As a child, I was very fond of the Smurfs. You couldn’t help but be swept up in whatever smurfing adventure they found themselves every week, which is why I wasn’t surprised when the first film was released…but I was surprised at the way Hollywood approached it. Actually, surprised isn’t the word. Mortified.
The biggest problem was that most of us that grew up watching the Smurfs aren’t young whippersnappers anymore, but the first film – as Hollywood tends to do when it stars seeing dollar signs, totally ignores the core of what made the cartoon so much fun and goes straight for our wallets by cashing in on our nostalgia. The Smurfs performed averagely at the box office, and was critically panned which came as no surprise, leaving the rest of us with a cold, black hole where our childhood memories used to be.
So, inevitably, a second film was commissioned. The strongest part of first film was the voice actors and supporting cast, and most returns as the film is set to star Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, Brendan Gleeson, Katy Perry, George Lopez, Anton Yelchin and Christina Ricci, amongst others.
For the sequel, Gargamel returns with another scheme to try and harness the all-powerful smurf essence…by creating a second race of imps called the Naughties. When the Naughties can’t give him what he wants he tries to kidnap Smurfette, who knows a spell that can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs. Having always felt different than the other Smurfs, Smurfette becomes friends with the Naughties … but will the Smurfs be able to convince her that blue is her favourite colour?
Take a look at the trailer:
So, while it looks like a fun film for the youngsters, my biggest problem with the Smurf films aren’t that the original Smurf fans aren’t really acknowledged. I gladly pass the torch to the younger generation so that they can experience the same fun and magic the we all did as kids. I would just have preferred if I didn’t have to know the kids are settling for alarming mediocracy. That said, it does look like a bit of generic CGI fun and I’m sure kids will be hounding parents for the Smurf plushies shortly after.
The Smurfs 2 opens on the 31st of July, 2013.