Smurfs Cause Glee
In the enchanted forest the Smurfs are busy preparing for the Blue Moon festival when they find their preparations interrupted by the arrival of the nefarious Gargamel (Hank Azaria) who is after some essence of Smurf. Whilst trying to escape a small group of Smurfs end up going through a portal and coming out the other end in Central Park where they eventually land up in the home of Patrick Wimslow (Neil Patrick Harris) a young executive who is about to become a father but is having a rough time at work. But Gargamel has managed to follow them in to the city and whilst people think he is a mad man he is still Smurf hunting with a new laboratory set up.
Somewhere in the dark recesses of my attic resides a cardboard box, long taped up and covered in attic dust, which hold the toys of my childhood and in there lives a handful of Smurfs, small PVC figurines which were collected from the local garage during the 70s. For decades I had forgotten about these little blue figures with their white hats until out of the blue it was announced that they were making a Smurf movie and I found myself wondering how in the name of all things Smurf did they come up with the Smurfs as a viable option for a cartoon, even a live animation one. Come on, how many young children had actually heard of the Smurfs prior to the announcement of this movie.
Having eventually watched "The Smurfs" I still find myself asking the same question because whilst far from terrible all "The Smurfs" came across like was the jokes from a "Chipmunk" movie switched to the Smurfs. In fact switch Jason Lee for the combined appeal of Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays plus switch David Cross as veil Ian for Hank Azaria with a bald cap as Gargamel and "The Chipmunks" and "The Smurfs" are the same movie with plenty of Smurf out of water comedy as they end up in the city whilst Patrick is run ragged by having the Smurfs as his guest.
Now in truth I may be sounding like a curmudgeonly old groaner when in truth "The Smurfs" was entertaining, the rendering of the little blue figures is enjoyable as are the characters. And the comedy is good with some nice over the top fish out of water moments as the Smurfs cause chaos in Patrick's life. But the truth is that "The Smurfs" owes a lot to the appeal of Neil Patrick Harris & Jayma Mays as whilst Harris gives us nice guy flustered Mays gives us wide eyed goodness.
What this all boils down to is that "The Smurfs" is a curiosity as it is entertaining but for me it could have been about any little creature as it isn't really about "The Smurfs" just a variation on what we had already seen in "The Chipmunk" movies. The thing is that whilst "The Smurfs" wasn't as great as I wanted it to be I would happily watch it again and again.