In a reboot of the Smurfs trilogy, the movie Smurfs : The Lost Village brings back some of the adorable drama that the previous movies attracted, and perhaps adds some. Produced by Sony Pictures Animation and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. It is based on The Smurfs comic book series created by the Belgian comics artist Peyo and is a reboot film, unrelated to Sony’s previous live-action/animated films. Written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, it was directed by Kelly Asbury. The film stars the voices of Demi Lovato as the Smurfette, the girl smurf whose existential crisis is at the centre of this movie. It also has Mandy Patinkin as the voice of Papa Smurf, and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, the evil wizard whose stated life mission is to steal the essence of all the smurfs and become the greatest wizard in the world.
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After the second and third movies failed to make much of an impression with their weak plots and poor execution, Lost Village aims to win some fans with the tale of a mystery village populated exclusively by girl smurfs. Unsurprisingly, it is the beautiful blue Smurfette who discovers the village after facing unsettling questions about her place in the Smurf Village, which is populated by 99 male Smurfs. She lets go of the secret unwittingly when she is captured (again) by Gargamel, thus setting him on a pursuit of the new smurfs. Escaping the watchful gaze of Papa Smurf, who is voiced by Patinkin in place of the late Jonathan Winters in this movie, the four smurfs Hefty, Clumsy, Brainy and Smurfette set out to warn the people of the lost village. Leading to high drama where everyone is captured except for Smurfette, who subsequently discovers that she is not an ordinary smurf through Brainy’s pet Snappy, Smurfette defeats Gargamel and manages to save her friends, but not before reverting to her original lifeless clay form. However, this violence does not last and Smurfette comes alive again using her energy, making complete a happy ending where residents of Smurf Village are now united with Smurfy Grove, the lost village.
The movie manages to introduce a host of new characters without making much of a mess, and keeping the plot short and sweet. Lost Village is completely 3D animated, unlike the previous movies that also had live action sequences. The animation and effects are used well, and the movie would certainly work well with children, who have already taken a particular liking to the business of Smurfland. However, the plot is predictable, even though the all-female writing has recast Smurfette from the slightly sexist portrayal as the damsel in distress to a smurf who can hold her own against the evil Gargamel. Released this Friday in Indian theatres, the movie is expected to be entertaining fare for kids below the age of 6, but it will be a tedious two hours to sit through for the adults supervising them.