Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Smurfs

Unless you were born in the late 1990s, there is a chance that you are familiar with the little blue characters known as Smurfs. But even if you are familiar with the Smurfs, you have never seen them like The Smurfs film.

When I learned that this classic cartoon series was turning into a film, I was not sure what to think of it and said that if I saw it, it would be in the local dollar theater. But then I received an e-mail invitation for an advanced screening. Free.

It does have a 3D version available, but as I always say, save the money and just watch the 2D.

There is enough action and storyline in this film that you do not need the extra visual effects of the 3D to be into the film. The screening was packed!

This film has a lot to offer: endearing comedy, heartbreaking moments, engagement with the characters, greater messages and morals.

What basically happens is that Clumsy Smurf accidentally leads Gargamel and Azrael to the Smurf Village. They then have to flee and Clumsy ends up down the wrong path and in a cave where he ends up sucked into a portal that has opened up due to the blue moon. Papa, Smurfette, Gutsy, Grouchy and Brainy also get sucked into the portal as they try to rescue Clumsy and escape Gargamel at the same time. Then Azrael gets tossed into the portal and Gargamel follows. They all end up in Central Park in the middle of New York City.

In their effort to escape, Clumsy falls into a box and the others end up on top of the cab that the man, Patrick, climbs into to go home to his apartment and pregnant wife and dog.

The others find the apartment and end up in the box that Clumsy already escaped from and ended up running from the dog and trapped in the toilet of the bathroom. The wife finds Clumsy in a wad of wet toilet paper while Patrick finds the other Smurfs in the box. Chaos ensues.

As the few days pass and Papa Smurf diligently seeks a way to get his Smurfs back home and stay safe from Gargamel, the Smurfs and the couple become close. Papa even provides wise advice and encouragement to Patrick about his work and his ability to be a good father. Patrick learns to be who he is and not worry about what others think. And Clumsy learns that he can be a hero while the other Smurfs learn to accept him for who he is.

As to Gargamel, he finds life in New York City to be much different than what he is accustomed to. And he does make a mess out of things because of his awkwardness and lack of social adeptness.

In the end, the Smurfs do return home safe from Gargamel and Azrael with both the Smurfs and the couple having learned things from each other as well as having made new friends.

There are a lot of comical places and endearing moments with good moral lessons.

Overall, I would even say that I actually would not mind seeing this film again. With a PG rating, it is one of the few films currently in theaters that the whole family can enjoy.

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