as hoped, so that franchise stopped there. However, soon after they announced…they would be starting over and doing an all animated version for their next movie.
Needless to say, this made a lot of people happy. Fully animated talks on old cartoons tend to far better, as long as you don’t dump it on DVD and put wrestlers in it for some reason. (Oh, you’ll have your day on here eventually….)
And when the trailers came out, I got more interested. I honestly though it looked pretty good, with great looking cartoon-y animation and some amusing bits. Sure, there was plenty of ways it could fail, but I think it looked decent, even taking the previous films out of it.
Now it’s here an we’ll see how it is. Shockingly, it has a 31 on RT which kinda fills me with dread but Black Nerd liked it so that’s cool.
And it’s being done by Sony Pictures Animation. Not sure if I’ve talked about them before (Besides reviewing Hotel Transylvania once), but I like them fine. They got a really solid cartoon-y style for them and their films tend to be pretty fun. Insert reference to a certain someone who does not like them here.
With that said, will this be the animated Smurfs film we’ve been waiting for, or is a pile of Smurf? Let’s find out.
This is Smurfs: The lost Village
At this point, I think Sony has nailed Cartoon-y Animation and this film nicely applies it to the world of Smurfs. It is more retrained than usual but it fits the world. The Smurfs look exactly like they should, being cartoon-y and nicely designed.
The world is nicely realized. The village looks fine but it’s the forbidden Forrest and the Lost Village that really shine. There’s some nice colors and it’s a well crafted world. The character animation is of course cartoon and moves fast , while still looking good. The designs are good, although it does do the big nose thing.
I wouldn’t say there’s anything amazing in the animation, but it is a nice looking film with decent eye candy for kids. Not too much to say, mostly because I want to write more about the other stuff.
So yeah, the animators did a good job capturing the world of the Smurfs, being Cartoon-y but still toning things down from their usual stuff to fit with the franchise better. It’s a nice looking film overall.
A mysterious map prompts Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty to find a lost village, while Gargamell tries to catch them and Smurfette deals with being the only female, with no defining trait like the others.
Let me answer your first question: Yes, it is better than the live action movies. But in gneneal, eating a cupcake is better than eating dog poop. It kind of goes without saying. With that out of the way, how is the writing on it’s own?
It’s…decent! I’ll say right now it won’t blow you away, but it’s not supposed to so, it’s a Smurfs movie. I will say the biggest problem with it: It plays it very safe. There’s no surprises, and nothing groundbreaking or great.
It mostly works but there are small cliches like a pointless “Romance” and a cop out ending. But otuside of that, there’ nothing actually bad here. It plays it safe, but the story at least make sense in it’s own way, and there’s thankfully a lack of annoying pop culture stuff. …Except for a bit with a Selfie but it’s only one part, thankfully.
Some will enjoy the safe route, others will find that it makes the film bland. I can see why but I think it works. I do wish it took more risks…but after the other movies, I’m glad it’s just faithful to Smurfs at all.
As for the story itself, the best aspect is Smurfette. They go into her backstory and palce in the village, as she was made by Gargamel and doesn’t have a defining trait like the other Smurfs.
They actually do a good job of going into this. Sure, it goes how you expect with a typical moral but it’s a good moral for kids and the scenes that explore her are nicely done. Nothing complex but it works and is the highlight of the film.
The overall journey is typical but is a fun little adventure that lends itself to some amusing moments. The humor mostly worked for me with the characters giving me some decent laughs. Again, nothing crazy but the humor is mostly good, minus a butt joke or two.
That butt joke, is as PG as the film ever gets. It is one of the most G Rated Films I’ve seen in a long time…but it’s rated PG because the MPAA is full of idiots.
As I said, it plays it safe so there’s nothing too deep or shocking. Things still play out well, and while they with the village what you expect they would do, it’s still well done and they have some fun there.
By the way, yes Smurfs 2 also had a Smurfette story but this time, it’s well done all the way and there’s none of the NPH Daddy drama crap. At least they took the only good parts of the other movies.
There’s not too much to say. The writing plays it safe which can be an issue in some parts, but for me it mostly made for a fine script which is a decent adventure with some nice exploration of Smurette.
It’s a totally safe kids film but it’s not insulting, nor does it totally shut off adults. It doesn’t offer a ton but for what they did, I personally think it works fine. Safe but it works for what it is.
The characters fit with the rest, as there’s no one who is complex but they act exactly like the should, and the voice actors bring them to life. There’s not a lot to really examine but it focuses on a core group, fairly well.
Starting with Smurfette, voiced by Demi Lovato. Yes, she’s relevant enough to be a Celeb voice actor. Smurfette is the best written character due the story given to her. She’s not super complex but she’s easily likable with her finding her place in the village. She works as a solid lead for the film.
Our villain Gargamel, voiced by Rainn Wilson, is pretty fun. He works as the villain and he offers some good jokes, especially with his moments with Azreal. He’s a decently fun villain and is the same Gargamel we know and enjoy.
Our main bunch of Smurfs are Brainy, voiced by Danny Pudi, Hefty, and Clumsy, voiced by Jack McBrayer. They of course don’t go too far beyond those names, but they are decent. Brainy is an enjoyable smart guy who can be a tad stuck up, Hefy is the weakest due to his random crush on Smurfette that goes nowhere but he’s fine and my favoite is Clumsy because he;s just funny. Jack McBrayer is the standout for me with how he plays him.
Papa Smurf is there too but he’s not in it much and he’s fine. That’s actually it, as the rest as a spoiler. Even if the trailers tried their best to give it away. I will say those charecters work too, with most of them being amusing with good actors behind them. A tad undercooked due to only being in the latter half but ah well.
No one is amazingly complex, but everyone is enjoyable in their own. Some are a bit stale but they keep the focus where it should be, with a solid lead in Smurfette and some decent support. I can forgive some safeness here from the the writing, given the kind of film it is.
Overall, the characters work and hey, no one’s hateable at least.
So….why does this have a 31 on RT again? Why is it rated lowe than Boss Baby, Secret Life of pets, and Trolls, plus so many more worse films? Because while Smurfs The Lost Village plays it safe to the point of having under cooked elements and being predictable, it is a decent kids film, with well done animation and a good story for Smurfette and some enjoyable performances.
I can totally see some finding it average, but it’s nowhere near bad. It’s mostly a “Cute” film but there’s nothing wrong with that. Not all animated films need to be Zootopia or Kubo, sometimes you need a Winnie the Pooh. It’s true to the Smurf spirit and is a cute diversion.
Nothing more than that but that’s fine. I’d recommend it to Smurf fans and famalies. I wouldn’t pay full price and if you’re not into this kind of kids movie, it’s most likely a rental if you don’t have kids.
But for what it is, it’;s fine. There’s nothing I can call BAD in it, the worst elements are average at worst. It’s charming film with moments of decent laughs and heart. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
Yeah, that looks like a the report of a totally unremarkable kid but ah well. Much better than last week. Next review is…next week as there’s ANOTHER animated film! It’ll hopefully come to me given The Wild Life did. It looks…not good but you never know, hopefully it’ll be okay…ish.