The Smurfs: Manhattan is Only the First Step for the Lovable Smurfs!
"The Smurfs" (2011) phenomenon is not a recent invention. They first appeared in 1958, when the Belgian artist Peyo published a comic book about them. Today, there are over a hundred of them, which are named (like the Seven Dwarfs) for characteristics they possess, such as "Jokey" and so on.
In this particular animated tale, when the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world into New York City. It is a pretty thin storyline, but with these types of films, you take what you can get.
In this enjoyable film directed by Raja Gosnell, The Smurfs tumble from their magical world and into ours -- in fact, smack dab in the middle of 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 the evil Gargamel tracks them down.
Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays provide the voices of Patrick and Grace Winslow, Sofia Vergara is Odile, and Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, George Lopez, Jeff Foxworthy, Paul Reubens, Wolfgang Puck, and several others voice the numerous Smurfs.
While this film is made for children, it has a surprising amount of foul language. Parents might wish to screen it themselves before placing it at the unlimited disposal of very young children. Think "South Park" and you won't be too far off. Kids these days eat up the nasty stuff, so your kid might love it but it is best not to be surprised.
As is the case with so many children's films these days, the voices are mostly those of pop celebrities that you will recognize like Katy Perry (as a singer, she built her career on her voice, obviously). In these things, of course, the heavy lifting goes into the animation, but the voices are important for selling the product. Sony Pictures Animation does a fine job of creating the Smurfs. They look an awful lot like those old Voodoo dolls that kids loved.
|The detailed 3-D animation is the best thing about "The Smurfs."|
|It's in Central Park!|
|As usual, whenever he's around, Neil Patrick Harris steals the film.|