Apr 27 2017

Blerd Dad and Smurfs: The Lost Village

Smurfs: The Lost Village

As a child, I would jump up early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. I recently had a chance to introduce my daughters to one of the staples of my childhood with the The Smurfs: The Lost Village movie. The film was rated PG, although I saw nothing that made me think it was different from any Disney movie that I’ve watched with my kids. Without giving away any spoilers, the movie did center around Smurfette, how she felt different from the other Smurfs, and how she struggled to find her identify. Considering that the Smurfs basic premise is about a large community of guys that live with one female, it was a little refreshing that Smurfette was a central character to story. Every Smurf has their own habit, quality or skill that defined them. Hefty is strong, Vanity is in love with himself, Brainy is a know-it-all, Handy is a builder, Clumsy is a klutz, etc… Well Smurfette ….is a girl; she has long blond hair, wears a dress and heeled shoes. Growing up watching the Smurfs every morning, all I could say about Smurfette was that she was a girl and she consistently cried out ” ohh boo hoo” (literally). As a blerd dad of three daughters, I actively search for stories that feature strong and interesting female characters. This film didn’t disappoint. In The Lost Village, we are treated to a blue tale (pun intended) of growth and self discovery; of course we’re still talking in context of a cartoon about tiny forest creatures that mostly suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. My daughters enjoyed the film and I recommend that nerd parents consider taking their little ladies to see Smurfs: Lost Village.

Parents, Smurfs: The Lost Village is an ok story. It’s not ground breaking or incredibly compelling, in fact the plot is rather simple and predictable. However it is still something fun you can take your kids to see. If you grew up watching Smurfs you shouldn’t be disappointed although there is one thing that I did notice. One nerdy issue that I couldn’t help but notice was the language. Smurfs in every media I’ve seen in the past would replace various words with the word “smurf”. For instance one might say “Oh my Smurf!” instead of saying “Oh my goodness!” or “We tried several times to Smurf the book, but we couldn’t re-smurf it” Forgive the nitpick, but that’s what blerd dad’s do. The fact that it seemed to be missing was not a deal breaker with the flick and older fans that grew up with the show and/or collected the toys should be satisfied with the movie. With the focus of the story on Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty, fans might not get their fill of Smurfs. Especially if you had a certain Smurf as favorite. Still with there being so many, it would take more than one movie to feature more than a handful of them. I think Handy Smurf was my favorite, while I probably related most with Brainy Smurf.

Demi Lovato was fine as Smurfette, as was Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, and Joe Manganiello as Clumsy, Brainy, and Hefty respectively. I didn’t recognize the voice of Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf at first. But after I did, I just wanted Papa Smurf to look at Gargamel and say… “Hello, my name is Papa Smurf, you killed my father, prepare to die… (Princess Bride reference)” I was mildly surprised to see in the credits the cameos made by Gordon Ramsay as Baker, Gabriel Iglesias as Jokey, Jeff Dunham as Farmer, and Tituss Burgess as Vanity. Rainn Wilson, famous for The Office, voiced Gargamel. While his performance wasn’t bad, I was more impressed by voice acting veteran Frank Welker who voiced Azrael, Gargamel’s cat. Movie “tough girl” Michelle Rodriguez  and Julia Roberts also add their vocals to the movie.

Overall, Smurfs: The Lost Village is a decent kids flick that can has the potential to fire up the nostalgia for fans. It was recommended by the GSB Podcast that I take my daughters to see this movie. I extend that recommendation to any nerd dad who has young daughters.

I give it 3.25 cosmic AFROs out of 5

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