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The Smurfs (2011)

1/12/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy The Smurfs (2011) in the USA - or Buy The Smurfs (2011) in the UK

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region 2 DVD: pub: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment B003SWZTXU. 1 DVD 98 minute film with extras. Price: GBP 9.99 (UK). cast: Hank Azaria, Katy Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays and Alan Cumming.

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I had a bit of a laugh with editor Uncle Geoff over this DVD but, resolute in action and being a long serving servant of SFCrowsnest, I boldly volunteered to do the review. After all, it's not often we get the chance to investigate a strange bunch of blue aliens that have infiltrated our society, aliens who cast a strange spell over our children mesmerising them into happy little beings. For a while at least, the children are not hyperactive with excess of food additives and E numbers, smashing everything to pieces in a frenzy! Instead they are content to watch Smurfs on the TV.

This is the DVD of the recent movie. Not only do you get the full-length movie, there are lots of other additional features including a short film, games, comic books and plenty of pictures. Very good value for money even in the Eurozone. At 100 min long, it's not a short movie which probably takes it beyond the attention span of most young children but that doesn't matter because they can watch it again and again at any time and at any point in the proceedings.

The movie begins in the peaceful land of the Smurfs which is somewhere in another dimension. The blue people live happy and contented lives, existing in a garden of Eden but as with the Bible story something comes along to upset the apple cart. The serpent is Gargamel the Wizard! He wants to steal the essence of their happiness but in doing so a bunch of Smurfs get transported to Central Park in New York. They meet up with Charles Bronson in ‘Death Wish’ and get shot to pieces. Sorry, that's not true! In this mixture of live animation and film, the Smurfs (comprising Grouchy, Brainy, Papa and the rest) are rescued by a human couple, Patrick and Grace, not forgetting the cat Azrael.

The action then begins with the humans trying to help the Smurfs get away from the wizard. There is lots of amusing action with plenty of jokes. Of course, it's all benign stuff with no nastiness and nothing to make nightmarish dreams. Response from children could be varied. A friend's children were of opposing views after watching the movie. The girl, aged six, thought it was the greatest movie ever but her older brother pulled a face, saying it was a lot of sloppy nonsense. It seems therefore that this movie will appeal more to younger females.

I must confess that I haven't watched Smurfs before despite the fact that they've been going for about thirty years in one form or another. In Science Fiction content, we do have dimensional shifts, little blue people and magical wizards so I suppose we could claim this movie as ours. It was very pleasant to watch and in the end it was morally satisfying, a good outcome for all concerned. I'm sure this will be a big hit at Christmas, appearing in supermarkets all around the country. If you're looking for a present for young children then this could be just the thing!

Rod MacDonald
December 2011

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This book has 14 votes in the sci-fi charts

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