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Film review - Smurfs: The Lost Village

Fri, 31st Mar 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The little blobs in blue are back, and they're actually better than ever in Smurfs: The Lost Village. It's entirely animated, stands on its own two feet and has very little to do with that 2011 film, which honestly wasn't that great.

The star of the show this time around is Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato) - and she's having something of an identity crisis.

She has never been considered a ‘real' Smurf, but her cheery attitude has seen her through the toughest times. She couldn't be as grouchy as Grouchy Smurf if she tried.

If you (or your curious children) want to know more about Smurfette's back story, track Season 1, episode 1 of the Smurfs cartoon series, and you'll get more answers.

One day she happens upon a creature in the woods, who looks like a Smurf but doesn't appear to belong to her village. Cue epic adventure!

With her gang of four, Hefty Smurf (voiced by Joe Manganiello) Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer) and Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi), she defies Papa Smurf's orders and sets out on an adventure into the Lost Village.

Their mission to find this mysterious creature and to save everyone from the clutches of the evil villain, Gargamel (voiced by Rainn Wilson).

Directed by Kelly Asbury (behind films such as Shrek 2 and Gnomeo and Juliet) and written by Stacy Harman and Pamela Ribon, rhis is a film that has a solid storyline. It's an extension of the Smurfs we grew up with - albeit  in a much more 3D and colourful setting.

There are otherworldly creatures, the fight between good and evil, the bond of friendship and finding out true identities, all of which actually make for a good mix of story, no matter what other grouchy critics say.

Sometimes 2D characters don't translate well in computer animation, but this is not the case for our little blue and white friends. It's refreshing that this film is also completely animated. Usually live action and animation don't mix well.

It's also easier for grownups to be way too cynical about films. I swear if I hear ‘Blue' — Eiffel 65's hit earworm from the 90s — just one more time…

Judging by the kids in the audience at the screening, this film sat well with them too. Laughs, tears, fear and the occasional squeal all sounded like total engagement to me.

This film is an hour and a half long, so grab a big bag of popcorn, plenty of treats for the kids (or kidults) and settle down for a good little adventure.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is in cinemas from April 6.

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