'The Smurfs': Don't feel blue — the kids should enjoy it
A review of "The Smurfs," a film about those little, not-so-smart blue creatures that is strictly for kids. It's playing at several theaters in Seattle.
Seattle Times movie critic
'The Smurfs,' with Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, Hank Azaria. Directed by Raja Gosnell, from a screenplay by J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick and David Ronn, based on the characters and works of Peyo. 102 minutes. Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action. Several theaters.
"I loved it!" said the 6 ½ -year-old critic who accompanied me to the screening of the animated adventure "The Smurfs." He had previously explained to me what exactly a Smurf was (a negative dwarf plus a negative elf equals a Smurf, which sounds like a perfectly fine equation to me except that it doesn't explain why they're blue), that Smurfs "can be really not smart," that they are really funny and that "the bad guys always lose and stuff."
For those unfamiliar with the Smurf universe (created in the 1950s by the Belgian artist Peyo, for a comic book, and later a TV cartoon series), "The Smurfs" may well be a little overwhelming. Why does the villain Gargamel (Hank Azaria) have a name that sounds like a sore-throat product? Why are there countless male Smurfs and only one female? (The mind boggles.) Why do they only know one song, and why is it so irritating? So many questions.
Nonetheless, there are certainly some random pleasures to be found in "The Smurfs." My favorite examples were the appearance of "Project Runway's" Tim Gunn as a cosmetics-industry flunky and the character of Narrator Smurf (Tom Kane, whose voice will be familiar to anyone who's seen a movie trailer), who of course narrates things. Otherwise, it's your basic kid-friendly tale of little blue creatures slipping through a vortex and turning up in the yuppie Manhattan apartment of Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays), who are almost as cute as Smurfs themselves. The bad guys (which include a cat who deserves a better script) lose and stuff, as you might expect, and all ends, well, Smurfingly. For the kids in the audience, anyway.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or email@example.com
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