"Exquisite!" — Cool Cat, Cool Cat Saves the Kids
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"The Smurfs is ultimately harmless. It's not a good movie, not even close, and as far as children's entertainment goes, you can do so, so much better. Just look at the stuff Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks have been producing recently, to release something as lifeless as The Smurfs to such a crowded market place just reeks of laziness, but with the exception of one or two moments, there's nothing here that I'd try and stop children from actively seeing, but with it's outdated sensibility and just a lack of anything truly compelling here, it won't appeal to anyone from above the age of let's say six or seven. Sure, it's meant to for kids, but when you release a kids film in theatres, it's the adults that have to pay, take them and sit through the the movie with the kids, and I firmly believe that there's only so much an adult will be willing to stomach until they decide to stop taking their kids to see lackluster or crappy movies, no matter how much a kid whines or begs. Despite some decent performances and decent production values, The Smurfs is ultimately bulged down with a lack of effort, soul and just a coporate focus group approach of what was popular in 2010 and 2011."— TribleeReviews
"This movie has nothing to do with the original Smurfs! Look, you can do that with Garfield, you can do that with the Chipmunks, but the Smurfs live in a medieval fantasy world with dragons, with wizards, with witches, with magic, with sorcery, with adventure, and you decided it was more entertaining to have advertising executives, domestic parenting, New York City, Sony product placements?! That is not what the Smurfs stood for, it was magical, it was timeless and you made it... 2000's! (And yet, it was such a big hit, why? - Nostalgia Critic) I'll tell you why, because they threw a lot of money and advertising at it with no effort. People forget how all over the place the Smurfs were. It was a marketing monster that couldn't be escaped. It grabbed older people's nostalgia, younger kids' love for toys and enough celebrities to have people shrug and be way too forgiving because of how cute it was."— Black Nerd
"This is corporate movie making at it's finest, it's what happens when a studio owns a beloved franchise, and takes anybody who can put pieces of film together, have them make a disposable product knowing you'll still make money with it's familiarity to movie-goers."— Joey.T.Cartoon.P
"I mean, IT'S SO BAD! IT IS SO. FREAKING. BAD! This movie is just, I hate it! I was sitting there, just begging for it to end and I stayed until the end and I just ran out it in the theatre like my butt was on fire, I mean, oh my gosh, this movie is terrible!"— Chris Stuckmann
The Smurfs is a 2011 American 3D live-action/computer-animated comedy film loosely based on The Smurfs comic book series of the same name created by the Belgian comics artist Peyo and the 1980s animated TV series it spawned.
It was directed by Raja Gosnell and stars Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, and Sofía Vergara, with Jonathan Winters and Katy Perry as the voices of Papa Smurf and Smurfette. It is the first CGI/live-action hybrid film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and in The Smurfs duology. During early production, the film was also known as The Smurfs Movie. The film had its worldwide premiere on June 16, 2011, in Júzcar, a small village in Spain, and was released on July 29, 2011 by Columbia Pictures.
A sequel, titled The Smurfs 2, was released on July 31, 2013, then a third movie which was a fully animated reboot entitled Smurfs: The Lost Village released in April 2017 and on March 25, 2017 in Georgia.
Evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) has plagued the happy, peaceful Smurfs for a very long time. Finally, he succeeds in chasing the little blue people from their village and through a magic portal -- which transports them to Manhattan and into the life of ad executive Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris). Only three apples high and lost in the Big Apple, the Smurfs (Jonathan Winters, Anton Yelchin, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, Fred Armisen, Katy Perry) must find a way back to their world before Gargamel tracks them down.
Meanwhile, Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) comes to grips with being a father with Grace Winslow (Jayma Mays) and is worried if he is going to be a good father or not. He is also working for an advertising executive and needs to send the right advertisement to Odile Anjelou (Sofia Vergara) in order to keep his job.
Name in other countries
|Language||Movie's name||English Traduction|
|Chinese||"蓝精灵 (Lán jīnglíng)"||same|
|Hindi||"द स्मर्फ्स (da smarphs)"||same|
Why It's A Prime Candidate To Be Squished By Gargamel
- Addressing the elephant in the room, it's very unfaithful to the original source material, even worse compared to most other live-action movie adaptations of cartoons. For instance, in the source material, the stories take place in a forest somewhere in Europe during Medieval times, but even though the beginning does still take place in the forest where the Smurfs live, most of the scenes in this movie afterwards take place in New York City during the present day instead.
- The setting for the movie, the atmosphere, the characters and the writing have hardly any connection to the comic strips at all. It instead just comes off as a massive cash grab that exists to only cash in on a nostalgic franchise.
- Whilst many other live-action adaptations of cartoons before and after this movie usually sucked, at least some of them didn't try to purposely distance themselves from their original source materials as much as possible, in which this movie does exactly that.
- Continuing on with the previous pointer, it also makes zero sense for the Smurfs to be transported to New York when they get sucked into the blue moon portal, considering the fact that the franchise was created in Belgium and not in the USA, like what TrilbeeReviews said in his video about the movie, it would have made much more sense to have it set in a city in Belgium like Brussels because it would have at least paid tribute to the country that the Smurfs were originally created in.
- Not to mention, it could also create confusion for people who have never seen The Smurfs prior to this film's release, and it could make them assume that The Smurfs were an American creation, which is obviously false.
- The story for the most part is extremely generic and is very predictable and clichéd; The Smurfs get sucked into New York after they escape from Gargamel's clutches, and they try everything they can to get back home.
- False advertising:
- Somewhat misleading title: Instead of being focused on the Smurfs, who are the titular characters, and although they do get a surprisingly great amount of screen time and focus as mentioned below, the film mainly focuses on Patrick Winslow, who is an advertising executive coming to grips with domestic parenting.
- Many of the Japanese and Chinese posters for the movie show the Smurfs in famous landmarks and cities from those countries, like the Great Wall of China, Tokyo, Beijing, and a few others, but the Smurfs don't actually go to them in the actual movie, which can mislead the viewers from those countries.
- In one of the posters, it shows Papa Smurf wearing sunglasses, but he didn't wear one in the movie.
- Though, it was most likely done to promote the 3D release of the movie, as some posters for the second film also advertise Papa Smurf wearing glasses in them as well, despite him not wearing any at all in the actual film.
- One of the posters involve the Smurfs being trapped on the doors of the NYC subway with commuters reacting to them trapped in when in the actual movie, this scene doesn't involve any people seeing or noticing the Smurfs in the subway.
- As a matter of fact, no other human characters throughout the entire movie aside from Patrick and Grace even interact or see the Smurfs at all, the only time when they do see them is in the scene where they go to FAO Schwartz, and even then, they only see them as toys.
- Executive Meddling: Initially, when Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies owned the rights to create the film, they were originally going to make it a comedic epic fantasy in a similar manner to The Princess Bride or The Lord of the Rings and it was going to be a backstory for Gargamel and about what he does when he is inside his castle, however, when Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation owned the rights to make the film, many of the original concepts for the film were thrown away, which was saddening considering that Paramount's original plans and ideas for the movie was actually somewhat faithful to the source material. The only reason why these changes were made was because Sony Pictures Animation wanted to make a live-action adaptation of a cartoon series that would hop on the same trend as other live-action adaptations like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Scooby-Doo, Garfield: The Movie and Yogi Bear, which sounded like a bad idea because even though these movies did well in the box office (especially the former), they were all critically panned and were criticized by fans of the movies' respective source materials.
- One of the biggest problems with the movie is that it is loaded with advertisements for tons of other products and companies that have nothing to do with The Smurfs. In fact, there are more product placements in this movie than there are in all four Alvin and the Chipmunks movies combined. Some examples of shameless product placements include Blu-Ray, Guitar Hero, PlayStation 3, UglyDolls, Maxell, Samsung, Wikipedia, Google, M&M's, Coca-Cola, LEGO, Toys R Us, TGI Friday's, McDonald's, Hello Kitty, Madame Alexander, Sesame Street, The Blue Man Group, Green Day, etc.
- It doesn't help by the fact that both the scene where the Smurfs are discovering the Times Square centre of New York for the first time and the scene where the Smurfs are in FAO Schwarz are absolutely littered with blatant product placements and are both very easy to spot out and also take up the entire movie, to the point where it makes the movie feel more like an hour-long advertisement than an actual film, it may be true that Times Square has a lot of advertisements throughout the entire centre, but that doesn't mean the movie should show every single one of them, doesn't this sound awfully familiar?
- The product placement for Guitar Hero in particular is very dated, considering the fact that the game series wasn't even popular during the time the movie was released and the franchise wasn't even relevant anymore prior to 2010, mainly due to the game series losing popularity after it was milked and oversaturated by its publisher Activision, and with the franchise dying after Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
- The pacing is very poor and the camera movements feel very lazy too, as every scene in the movie uses the exact same type of camera movement, with it constantly moving at a fast pace, but not the type of fast pace where it flows really well and is easy to see what's going on. The camera movements are so bad that it will most likely make the viewer feel dizzy or it makes the viewer's focus on whatever is happening in the movie very blurry.
- Stunt casting is used for many of the characters in the movie including the main Smurfs themselves, with the most notable example being Katy Perry playing Smurfette. Although most of the celebrities who play the roles for their characters do decent jobs as their performances for them, at the same time, having their roles for the characters just feels like a desperate attempt at making the film appeal more to moviegoers or fans of the celebrities.
- Despite the decent performances from the voice actors in the movie, George Lopez is the only one that feels miscast, as he doesn't really give the best voice to his character, Grouchy Smurf, with the main problem being that it sounds nothing like Grouchy's voice from the Hanna Barbera cartoon series and his voice sounds too calm and light-hearted to match with the character of Grouchy.
- There are even a few other celebrities who play the roles for a few other characters in the movie, and some of them barely even get that much screen time and have very small cameos. For instance, there are a few cameos for Jokey Smurf (played by Paul Reubens), Greedy Smurf (played by Kenan Thompson), Baker Smurf (played by B.J. Novak), Handy Smurf (played by Jeff Foxworthy), Chef Smurf (played by Wolfgang Puck) and Vanity Smurf (played by Jon Oliver), whom every single one of them is voiced by a celebrity, and their cameos are all wasted due to them all being very short, and they do not contribute anything important or noteworthy to the story either.
- Many lines of dialogue overuse the "Smurf" word, which can get tedious after a while. Granted, this was how the Smurfs usually spoke in the original source material, but it wasn't as overused as it was like in this movie.
- Mediocre direction from Raja Gosnell and poor writing from both J. David Stem and David N. Weiss, not helping by the fact that Gosnell has also directed a few other bad and mediocre movies like Home Alone 3, Big Momma's House, Yours, Mine & Ours, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
- Not only does the film's premise feel like a complete rip-off of Enchanted, but it also rips off other various films, most notably Alvin and the Chipmunks, Fat Albert and Masters of the Universe.
- The plot is very similar to Enchanted, Fat Albert and Masters of the Universe as it uses a similar premise of the main characters being transported from their own world into the real world. It's more notably similar to Fat Albert as it uses a similar concept of the Smurfs existing as real characters in their universe, but they also exist as fictional characters in the real world.
- Despite not being a complete rip-off, the movie mostly feels like an Alvin and the Chipmunks clone due to the fact it involves a similar premise of human characters (Patrick and Grace) meeting creatures that they have never seen before, and they allow them to stay in their house. It even uses the same character arc from Alvin and the Chipmunks, as it also a human character(s) not being keen on them at first (Patrick Winslow), but soon grows to love them in the end. This concept has the same one as in Alvin and the Chipmunks, as that movie involves Dave meeting the Chipmunks, who he isn't keen on at first, but in the end, he grows to love them.
- In fact, the scene where the Smurfs meet Patrick and Grace is very similar to the scene in Alvin and the Chipmunks where Dave has an aggressive encounter with the Chipmunks at the start.
- One frustrating element about the movie is that it also suffers from numerous plot holes, which makes the story feel unfinished and rushed, the most notable offenders include:
- The Smurfs being more surprised at the fact that Grace Winslow is wearing different clothes rather than her being pregnant.
- The scene where Grouchy Smurf talks to a plush of Ms. Green from M&M's, and for some reason, he doesn't realize that it is a plush and not a Smurf.
- Patrick Winslow searching for the Smurfs on Google, aside from finding the page for the Smurfs on Wikipedia, he doesn't find anything about the comic series or the Hanna Barbara cartoon show, which doesn't make sense because if the Smurfs exist as fictional characters in the real world, they should have at least found something about their original source material.
- The Smurfs knowing the exact lyrics to "Walk This Way", despite the fact that they realistically shouldn't know the lyrics to the song as there wasn't any indication that they even knew the lyrics of the song before the scene happened, and even then, how would they even know what the song is even though it was never written or sung during the medieval times?
- The notorious scene where the Smurfs find a book of themselves in the library and find Peyo (the creator of The Smurfs), implying that Peyo wrote a book of fictional creatures, not only do they exist in this film, nobody else seems to be aware of what they are.
- Papa Smurf destroying Gargamel's dragon wand and throwing it in a lake, but in the mid-credits scene, Gargamel still has the wand unbroken.
- The scene where the Smurfs were escaping Gargamel, and Papa Smurf stayed behind purposely to get captured when he could've just escaped with the other Smurfs.
- Azrael getting his chipped ear with a cage falling on it during the scene where Smurfette tackles him, despite the fact that the movie takes place after the cartoon and not before it.
- The beginning scene where Papa Smurf sees a vision of all of the Smurfs being kidnapped all because of a mistake that Clumsy made, however, in the scene where it would supposedly happen, Clumsy does not make the mistake. This is arguably the worst plot hole in the entire movie as it makes zero sense whatsoever for the vision to falsely show Clumsy messing up and causing all of the Smurfs to get kidnapped by Gargamel, not helping by the fact that Papa Smurf literally says in the exact scene that happens that "the visions have never been wrong", so how all of a sudden is it wrong now?
- Many poor attempts at humour throughout the entire film, with most of them either being extremely juvenile or just unnecessary to be there:
- There are many jokes, scenes and pieces of dialogue that often rely on pop culture references, such as one scene involving Smurfette making a rather unneeded reference to her voice actor Katy Perry's song "I Kissed A Girl", by saying "I kissed a Smurf, and I liked it!", Patrick Winslow making an unnecessary reference to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial when he tells the Smurfs to not go anywhere, and the corner rap scene involving the Smurfs doing an awful cover of "Walk This Way" while Patrick is playing Guitar Hero.
- Aside from pop-culture references, there are also some immature toilet humour and disgusting gross-out jokes, like the scene where Azrael vomits out a piece of Smurfette's hair, the scene where Gargamel mistakes a porta-potty for a cauldron and the one infamous scene where he urinates in a bucket in a luxury restaurant in front of the customers.
- Ugly, creepy, semi-realistic, bizarre, uncanny, and out-of-place character designs for the Smurfs because the Smurfs are designed to look realistic in this movie, which feels out-of-place considering that they were never supposed to look realistic in the comic book series or the Hannah Barbara cartoon. In fact, they don't even look like real Smurfs, they look more like miniature Shreks painted blue or other woodland creatures cosplaying as the Smurfs.
- Ironically enough, there was a scene where Gargamel plays with Smurf marionettes that he made himself, and yet they look more lifelike than the actual Smurfs in this movie.
- When early screenshots of this movie were shown in 2008, the Smurfs actually resembled their original cartoon designs despite being in CGI. You know it's sad when the early designs for the Smurfs look more lifelike and faithful than their final designs in the movie itself.
- Aside from the Smurfs themselves, Azrael's design looks very uncanny and creepy at times as well, mainly because the CGI that is used for him portrays Azrael to look like a real cat, and most of his facial expressions look very weird and out-of-place.
- At times, the movie can try way too hard to be hip with the kids, which feels extremely out of place as it takes away the timeless feel that the original source material was intending for and no other piece of media based on The Smurfs, not even the Hanna Barbera cartoon, ever attempted at trying to be hip with kids. Some notable attempts at trying to be hip are shown in the scene where Patrick Winslow uses his laptop to search for the Smurfs on Google and the aforementioned scene where he plays Guitar Hero. Most of these attempts at being hip are very poor as they're only there for a blatant product placement and the latter scene comes across as dated due to the Guitar Hero franchise dying a year before this movie came out, as mentioned earlier.
- In addition to this, the Smurfs also do a rap cover of "Walk This Way" by Run-D.M.C. & Aerosmith while Patrick plays Guitar Hero, which is very cringe-worthy and painful to listen to.
- Many moments in the movie overuse the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song, which is super annoying, and it can easily get on your nerves, especially since the Smurfs never stop singing it. Patrick Winslow understandably gets annoyed by the song and tries to tell the Smurfs to stop, but they all ignore him, aside from Grouchy.
- There are some mean-spirited moments, such most of the Smurfs not inviting Clumsy to the Blue Moon dance and them not taking him with them to find a book to send them home.
- One of the morals that the film gives us is rather hypocritical, being about never giving up on your family and stay by their side all the time to keep them safe, which Papa Smurf said to Patrick about his five Smurf children after he got transported to New York, yet in a later scene, Papa decides to give them up by sacrificing himself by letting Gargamel capture him and let the evil wizard steal his essence, which was done all because Papa wanted to let the other Smurfs escape from the wizards' clutches, it maybe good that he tried to keep them safe, but it contradicts the nice and heartwarming moment that Papa had with Patrick about becoming a father, and it makes Papa Smurf feel out of character for backstabbing something he promised to Patrick about and hoped that he would do for his Smurf children.
- As mentioned earlier, the scene also creates a major plot hole too, as he realistically could of just escaped with them, seeing how there wasn't any sort of reasonable explanation for how Gargamel could of captured them if Papa Smurf did escape with the other Smurfs.
- The characters are quite predictable and cliché:
- While likable, Patrick Winslow is basically a predictable character like Dave Seville in Alvin and the Chipmunks, as he uses the generic, predictable arc in which you know that he is gonna hate the Smurfs at first, but by the end of the film, he ends up liking them.
- Although his subplot about him coming to grips with being a father is decent and relatable, his subplot about him working for an advertising company, on the other hand, is unfocused and pointless.
- Neil Patrick Harris also delivers a few performances that make him seem like he wants to get out of every scene as quickly as possible, and most of his dialogue seems to mock the fact he is blatantly trying to sell a product. He also seems to be a figment of how the movie creators see the audience's reaction to the Smurf characters, as Patrick Winslow often gets easily annoyed by the Smurfs' antics, the way they use the word "Smurf" in every sentence and when they sing the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song, which we don't blame him, though.
- The Smurfs, while still likable characters, are generically written and are one-dimensional to their original personalities, they can also get rather unlikable at times since they are discriminative over Clumsy and treat him like he is completely worthless until the end of the film after Gargamel is defeated, which makes Clumsy comes across as a butt-monkey. Granted, Papa Smurf was afraid that he was probably going to mess up due to the vision he saw of everyone getting captured by Gargamel thanks to Clumsy, but at the same time, it still comes across as mean-spirited and it can also give the blue creatures a bad reputation, since in the Hanna Barbera cartoon, Papa and the rest of the Smurfs didn't have any problems with Clumsy at all and treated him like an official member of the Smurf family, so seeing Clumsy being mistreated by his fellow citizens is just questionable at best.
- Clumsy is likable too, but he also has a very predictable arc about proving himself that he is just as useful as all the other Smurfs, and he is quite a butt-monkey too, mainly because of the Smurfs not treating him just as all the other blue creatures.
- Odile Anjelou is a very bland and forgettable character, since she's nothing more than just a huge Mary-Sue who forcefully wants Patrick to focus on the Anjelou brand.
- While Gargamel is still a funny villain and Hank Azaria does an excellent job with his role for the character, some of the attempts at his humor can also be hit or miss, with most of his recurring jokes often revolve around him getting hit by something or just falling over. In addition to this, there are some attempts at humour with him that comes across as very unfunny or just plain ridiculous, like the scene where Gargamel gets tased by the police in FAO Schwarz and the aforementioned scene where he peed in a bucket, with the former coming across as laughably stupid and the latter coming across as disgusting, creepy, disturbing and slightly inappropriate for children.
- While likable, Patrick Winslow is basically a predictable character like Dave Seville in Alvin and the Chipmunks, as he uses the generic, predictable arc in which you know that he is gonna hate the Smurfs at first, but by the end of the film, he ends up liking them.
- Sometimes, the movie has a few moments that aren't suitable or appropriate for children, such as the scene where Odile Angjelou's mother turned back into a younger woman after Gargamel turned her into one. It had a quick scene where her breast grew a little bigger and when she slapped her own rear after the spell was finally complete. The same can also be said about the aforementioned scene where Gargamel urinates in a bucket in front of people in the same restaurant as him, which is very disturbing and gross.
- The movie cannot decide whether it wants to be a tribute to longtime Smurf fans, or just a generic children's movie, as there are a lot of juvenile moments that only young children will enjoy, but at the same time, it also tries to throw in elements that longtime Smurf fans might point out and understand.
- To expand even further with the previous pointer, it doesn't do a good job at trying to explain the Smurf lore to people who are unfamiliar with the source material, one notable example is when they don't explain why the Smurfs can only eat Smurfberries and nothing else, people who are longtime Smurf fans will obviously understand why this is the case, but children, parents, and other people unfamiliar with the source material will most likely scratch their heads with confusion to this statement as there is zero explanation for why this is the case.
- The film doesn't do much with the concept of a film based on The Smurfs due to how very little material there is to focus on a certain individual Smurf or try and test new grounds with the series since the original comics were very simple and basic with the stories focusing more on the wacky antics they would get up to instead of a narrative focused story with arcs and huge plot points, and since the film is using a Alvin and the Chipmunks-esque formula where the tiny creatures meet up and befriend human beings to try and pad out the film with clichés and several other stuff that has been in other movies before, it comes off as the movie not trying anything to make a decent narrative and more or less be inventive with its story and instead feeling like another generic kids movie based on a beloved property, which is no surprise since Gosnell, the director, is heavily known to direct several bad movies with half-baked ideas and the film here is no expectation to that trend he makes with his films.
- In fact, The Smurfs are rather underutilised in the film since they are not given enough focus or are just there to advertise the film with their "cute" appearances, which isn't very good usage of the title characters of the film itself.
- Despite the movie focusing more on Patrick Winslow, the titular characters do get a great amount of focus.
- Despite some poor attempts at trying to be funny, there is still a handful of good humor:
- There was a funny moment where Patrick asks the Smurfs if they find the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song just a tiny bit annoying, in which Grouchy proceeds to tell him that he finds it annoying.
- The only other funny line was when The Smurfs are going to bed, and they say "I miss all the other Smurfs", one says "I miss Vanity Smurf", another says "I miss Lazy Smurf", they all agree, then one says "I don't miss Passive-Aggressive Smurf", and they all agree and say "he's really friendly, but then you walk away feeling bad for some reason".
- Another possible funny one would be whenever Gargamel would throw his cat Azrael somewhere and say "Azrael, are you dead?". A similar scene happens when Gargamel gets hit by the bus and Azrael say "Are you dead?" with subtitles and him laughing, which is also kind of funny.
- Gargamel's interactions with the people in New York are also pretty funny too, including the one scene where he asks several people if they've seen the Smurfs, in which the people get confused on what he is talking about, which is then followed by Gargamel questioning in if everyone in the place is completely insane, as well as the scene where he mistakes an old man selling toys for a wizard.
- The Smurfs angrily singing the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song is actually quite amusing.
- Admittedly, the scene where Gargamel gets tased by the police can be considered so ridiculous that it comes across as slightly funny.
- Some parts of the film are faithful to the source material:
- The beginning of the film still takes place in the same forest where the Smurfs live.
- Although the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song is super annoying, it's at least a throwback to the original Smurfs theme song.
- The way they used the creator of The Smurfs, Peyo, as a researcher for them was very clever, yet still hard to follow.
- The part when the Smurfs found the original Belgium comic of them is very neat, despite it being nonsensical with the plot.
- At least the rest of the Smurfs, Gargamel and Azrael all behave like their original counterparts.
- Even though the story is very generic and is an obvious rehash of Enchanted, the basic concept of giving a story about the Smurfs accidentally being teleported to a separate dimension and finding a way to get back home sounds interesting on paper and considerably has a little more going to it, despite the fact that the execution is pretty poor.
- Even though the Alvin and the Chipmunks-esque story is very generic and forced in, it does try to do something new with the same clichéd story as the aforementioned movie. Usually, in stories like this, only one person sees the creature(s) and everyone else thinks he/she is crazy, but here, it was actually a couple that sees them instead, which was actually quite refreshing.
- Not to mention, the modern urban setting is considerably a nice touch to the franchise.
- Some characteristics are done right:
- Patrick Winslow and Grace Winslow are likable characters. Despite Patrick having a predictable character arc, he does have a decent and relatable subplot of him being worried about being a father, despite being out of place for a Smurfs movie.
- Nearly all of the Smurfs are still quite likable and match their personalities from the original source material, even if most of them are one-dimensional and predictable.
- Papa Smurf is very likeable and is in character throughout the entire movie, not to mention, Jonathan Winters brings in an excellent voice role for him.
- Despite his predictable arc of wanting to prove to everyone that he is just as good as the rest, Clumsy Smurf is a very likable Smurf character, arguably cuter than in the source material and Anton Yelchin does deliver a pretty good voice role for the character.
- Gutsy Smurf is also a good and interesting new Smurf character, despite being somewhat of a Scottish stereotype.
- Although they do have an annoying habit of singing the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song and ignoring Patrick who tells them to stop, there are a few times where they don't ignore him and realize that they are annoying him, like in the one scene where Patrick stops the Smurfs singing "la, la, la-la-la-la" song and the Smurfs try to hum the song to annoy him less, which avoids them from coming across as mean-spirited.
- Gargamel is still an entertaining villain played by Hank Azaria, who does a great job at playing him.
- The voice performances for the Smurfs and the acting for the live-action cast are at least decent.
- As mentioned earlier, Jonathan Winters was an excellent casting choice for Papa Smurf, as his lively and light-hearted performance is absolutely amazing, and it matches the character perfectly.
- Despite being an obvious stunt casting choice, Katy Perry's performance as Smurfette is pretty good as well.
- Hank Azaria puts his famous charisma into Gargamel and is admittedly quite hilarious in his performance for the character, as mentioned earlier.
- Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays both do very good jobs as their performances for Patrick and Grace, as their interactions with the Smurfs feel real, as if they're actually talking to them and having conversations.
- The cartoon's main issue was the high-pitched voices for the Smurfs, which can be annoying for older viewers, but here, it's fixed, as not every single Smurf has a high-pitched voice now.
- Like any other Sony Pictures Animation movie, the CGI is great and the animation has aged very well, even to this day.
- As creepy and uncanny as the designs for the Smurfs are, the computer-generated animation on the characters are well-animated, and they do at least do a decently nice job at looking faithful to their original designs from the comic series, which is something that cannot be said about most other cartoon-based live-action films.
- Added to that, just like every single movie Sony did for the past few years, the cinematography looks good.
- On top of that, Clumsy Smurf has a cute design, unlike all the other Smurfs.
- There are a few scenes that are well-written and well-performed, like the scene where Patrick Winslow and Papa Smurf are on the roof of the apartment complex having a calming and quiet conversation about their encounter with Gargamel and about Patrick's preparation in becoming a father, there is also a heartwarming moment in the scene involving Papa Smurf telling Patrick that he is willing to do everything to get back to his Smurf village and that he does not want to give up on his Smurf family.
- Decent musical score by Heitor Pereira.
- "Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)" by Panic! at the Disco, which plays during the credits scene, is a great song.
- "Rocketeer" by Far East Movement is also a pretty good song as well.
The Smurfs received generally negative reviews from critics and audiences, who criticized the design of the titular characters, poor screenplay, juvenile and unfunny attempts at humour, and plot for its perceived lack of originality, perceived lack of fidelity to its source material and the excessive amount of product placements, and many also compared it unfavourably to Enchanted, Fat Albert, Masters of the Universe and particularly Alvin and the Chipmunks, although the performances of Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jayma Mays received some praise, alongside the music, production design, animation, etc. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 21% of 117 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.01/10. The site's critical consensus states, "The Smurfs assembles an undeniably talented cast of voice actors and live-action stars—then crushes them beneath a blue mound of lowest-common-denominator kiddie fare.". On Metacritic, the film has weighted a score of 30 out of 100, indicating, "generally unfavorable reviews," while IMDb has an average score of 5.4/10.
In addition to this, many YouTube critics like Chris Stuckmann, LS Mark, Black Nerd, Nostalgia Critic, PhantomStrider, TrilbeeReviews, Joey.T.Cartoon.P, and many others have also openly criticised the movie, with Chris Stuckmann in particular absolutely hating this movie, claiming that he was begging for it to end when he was watching it in the theatres, and he gave the movie zero out of four stars in his review. Nostalgia Critic and Black Nerd were also critical to this movie too, with Black Nerd especially disliking it for the unfaithfulness towards the original source material, seeing how big of a Smurfs fan he is. Not all reviews were completely negative, however, TrilbeeReviews did say some positive things about the movie, calling it "ultimately harmless", but he also found the bad qualities for the movie too overshadowing compared to the number of good qualities that the movie has, and he criticised it for its attempts at trying to only pander towards the children demographic, even commenting that even though it is intended for children, adults also have to watch the movie when their children want to see the movie in theatres, he also gave the movie two out of five stars at the end of his review.
Despite the movie being critically panned, The Smurfs was a box office success, with the film grossing $142.6 million in the United States and Canada, along with $421.1 million in foreign markets, for a worldwide total of $563.7 million, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 2011 and Sony Pictures Animation's highest grossing movie of all time.
- After five years of negotiations, Jordan Kerner bought the rights in 2002, and the film originally entered development with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies until the film rights jumped ship to Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation in 2008. In February 2022, the rights were eventually obtained by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies, with the first project under the alliance will be an animated musical film and planning to released on December 20, 2024.
- Quentin Tarantino was in talks to play Brainy Smurf, however, these did not pan out.
- Jonathan Winters, the voice actor for Papa Smurf, passed away from natural causes on April 11, 2013, only nine days after finishing his voice lines for Papa Smurf in [[The Smurfs 2]}', along with Anton Yelchin, the voice actor for Clumsy Smurf, who passed away from a blunt traumatic asphyxia after being crushed by his own Jeep Grand Cherokee on June 19, 2016.
- This is currently the third-largest page for any movie on this wiki.
- The designs for the Smurfs here were designed by Allen Battino.
- The writers J. David Stem & David N. Weiss were involved in the film production of Shrek 2, and were ironically hired in the film production of the Smurfs film franchise.