I’ve been a fan of the Smurfs ever since I can remember seeing The Magic Flute film on TV back in the early 80’s. Who knew that would be the start of something magical and awesome when it led to the beloved Smurfs animated series, toys, books, and other neat products based on Peyo’s wonderful characters. After the disappointing first two live-action films based on this franchise, Sony decided to reboot it with this latest release, Smurfs: The Lost Village. It’s not the complete Smurf experience fans have been waiting for, but it has enough Smurfy goodness to keep viewers and families feeling…well…Smurfy.
Those who know about the Smurfs have always wondered why Smurfette (Demi Lovato) is the only girl in the Smurf village. She often wonders about it too and sets out on a quest to find out why that is. With Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello), Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer), and Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi) in tow, her quest brings her in contact to the evil Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) who is searching for a special village that is said to hold great power there. Upon finding this lost village first, Smurfette and her friends find out she’s not the only girl Smurf out there, along with some other knowledge that could change the world forever.
I had a Smurfy good time watching the lost village, even though I wish it contained more of the characters we fans are familiar with. I’m so glad this film is completely animated with no live-action bits, but I would’ve loved to see characters such as Johan and Peewit from the kingdom part of the Smurf world. Perhaps these two along with others will make an appearance in a future Smurf movie, but it just feels like some great opportunities were missed here. That aside, I have to admit the film looks gorgeous in 4K, as the ultra high definition and HDR show up every beautiful detail and color perfectly. The audio is just as great, as every crazy bit of dialogue and fun piece of music comes through loud and clear.
You can also check out the Smurf-errific extras featured here, starting with audio commentary with director Kelly Asbury, animation supervisor Alan Hawkins, and story director Brandon Jeffords. Here they discuss the new characters that were made for the movie, how the film came to be and how it differs from the previous ones, some of the history behind the Smurfs and more. “Kids at Heart! The Making of Smurfs: The Lost Village” is a nice piece that has the cast and crew and some kids pretending to be some of them talk about the film, some behind the scenes bits involving the animation, voice acting, and other aspects of making the film come to life. There’s also loads of fun extras like music videos, how to cook Smurf-themed things, paint fingernails with a Smurf theme, deleted scenes, and others to look at.
Smurfs: The Lost Village is a Smurfy good time for all, but it misses out on some sweet opportunities that would’ve been awesome to implement here. Despite this, it still manages to have enough fun to keep viewers feeling good, and it’s one of the best looking 4K HDR movies out there. If you’re looking for a nice animated title to check out for you or the family, you’ll want to “la-la-la-la-la-la” your way to the store and pick this one up.