In this all-animated reboot of the Smurfs, a strange map sees Smurfette (Demi Lovatto) and her friends Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello) on a fantastical quest through the Forbidden Forest, a place riddled with fantastic beasts and magical creatures. Their aim? To find a strange lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson). Out on their journey filled with action and peril, our favourite Smurfs are on a collision course with change, the unknown and most importantly, newfound knowledge.
As entertainment, this film ticks all the boxes. That being said, this film is wrought with sexual innuendos and I’m struggling to see how it managed to get past the MPAA. The dialogue is good and crisp, yet when Garganel is playing tonsil tennis with his bird, I began to feel on edge. Or when Smurfwillow (Julia Roberts) and “Papa Thing” AKA Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) were shamelessly flirting, I began to think… is this a children’s movie or what? Disney are guilty of this, but they dress it up in child-friendly narrative cliches before distribution. Lost Village put everything on display. Kids won’t notice but their parents will, or should.
Having grown up with the television show, I can say Lost Village is everything a Smurfs story should be… minus the much too obvious sex jokes. After the tragedy that was the live action remakes, Lost Village is a welcome sight. The animation style is fantastic and incredible to look at. It was if I was I was five again watching the television series I loved, laughing at my favourite Smurfs’ shenanigans. This film is child-friendly, despite the dodgy humour and I really loved the introduction of our Amazon-esque community of warrior Smurfs, headed by Smurfwillow (Julia Roberts).
This is very much a children’s movie but it has many adult themes as well, especially ones of the political nature. ‘Us and Them’ is a theme that has taken our world by storm. Humanity fearing those who are different is reflected through Smurf Village’s despair of the Forbidden Forest and subsequently the other village of Smurfs who look exactly like them. With Brexit and Trump’s travel ban, it’s impossible not to see the correlations between the ideologies of our Smurfs and the common thinking of the West in the modern day.
They’ve taken the original cartoon and remodelled it into something that adults can watch as well as children, without feeling the need to complain about the corniness. For the most part, this is a good movie with a solid script and great characters. Edgy humour aside, this certainly has potential to be a new franchise builder. If there were to be two sequels after this one, you can bet I’ll be watching the heck out of them. Do you need to see this at the cinema? Probably not, but it’s an entertaining kids feature nonetheless.