When I was a kid I used to watch the Smurfs every week. I was a big fan and also had some of their books which I’d read over and over. I know it sounds dorky to admit in a blog, but I used to pretend they were real and whenever I was in my grandparents’ back yard I used to hope I would see their mushroom houses. When the Smurfs movie came out a few years ago we skipped it because my kids were too young to see it– but at a recent screening of The Smurfs 2, my kids got to finally see the Smurfs and have new characters to love.
Here’s the plot of the movie: The Smurfs are planning a party for Smurfette, but pretend they forgot it’s her birthday. She feels sad and goes for a walk in the woods. Meanwhile, in Paris, Gargamel plans on capturing Smurfette and forcing her to give him Papa Smurf’s secret formula for making smurfs. He wants to make smurfs to obtain their magical smurf essence so in the meantime, he uses a little smurf essence to create evil fake smurfs – Vexy and Hackus, aka the Naughties. They think gargamel is their father and do as he says. Vexy captures Smurfette and brings her through a portal, to Paris. The Smurfs, with help from their human friends (the movie is a mix of animation and live action), go to Paris to rescue Smurfette. Meanwhile, Smurfette manages to escape Gargamel while he is busy performing a magic show. Vexy and Hackus chase her and trick her into returning to Gargamel. All’s well that ends well – the Smurfs and their friends save Smurfette, along with the Naughties, who become friends with the Smurfs and everyone goes back to Smurf village.
My kids, ages 4 and 6.5 loved the movie, although my 4-year-old was terrified of Gargamel. My oldest, on the other hand, is in love with the Smurfs, especially Smurfette. I just think it’s adorable that they found new characters to like, not to mention, characters I adored once, too.
The movie is directed by Raja Gosnell, who also directed the first Smurfs movie. It’s starring Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria (as Gargamel), with the voices of Katy Perry (Smurfette), Jonathan Winters (Papa Smurf), and Christina Ricci (Vexy). Other notable Smurf voices are: Fred Armisen, Jeff Foxworthy, George Lopez, Jimmy Kimmel, Shaun White, Shaquille O’neal and Mario Lopez.
Aside from being visually stunning, I liked that the movie had good morals, for example: the importance of placing friendship above all and making sacrifices for your friends, which gives the movie a deeper dimension. Is it a fun action-filled summer movie? You bet. But it also has an added moral value that your kids will remember, long after the hot days of summer are gone. Even if they don’t believe that Smurfs are real.