Those cute blue creatures from Belgium get their fourth cinematic feature – following on from 1976’s The Smurfs And The Magic Flute and the two live action/CGI adventures The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2 – and it’s a welcome return to a fully animated movie.
This new outing is a brightly coloured, sprightly, fun movie aimed at the youngest members of the audience. It follows Smurfette (who, as fans will know, is the only female Smurf, having originally been created from clay by evil Gargamel) as she encounters a creature similar to herself on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Determined to find out if there are others out there like her, Smurfette (Lovato) sets off with pals Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (McBrayer) and Hefty (Manganiello) to find the lost village of smurfy creatures before wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) does.
There’s certainly lots to entertain little viewers – the lush, eye-popping Forbidden Forest looks like something from Avatar, complete with flowers that can box, gravity-defying rivers and magical insects – and little that will scare them (just the first glimpse of Gargamel, who is soon revealed to be a bumbling idiot as he attempts to capture smurfs in a bid to become more powerful).
Adults may roll their eyes at some of the lamer jokes and the addition of smurfs such as Therapist Smurf, Table Eating Smurf and Chef Smurf (as voiced by Gordon Ramsay), but the simple story, fun adventures and cute smurfs will delight little ones. It may not be as smart or funky as the terrific Trolls (with which it shares some similarities), or have such great songs, but it’s endearing and sweet, much like the little blue guys themselves.
Is Smurfs: The Lost Village suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very young viewers may be scared the first time they see Gargamel, as he is in shadow and then fills the screen. He is soon revealed as something of an buffoon, however, so children will laugh at him.
Sensitive children may be upset by the apparent death of a character towards the end of the movie, but it does end happily.
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