The latest iteration of the Smurfs movies — starring the voices of Demi Levato, Rainn Wilson, Julia Roberts, Mandy Patinkin, Joe Manganiello, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter and Meghan Trainor — is all animated, unlike its live-action predecessors, in more of a nod to the original show. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth taking your little ones to see Smurfs: The Lost Village, then check out the highlights from these reviews. They seem to agree: harmlessly entertaining for kids; a bore for parents, but perhaps worth seeing if you’d like 90 minutes to just veg out (and, honestly, what parent of young kids wouldn’t like that?!).
“The reboot directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) should please its target audience while providing little entertainment value to any adult chaperones who appreciated Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria’s enjoyably over-the-top turns in the first two films.
Featuring a relentless barrage of the sort of bland pop songs designed to fill out a soundtrack CD, Smurfs: The Lost Village is a mediocre effort that nonetheless succeeds in its main goal of keeping its blue characters alive for future merchandising purposes.”
“‘Smurfs: The Lost Village,’ by contrast, is a sweetly benign fantasy for three-to-seven-year-olds, and though one should show no hesitation in calling it innocuous, because it is, I do realize that’s all part of the design. It’s not a rousing animated comedy that parents will cherish along with their kids. It’s more like a colorful and diverting pacifier.”
“This film is unmistakably aimed at younger audiences. The pop-music score, the simple character revelations, and the non-ambiguous gender binary make for easy, unchallenging viewing. Much of the slapstick lingers whereby anyone over the age of 10 will see the inevitable pratfall seconds ahead of the punchline.
Dedicated Smurfs fans will enjoy a return to the mystical land of yore, but make no mistake; this film is made for younger viewers so don’t expect risque gags or smart observations.”
“‘The Lost Village’ is aimed squarely at youngsters and not at nostalgic audiences who ate Smurfs cereal while watching the 1980s Smurfs cartoons in their Smurfs PJs. Those adults may still find themselves inclined to bring their kids, and both demographics may come away entertained. (I saw the movie at a public sneak, and the on-screen goings-on were enough to keep a theater full of children engaged and silent throughout.)
…It’s significant that two female writers have taken a character who’s mainly just existed to be cute and seductive and turned her into a full-fledged member of this universe.
In the final wash, this is still a Smurfs movie, and if their brand of sweetness wasn’t to your taste before, you may not change your mind. But if for nothing else, “Smurfs: The Lost Village” deserves praise for liberating Smurfette from being “the girl Smurf”; not only is she no longer the only one, but that description finally gets laid out as meaningless, since the inhabitants of the Lost Village are as varied and as capable as their dude counterparts.”
The movie opens April 17, 2017.