Peyo’s most famous blue creatures are back in not only their first animated theatrical outing since 1976’s ‘The Smurfs and the Magic Flute’, but also their first theatrical film since ‘The Smurfs 2’ (a sequel to the critically bashed live-action/CGI outing). Thankfully, the smurfs are back in animated form, and for the most part, ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ is passable. It is a beautifully animated movie which kind of takes you back to the golden days of animation (‘The Peanuts Movie’, and the upcoming ‘Captain Underpants’ movie have attempted that same effort in nostalgic 3D which feels like 2D), and it does feel like a cartoon converted into 3D.
‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ focuses on Smurfette (Voice of Demi Lovato), the only female smurf in Smurf Village; an area where everything is a mushroom. She was made out of clay by the evil wizard Gargamel (Voice of Rainn Wilson) in order to capture the smurfs when he could not. By now, we all know the back story since both live-action ‘Smurfs’ movies have explained it (‘The Smurfs 2’ focused on that particular element.), but like all the smurfs in Smurf Village, we are not sure what she does or what purpose she serves; it gets kind of confusing every now and then. (Especially during the later act when the smurfs find the title village.)
It seems as though each and every smurf has a personality. Hefty (Voice of Joe Manganiello) is strong and egotistical, while also harboring a crush on Smurfette; Brainy (Voice of Danny Pudi) is literally textbook smart and inventive; Clumsy (Voice of Jack McBrayer) is exactly what his name suggests, but in this movie, he is more of a neurotic, yet bumbling fool (I guess Bumbler Smurf, or Scaredy-Cat Smurf were already taken!); and Papa Smurf (Voice of Mandy Patinkon a.k.a ‘The Princess Bride’s Inigo Montoya) is not only the leader of the smurfs, he is also protective of them.
One day, Smurfette gets lost into a place called “The Forbidden Forest” where she encounters a creature she believes is just like her friends back home. This leads her, Hefty, Brainy, and Clumsy to find these creatures while also avoiding Gargamel, who is also interested in finding the lost village where these creatures are hiding.
If you have been keeping up with trailers and TV spots, then you already know who these creatures are. (which should be considered a huge “No-No” in marketing. But given that this is a kids’ movie, and marketing needs to happen, I will let it slide) However, if you’re not aware, I will leave it up to you to see this movie for yourself.
‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ is definitely a children’s movie, and acts like one at times, with not just its cartoony animation and slapstick humor (which actually made me chuckle at times), but use of narration and the fact that this is nothing but a ‘Smurfs’ movie; nothing more. Nothing less! This is also an entertaining, albeit harmless attempt at an animated reboot that should have happened years ago.