Monday, 17 July 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: Smurfs: The Lost Village Blu-ray Review

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; 90 minutes; Amazon
Now available on Blu-ray + Digital (also available on 4K Ultra HD, and DVD) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the animated fantasy adventure Smurfs: The Lost Village.

Directed by Kelly Ashbury, the film features the talented voice-cast of Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, Mandy Patinkin, and Julia Roberts.

The Smurfs (also known as Les Schtroumpfs) characters were created in 1958 by Belgian comics artist Peyo, but didn't really become a pop culture phenomenon until the Hanna-Barbera produced Saturday morning animated series debuted in 1981; lasting 9 seasons with 256 episodes.

The franchise seemed to be over until Sony Pictures Animation released a CGI/live action film in 2011 and followed by a sequel in 2013. While both films made a decent amount at the box-office, the movies received negative reviews from critics and die-hard Smurfs fans; which eventually lead to the all 3D computer-animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village being released to theaters earlier this year.

Smurfs: The Lost Village mostly centers on Smurfette, the only female resident in Smurfs' village. Smurfette was originally made of clay by Gargamel, in the attempt to locate the Smurf's village, but things didn't go as planned. Papa Smurf redeemed Smurfette and she became one of the Smurfs.

After accidentally breaking Brainy's invention, Smurfette sees a blue Smurf-like creature go into the Forbidden Forest. While she couldn't catch up with the creature, she did find the creature's hat, which is similar to the ones the Smurfs wear. Unfortunately, Gargamel briefly captures Smurfette and he finds the creature's hat. After using a locator spell on the hat, Gargamel goes on the hunt for the lost village of the Smurfs.

Feeling responsible for what has happened, Smurfette and her pals Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty venture into the Forbidden Forest to save the lost village from Gargamel.

Blu-ray Special Features are:

  • Filmmaker Commentary 
  • Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette
  • Lost Village Dance Along
  • Smurfify Your Nails
  • Kids At Heart! The Making of Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • Meghan Trainor "I'm a Lady" Music Video
  • Baker Smurf's Mini Kitchen
  • Draw Your Favorite Smurfs
  • The Sound Of The Smurfs
  • “Making The Song ‘You Will Always Find Me In Your Heart’"
  • “The Lost Auditions” Featurette 
  • 4 Deleted Scenes
  • The Emoji Movie Sneak Peek

Final Thoughts: If you grew up in the 1980s, then you more than likely remember watching the animated classic series The Smurfs. The 2011 and 2013 CGI/live-action movies were decent films, but they lacked the heart and spirit of the original cartoon series. Smurfs: The Lost Village completely ignores the previous films and uses 100% computer-animation. It's somewhat of a throwback to the cartoon series episode "The Smurfette", where Gargamel created a female Smurf out clay, so she would help locate the Smurfs' village. The movie's plot involves Smurfette and her Smurf pals stumbling upon a lost village of female Smurfs. Though it's a new tale, the ending is connected to "The Smurfette" episode.

Demi Lovato takes over voicing Smurfette (Katy Perry voiced the character in the CGI/live-action films), and she does an excellent job. Actually, the entire voice-cast is great in the film, though I had a few issues with Rainn Wilson, as he sounded nothing like Gargamel from the cartoon series.

The picture quality and sound quality are topnotch on the Blu-ray. There are plenty of special features to satisfy any Smurfs fan.

Overall, Smurfs: The Lost Village is an entertaining family film. It's beautifully animated with bright colors. It feels less like a feature film and more like a three-part of episode, which isn't a bad thing.

*Note- I received a complimentary copy from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. All opinions are my own.

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