My opinion right after watching the film
My opinion right after watching the movie is that it’s a complete borefest. It didn’t make me mad or frustrated by any means, and it wasn’t painful to watch, but I would be lying if I said it kept my interest for longer than a few seconds. To be honest, it’s the typical Spring film that is put right before the summer season as fodder.
It was announced in the spring of 2012 that there is a Smurfs 3 in development, where the roots of the Smurfs are discovered. As the film went along, they decided to completely cancel and reboot the live action hybrid into a fully-animated film, and instead only focusing on the root of Smurfette.
The movie starts with an introduction on how the Smurfs live, and how everyone else has their place in the village but Smurfefte (Demi Lovato), since she is the only girl. We learn that she was made out of clay by Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) to get info from the Smurfs, but she decided she wanted to be with them instead.
She is hanging out with Brainy (Danny Pudi), Hefty (Joe Manganiello), and Clumsy (Jack McBrayer), and after breaking some sort of invention, she sees another blue creature, following it. She picks up a hat, and ends up being kidnapped by her initial creator, but is spared when the other smurfs follow and rescue her. They all reach home to be lectured by the very overprotective Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin), who deliberately told them to never leave their quarters. Smurfette still decides to sneak out in the middle of the night to go to the Forbidden Forest, where the others see her and demand to follow her, since they are all a team.
The four are on their journey to find the lost village, and after a bunch of trials, tribulations, and filler that could have been cut, they make it to the lost village at around the 50-something minute point. While this is happening, Papa Smurf goes to Smurfette’s house to try and make it up with her, and finds out that she and the others are missing, so he goes to look for them.
The four smurfs all bond with the other Smurfettes that do not care to identify, which I feel is very contrived, since there is barely any time of them bonding and getting to know one another. The Smurfettes are told by the others that Gargamel is coming after them because of Smurfette, so they plan an attack. When he finally shows up, he thanks Smurfette for helping him find the way, while capturing all of the male and female smurfs. Some magical bug shows her that she is not a real smurf, and was made out of clay, and I do admit that I felt bad for her here.
Long story short, she ends up saving them, but turns back to clay. When the so called funeral is over with, she is awoken by their energy and love……… whatever, and becomes an actual Smurf, as well as being a leader.
The movie suffers from very poor pacing. Right when they are starting to build some momentum, a bunch of horrible jokes and derailments just ruin it, and the movie easily drags into boredom territory. It also does not help that the characterization is very weak. We barely spend any time at the other Smurf village, so they completely ruhs that part of the film, though when there are sentimental moments (like the death), it is done well enough where you feel emotion. Boring, but not a complete horror, and there is some redeemability to it.
Characters………. Characters……. I do not seem to recall many characters. Smurfette is nice, and a decent enough protagonist, and the 3-4 other smurfs are decent as ensemble characters in a group (like the 7 dwarfs), but are nothing as their own characters. Gargamel is the typical silly villain, but that is it. There is nothing there to these characters, but the dynamics and characters are likable, so it isn’t the worst case scenario.
What I will say is that while the animation is not that detailed, it is still very nice to look at. The textures are a massive improvement from the live action hybrid counterparts, and the colours are very bold and bright. The character designs are a lot better, and the settings were decent. Overall, it is good, but not outstanding, if that makes sense.
I barely remember the music whatsoever, so……. Yeah. It was pleasant enough, though kind of boring, and I don’t feel like it added much.
Reception at Release
When it was released on April 7th, it grossed $44.8 million domestically, and $151 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide total of $195.8 million. It did not perform horribly, but it did not do well either to stand out.
It received mixed-negative reviews regarding critical reception. People claimed that it might satisfy the Smurfs fandom, and is an improvement over the live action hybrids, but it was way too predictable and bland to really redeem the recent reception of the franchise.
= 23/40 = 58%