The Smurfs is a 2011 American 3D live-action/computer-animated comedy film loosely based on The Smurfs comic book series 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 trilogy. During early production the film was known as The Smurfs Movie.
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 in March 25 of 2017 in Georgia.
As the Smurfs get ready for the Blue Moon Festival, Papa Smurf sees in his cauldron a vision of Clumsy Smurf reaching for a dragon wand and the Smurfs in cages while Gargamel laughs. Not wanting this vision to come true, Papa Smurf disallows Clumsy to pick Smurf Roots. Clumsy disobeys Papa and ends up unintentionally leading Gargamel and Azrael to the village. The Smurfs all flee for their lives while Clumsy unknowingly runs towards the Forbidden Falls, with Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Grouchy, Brainy and Gutsy running after him. They find him at the edge of a cliff, and while trying to help him up, they are sucked into a gigantic vortex that spirits them to present day New York City. To make matters worse, Gargamel and Azrael follow and the Smurfs end up in the apartment of Patrick and Grace Winslow, a married and expectant couple and their Basset Hound Elway. After clarifying things, the Winslows befriend them and allow them to stay in their apartment. The next day, needing to find a "star gazer" (a telescope), the Smurfs follow Patrick to his work place at Anjelou Cosmetics, misunderstanding the previous explanation of his job as fortune-telling. He calls Grace to pick them up.
However, having extracted "Smurf essence" from a lock of Smurfette's hair, Gargamel also arrives and ends up being treated by Patrick's boss Odile upon using most of his acquired magic on her elderly mother by restoring her youth and attractiveness. But Gargamel resumes his search upon recognizing Patrick and following him to FAO Schwarz, but gets arrested after stealing a leaf blower and for causing chaos in the store with some customers while trying to catch the Smurfs. Gargamel manages to bust out of jail with the aid of flies. By that time, Papa Smurf manages to calculate the night he and the others can get home. But first, he must figure out the spell to do so. Patrick tells them that there is an old book store in the city near Anjelou Cosmetics as he bonds with the Smurfs after sending what he believed to be his finished advertisement to be published. However, the next day, Patrick learns that Clumsy accidentally attached a blue-moon themed side project and he loses his temper before walking out on both the Smurfs and Grace to save his job.
Forced to search on their own, the Smurfs find the store and find the book L’Histoire des Schtroumpfs by researcher Peyo, containing the spell to turn the moon blue. But learning of their location, Gargamel sneaks into the book store and finds a dragon wand, transferring his magic into it as he uses it to capture Papa Smurf as he sends the others to safety. Though the Smurfs promised Papa Smurf that they won't try to save him and return home, Clumsy and Patrick, having seen the error of his actions after Grace e-mailed him a sonogram picture of their baby, convince them to plan a rescue. At Belvedere Castle, after increasing the dragon wand's power with bits of Papa Smurf's beard, Gargamel finds himself facing all the Smurfs, summoned to New York by Brainy conjuring the blue moon. As the Smurf army battles Gargamel, Smurfette defeats Azrael and saves Papa Smurf before they join the fray. Though Gargamel attempts to break the Smurfs by killing Papa, Patrick saves him while Gutsy knocks the dragon wand out of the wizard's hand but he drops it. Clumsy tries to catch it, and to Papa Smurf's surprise, manages to catch it and sends Gargamel flying into a trash can and being hit by a bus with the advertisement "Blue Moon" on it before Papa Smurf breaks it. Soon after, the Smurfs take their leave as Patrick receives a call from Odile that he still has his job because he finally gave her what she wants, after she noticed the blue moon that Brainy created. Later, Patrick and Grace have a baby boy, whom they name Blue to honor the Smurfs, who rebuild their village in the style of New York.
In the aftermath, Gargamel wakes up and learns that he is still in the present and he looks at the audience saying "What are you looking at?" and then blasts them with his wand.
Why It Sucks
- Poor attempts at humor.
- Very poor grasp of the source material. For instance, in the source material, the stories take place in a forest somewhere in Europe during Medieval times. In this movie, however, most of the scenes take place in New York City during the present day.
- False advertising; instead of being focused on the Smurfs, the film mainly focuses on Neil Patrick Harris's character, who is an advertising executive coming to grips with being a father.
- Shameless product placements such as a quick cameo of Guitar Hero.
- The film’s premise rips off of various films, most notably Enchanted and Masters of the Universe.
- Numerous plot holes such as Papa Smurf being afraid of onions for some unexplained reason.
- Smurfette makes a rather unneeded pop culture reference to her voice actress, Katy Perry, by saying "I kissed a Smurf, and I liked it!".
- An infamous scene where Gargamel urinates in a bucket.
- Ugly, semi-realistic design for the Smurfs.
- The "la, la, la-la-la-la" song is super annoying and it can get on your nerves; they never stop singing it and they hum which is also annoying and Neil Patrick Harris’s character was right - it can get a tiny bit annoying. He tries to tell them but they ignore him except for Grouchy which is mean-spirited.
- The sequel that followed it is far less accurate to the source material.
- Some good humor:
- Hank Azaria is hilarious as Gargamel.
- The only other funny line was when The Smurfs are going to bed and say 'I miss all the other Smurfs', One says 'I miss Vanity Smurf', another says 'I miss Lazy Smurf', they are all agreeing, then one says 'I don't miss Passive Aggressive Smurf', and they all agree '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?' and when Gargamel got hit by the bus and makes Azrael say 'Are you dead?' with subtitles and laughing.
- The way they used the creator of The Smurfs, Peyo, as a researcher for them was very clever, yet still hard to follow.
- It does something new with a cliché because usually in stories like this, only one person sees the creature(s) and everyone else thinks he/she is crazy and it's really refreshing that it was a couple.
- The part when the Smurfs found the original Belgium comic of them is very neat.
- The voice acting and the acting for the live-action cast are at least decent.
- Although the "la, la, la-la-la-la" song is super annoying, it's a throwback to the original Smurfs theme song.
- Thankfully, Sony's reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village has massive improvements over this film and its sequel.
- Great CGI which is common with Sony Pictures Animation movies.