Enjoyable, cheesy animation

2011-10-03 00:00

THE Smurfs is an entertaining kids’ film — silly and fun, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It will either having you laughing hysterically or thinking up ways to kill those little blue eejits.

In a rather standard plot the Smurfs are preparing for their blue moon festivities when their arch enemy, the wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) finds their hideout and tries to capture them.

In fleeing, Clumsy runs into a forbidden cave and he, Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Grouchy, Brainy and Gutsy are chased into a portal that transports them to modern-day New York City. Cue tons of the clichéd, fish-out-of-water quips that are still funny … at times.

In New York the Smurfs find friends in Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother) and Grace (Jayma Mays, Glee). They are expecting a baby and their inner nurturing natures persuade them to help the Smurfs on their adventure to return home regardless of their own problems and of the Smurfs’ talent to attract chaos.

There are a lot of profound messages about family, priorities in life and being your best possible self — some cringingly sentimental and out of place but nevertheless worthy life lessons.

Sensitive parents may find that the film contains too many bawdy innuendos like “What the Smurf!” and Smurfette’s little Marilyn Monroe scene with her dress lifting up when she stands above a vent. There’s also a Katy Perry joke (who voices Smurfette) with Smurfette saying, “I kissed a Smurf?”

The movie is a balanced mix of adorable, annoying, funny and cheesy with the Smurfs adding something of CBeebies’ or the Teletubbies’ appeal.

If you have a low tolerance for such animation then avoid this film at all costs — it could have you wanting to pull off your ears.

But the film is enjoyable. It’s not a masterpiece or in any way clever — just a relaxed night out that will have you humming the Smurf song when you leave the cinema even if you find it painful to listen to. If you expect nothing and love the Smurfs, the film’s great.

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