2 out of 4 stars
Consider yourself warned: Smurfs: The Lost Village is nothing more than an extended version of the 1980s TV cartoon series about the blue people who live in a remote village.
Smurfs, if you think about it, were basically Avatars before Avatars, and what they did in their secluded community that was hidden from their nemesis, the evil Gargamel, made the Smurfs must-see TV for anyone who hadn’t reached puberty.
But what worked on TV during the Reagan Administration doesn’t necessarily work today on the big screen. Remember the reboot of Ghostbusters? Or G.I. Joe? Or, dare I say it, Jem?
Here’s a synopsis of the 81-minute film in 76 words. Led by Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin), Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer), Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello), Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi). and Nosey Smurf (director Kelly Asbury) help the village’s lone girl, Smurfette (Demi Lovato) find out if she’s truly a genuine Smurf. But during a journey that’s as easy to follow for anyone who can spell “S-M-U-R-F,” the must evade Gargamel (Rainn Wilson), who tries to capture them as they make their way to the enchanted “Lost Village.”
Smurfs: The Lost Village, is a sequel to the franchise’s first two films — The Smurfs in 2011 and The Smurfs 2 in 2013, which combined live-action and computer-generated animation to collective gross more than $910 million at the worldwide box office.
But this film — the first all-animated Smurfs movie since 1976’s The Smurfs and the Magic Flute stays much more true to the original comic-book series created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo in the late 1950s. Peyo’s wife was the one who decided Smurfs should be blue.
In the end, Smurfs: The Lost Village is exactly what you think it is. It will transport you to your youth, when you ate your sugary cereal with your eyes fixated on the TV. When you were a kid, the Smurfs were great.
But as an adult, seeing them on the big screen will have you feeling blue.
Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 18 years experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He’s also an editor for CBSSports.com. He’s crossing his fingers the only baseball team in Baltimore that will contend for a title this summer won’t be his fantasy squad, the Catonsville Cartel. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game.