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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Fantasy > Animation > The Smurfs (2011/Sony Blu-ray 3D w/Smurf-O-Vision/Blu-ray 2D/DVD and UltraViolet Copy)

The Smurfs (2011/Sony Blu-ray 3D w/Smurf-O-Vision/Blu-ray 2D/DVD and UltraViolet Copy)


3D Picture: B+     2D Picture: B-/C     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C+     Film: C



I am not a big fan of The Smurfs, but I understand their appeal and realize that they managed to fill a big gap at the time in animated programming by having animation that seemed Disney-pleasant at a time when the art form was suffering form low budgets and bad releases in theaters, along with cheaply produced TV fare.  So when I heard a feature film was finally on the way (a notable appearance by default in Donnie Darko even got buzz), I was surprised when so many industry “experts” thought it was a joke and would not do well.


However, The Smurfs (2011) turned into one of the summer’s surprise hits confounding critics and making fans and families happy.  I did not expect it to actually be good and it is as predictable and safe as expected, but like Disney’s recent Muppets revival, the idea is to reintroduce and relaunch the characters for a new generation and keep older fans as happy as possible.  In this it succeeds.


Unfortunately, the script is too cutesy for its own good and very predictable as the gang is cast out of their little utopia and forced to go to the outside world starting with New York City in a mix of live action that renders them in computer animation for the first time.  The shade of blue to me rings false and even having a hand puppet with more accurate colors very early on to try and diffuse this expected criticism does not change that.  If you can get adjusted to the color downtrade, you’ll enjoy this more and to its credit, it is child-friendly.


However, too many writers and an inexperienced director can only get this to work so well and only major fans will enjoy repeat viewings, while children will have a mixed response.  A sequel is expected and they can only do better from lucking out here.  Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara and Hank Azaria round co-star in one way or another.



The 1.78 X 1, 1080p full HD MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray 3D version is the best way to watch this as the 1080p 2D digital High Definition Blu-ray image has detail and some integration issues that can be trying and the anamorphically enhanced DVD is weaker still, but this is at least conceived as 3D and in that respect it succeeds as well as any such release of late.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix (on both Blu-rays) is also more impressive and articulate than expected with nice sound design and even a few demo moments, but not much.  It still manages to be more professional and state-of-the-art than expected and along with the 3D proves the makers were serious about this being a top rate release technically.  The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD can be lively, but is no match for the DTS-MA.


Extras include the amusing Smurf-O-Vision that you can play while watching the film on Blu-ray, Blu-ray exclusive BD Live interactive features, a game, 2 audio commentary tracks, Happy Music Montage, Going Garamel featurette, Smurf Speak: Meet The Cast featurette, Progression Reels, The Smurfs: Comic Book to the Big Screen featurette, Blue-pers and Deleted & Extended Scenes that all add up to more fun than the actual film.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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