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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Smurfs


Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays and Sofía Vergara
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: U
Available 05 December 2011

When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world into ours - in fact, right in the middle of New York's Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down...

The Smurfs is directed by Raja Gosnell (Scooby Doo) and stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, and Hank Azaria as Gargamel. Providing the voice for the Smurfs are Katy Perry as Smurfette, George Lopez as Grouchy, Alan Cumming as Gutsy and Jonathan Winters as the original Papa Smurf.

Three Smurfs were created for this movie Gutsy Smurf (although I don't know why Hefty Smurf couldn't have been used instead); Crazy Smurf and Narrator Smurf. The movie mainly revolves around Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy Smurf, Gutsy Smurf, Clumsy Smurf and Grouchy Smurf who are whisked from their world to ours and have to find a way back.

First things first, this is a kids movie and I've treated it as such for this review. As adult entertainment this is lacking in so many departments, but for a film for the very young, this works incredibly well.

For the parents out there who will have to endure repeated viewing of this, possibly the most annoying aspect is Hank Azaria's ridiculously over the top pantomime acting. Ironic really, as in one of the extras it's pointed out that he found the original animated Gargamel annoying and wanted to go a slightly different way with his portrayal.

There are some nice touches (some of which are milked a little) like the actors pointint out that the Smurfs song - which was created for the original animated TV series - is a little annoying; and an explanation of how Azrael received his damaged ear - which was always present in the animated TV series.

Extras include Smurf-o-vision Second Screen Experience (which you play during the movie and allows you to experience extra content on your ipad, iphone or ipod touch or you can play without a second screen and the content plays over the movie - although you won't get to use the interactive features); The Smurfs Fantastic Adventure Game (a simple platform game where you control a Smurf by using the directional buttons on your Blu-ray remote control); 2 x audio commentaries; Deleted and Extended Scenes (7 min, 41 sec); The Smurfs: Comic Book to the Big Screen (8 min, 15 sec); Smurf Speak: Meet the Cast (9 min, 26 sec interviews with the voices of the Smurfs); Going Gargamel (9 min, 57 sec look at Hank Azaria as Gargamel); Happy Music Montage (1 min, 49 sec clips from the film set to pop music); Blue-Pers (25 sec, two animated outtakes); Progression Reels (9 min, 14 sec look at the computer modelling used in the film); and Find the Smurfs Game (which is housed on the DVD along with a repeat of some of the Blu-ray extras. In this game you have to watch the Smurfs run around on screen and when they stop you have to guess where a certain Smurf is).

While it's not going to win any awards (unless the Academy Awards starts a new "best use of a three apples high animated blue character" category) this is an enjoyable, mindless piece of nonsense.


Darren Rea

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