Contributed By Jonathan Teo
When I first heard about the release of a Smurfs movie, I could not believe my ears. You mean those cute little blue fellas? I remember watching the Smurfs cartoon during my childhood days. Could director Raja Gosnell (Home Alone 3) really recreate the magic that millions of former kids, some of whom were all grown up now with kids of their own that play the Smurfs iPad app? It was thus with an air of both apprehension and expectancy that I watched this animated-and-live action movie.
The Smurfs kicks off with Clumsy Smurf leading five other Smurfs in the wrong direction to a forbidden cave while escaping from the evil wizard Gargamel (a worthy performance by Hank Azaria) and his cat Azrael. The Smurfs end up being transported through a vortex to present-day New York City. There, they meet a couple, cosmetics company marketer Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and his wife Grace (Jayma Mays) who must help the blue ones find their way home—home being the Smurfs Village—before Gargamel gets to them.
Among the talented cast lending their voice in The Smurfs are Alan Cumming as Gutsy Smurf and singer Katy Perry as the delightful Smurfette. There is plenty of light-hearted humor, not to mention the nostalgic rush at the theme song (altogether now: “La la la-la-la-la”), but while this is a decent movie that will definitely keep the little ones entertained, it does not do enough justice to the place the blue creatures hold in the hearts of those who grew up with them.