‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ Aims Only for the Youngest of Viewers

GameStop, Inc.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

What can you say about the Smurfs that hasn’t been said before? That’s not a rhetorical question. I seriously don’t know. This Belgian creation has endured the test of time for one reason or another. These tiny blue creatures are back on the big screen for the first time since the last two live action films which concluded four years ago with the animated film Smurfs: The Lost Village. This bizarre animated tale is made for the youngest of young toddlers, lacking the requisite wit to entertain both children and adults. While certainly made with noble intentions, there a number of weird decisions made in the telling of this rather rote story of blue-tinged self-discovery.

For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, the Smurfs’ village contains nothing but male Smurfs. Each of the Smurfs in this quaint little village has a descriptive name that illustrates the extent of their characteristics. There’s Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi), Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer), Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello), and on and on and on. This sausage fest of a Smurf society is overseen by the bearded patriarch Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin). There’s one girl in this tribe of Smurfs, Smurfette (Demi Lovato). However, she’s not a Smurf from birth but a creation made of clay and given life by the Smurfs’ sworn nemesis, the power hungry wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson). Smurfette was saved from her life of evil by the loving nature of Papa Smurf and the rest of the obviously named gang. When she accidentally shows Gargamel the existence of another tribe of Smurfs, she must team with Clumsy, Brainy, and Hefty to warn the lost village before Gargamel can steal their Smurf magic and make himself the most powerful wizard in the world.

Once the Smurfs have traveled into the forbidden forest outside of their quaint life, they traverse a dangerous jungle that is glowing in neon with a variety of creatures that can help or harm them. The design in this forbidden forest is obviously inspired by the similar looking jungles in Pandora from Avatar. After a few rounds of battle with Gargamel, the Smurfs discover the lost village described in the title, a place where there are only girl Smurfs. There’s the hardened Smurfstorm (Michelle Rodriguez) and the hyperactive Smurfblossom (Ellie Kemper) in the village over seen by their matriarch Smurfwillow (Julia Roberts). As Gargamel looms on the horizon, the disparate tribes of Smurfs must unite in order to defeat the mad wizard.

It’s undeniable that Pixar has set the gold standard in children’s entertainment because of their ability to tell stories that reach children while providing a level of wit that also can entertain the parents. Director Kelly Asbury and screenwriters Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon can’t achieve even a fraction of what adults have come to expect from animated entertainment for kids. Smurfs: The Lost Village certainly isn’t on the level Pixar. It’s not even on the level of the noticeably inferior Dreamworks. This is an animated tale that aims at the youngest audience and seldom even makes the effort to pacify the adults in the auditorium. There’s an all-encompassing lacking wit to the film that manifests itself in moments that simply just mimic classic cartoon, like the stars circling the head of a character after a bump on the noggin. Even the young child sitting behind me wasn’t fooled by the film’s attempt for a dramatic cliffhanger and vocally called out the moment before it happened.

The main theme of Smurfs: The Lost Village centers round Smurfette coming to terms with her identity due to the fact that she’s one of the few Smurfs of her village that isn’t defined by her name. Eventually she gets to gets to the point where she realizes that she’s not defined by her name or those around her. All in all, a fairly positive message. That positivity doesn’t excuse more of the baffling decisions that are made in the movie. Everything related to the gender segregation of the two Smurf villages is never given the slightest explanation and it’s nothing more than a distracting aspect of the plot that has no actual bearing on what is to follow.

Then there are other little moments that give the viewer pause. One notable moment occurs when Brainy is using his book to help the quartet of Smurfs survive in the forbidden forest that they’re exploring. Trying to start a fire, Brainy is able to get a faint spark of ember but not a flame. Hefty then comes along and throws the book on the embers, igniting the entire fire pit. Yes, there’s a book burning gag in a children’s movie for some baffling reason.

The reality is that Smurfs: The Lost Village feels like a movie intended to be watched by a toddler on an iPad while their parents go about whatever business is required of them. Devoid of wit and featuring celebrity voices that are all but anonymous (although Jack McBrayer allows a bit of his personality to shine through), this attempt to turn the Smurfs into an ongoing franchise falls flat because it aims low at each and every turn. There’s nothing memorable about Smurfs: The Lost Village and once the kids infatuated with it turn seven it’s more than likely they’ll start to put away these childish things. That’s poison for a would-be franchise.

Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • Overall Score
2

Summary

An animated movie that only aims for the younger crowd, Smurfs: The Lost Village seems like a movie destined to distract children on iPads during long road trips and not a movie intended to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
War For Cybertron Trilogy - Siege
Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Siege Coming to Netflix July 30th

Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Siege is premiering on Netflix...

John Lewis: Good Trouble Review
‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ Review — A Great American Gets a No-So-Great Documentary

John Lewis is a great American. Between his work on the...

Nicole Kang Talks About Batwoman and her new movie The Social Ones

We were first introduced to Nicole Kang as Mary Hamilton on...

Event News Event Reviews
SDCC Amazon Prime Activation
[Con-Pression] SDCC Amazon Prime Activation

We relive moments of Con past to deal with our Con-Pression,...

Casey Biggs and Jeffery Combs Discuss their Virtual Meet and Greek Along with Star Trek Las Vegas

On the heels of Creation Entertainment announcing the Official Star Trek...

Connor Trinneer & Dominic Keating Discuss The Star Trek Virtual Fan Experience

Connor Trinneer (“Charles “Trip” Tucker III”) and Dominic Keating (“Malcolm Reed”)...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
SnowRunner
SnowRunner Launches Today

SnowRunner looks to be the ultimate off-roading virtual experience and launches today...

John Wick Hex
John Wick Hex Releases May 5th on PC and Playstation 4

John Wick Hex releases on May 5th on PC and Playstation...

Marvel United Funded
Marvel United Funded – Only Hours Left to Back Marvel United

Marvel United funded in the first 31 minutes! Now you only...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Variant Covers Announced

Press Release from DC Entertainment:   “In brightest day, in blackest...

Comic Historian and Writer, Scott Beatty Discusses the Future of the Industry

Scott Beatty is an incredible guy. He’s a writer, professor, father...

AEW Star, Hangman Page Reads Aloud to Children on Instagram on Friday, April 17

Press Release – CHICAGO, IL (April 14, 2020) – With schools...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Celebrate Bob Ross and the Joy of Painting with Loot Crate

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA (April 16, 2020) – For almost...

McCafé Frappé
McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is a Great Way to Start the Day

McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is the best way to start...

Consumable Gift List 2019
FBN Consumable Gift List 2019

Our Consumable Holiday Gift List 2019 – The best gift to...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
We get ‘Fit with Mandy’ Rose

Former WBFF Bikini World Champion and current WWE Superstar, Mandy Rose...

WrestleMania 36 Night Two Recap!

After a handful of amazing matches at WrestleMania 36 Night One,...

WrestleMania 36 Night One Recap!

People have questioned the motives of Vince McMahon and his desire...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the wizarding rumble: A new horizon chapter: 4

Ron falls further and further under the spell of the island....

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Wizarding Rumble, mini-arc: New Horizons chapter 3

Ron is easily seduced by the trappings of Animal Crossing..

Comics on the can: Babylon Working

COMICS ON THE CAN Babylon Working issue #1 Created by Marcel...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...

James Maslow ‘Rush’es the Stage to Perform at Super Girl Surf Pro on Sunday

James Maslow is an American singer, actor and songwriter best known as the star of...

Jason Lazarus Talks about Composing the Music for ‘Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans’

Jason Lazarus is a Los Angeles based composer for film, television, and...