Thursday, 11 August 2011

133, The Smurfs

The year is 1981.  I was 5 years old and I distinctively recall one of my earliest childhood memories.......The tune stuck in my head for a further 30 years, La La La La La La, Sing a happy song, La La La La La La, Smurf the whole day long!  I was hooked.

I loved the Smurfs.  Back in the mid 80's I don't believe there was a kid that didn't!  In the times of 4 channels and Cartoons only after school and on a Saturday morning everyone tuned in.  The Legend of Papa Smurf, Clumsy, Brainy etc and always wondering why Smurfette was the only girl?  Gargamel and Azrael always trying to defeat our little intrepid blue heroes.  They have been immortalised in cartoon history and even today - you can find Stag Do's all across the world Smurfing it up for a laugh!

So, 2011 is upon us and finally, a 3D Live animation movie about one of the most beloved group of characters ever conceived is launched,  and what a Smurfing great movie it was!

The great thing about the smurfs is the language is god awful but camouflaged amazingly with the word "Smurf" included at just the right time to make it acceptable and completely innocent.  So, for Smurfs sake - pay attention to the following.

The story is pretty straight forward.  Clumsy Smurf Smurfs up quite royally and opens a Smurfing porthole to Central Park, New York where him and 5 other unlucky Smurfers end up gatecrashing life as we know it.  They bump into Neil Patrick Harris (The legend that was and always will be Doogie Howser MD) and him and his pregnant girlfriend reluctantly help them get back to Smurf village while being hunted down by the brilliant Hank Azaria (Most of the Simpson's voices) who plays the real life Gargamel.

Smurfing simple!

There is no denying that the Smurf animation in this is brilliant.  They are completely Smurfing adorable and the interaction between smurf and Human is brilliant.  Hank as Gargamel is also amazing and in my eyes steals the show but its going to take a real Smurfing hard case not to go doe eyed over Smurfette (Katy Perry) and the story behind her being the only lady Smurf in the village is covered off.  Nice!

They have kept to Peyo's cartoon origins almost exactly to the letter with the theme tune reprised throughout and there is even a little nod to the creator (Peyo) in an old spell book as well as some other lovely little appreciative set pieces that really do bring the closeness of the characters home to you.

The other surprise cast member was Sophia Vergara (Modern Family) who initially has the presence of a real slave driving boss but in the end seems to melt into loveliness.  Hmmmmmm.

So - Lets round this up quite simply.  This is a sweet, blue, funny and well written kids movie that your little Smurfing terrors will adore and for the parents over about 30ish - a real homecoming to what was arguable one of the best cartoons of yesteryear.

See this if...................................Just get your head out of your Smurf and go!