Roses are red,
The Smurfs are blue,
I watched this film
So you don’t have to.
While I am no poet, and my opening may be a bit harsh, I’ll do my best to be objective here. The Smurfs came out in 2011 and had it’s own Blu-ray release since then. Now that 4K is the new hotness (and the sequel is in theaters), Sony has opted to re-release this movie on the UHD format.
I cannot say that I was a massive Smurfs fan growing up, but I do remember enjoying the cartoons as a kid. I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw anything Smurf related, so when this came in to review I was cautiously optimistic. I knew it wouldn’t be world changing, since I hadn’t heard any buzz around it’s release, but I’ve been happy with most of the animated offerings as of late. However, I was let down; but I’ll tell you why in a minute.
As was frequent in the cartoon (or at least in my hazy recollection of the cartoon), Clumsy (oh yea, the smurfs are often named after their defining trait) gets himself and the whole village in a bind when he leads Gargamel, the smurf-hating wizard, directly to their hidden domain. In their attempt to escape, a portal is opened that lands the smurfs smack dab in the middle of New York City.
While in New York, they stumble upon Patrick (played by Neil Patrick Harris), an assistant to one of the New York’s premiere designers. Patrick is struggling to impress his boss and pregnant wife at the same time, so of course this added burden of helping the smurfs tips him into full overload. Needless to say, the smurfs and Patrick are going to have to help each other if anyone wants their lives to get back to normal. Oh and they must avoid Gargamel in the process.
So, let’s start with the good here. There are plenty of cameos and good actors involved in this project. NPH is always awesome, and I can almost say that he is the only reason I would watch this again. I’d basically watch anything with that man in it, he’s just so great. Hank Azaria is generally someone I enjoy to watch, but his Gargamel is just so incompetent that I was taken out of the plot several times throughout the film. George Lopez, John Oliver, and Jeff Foxworthy all lend their voices, as well as Anton Yelchin, who voices our main smurf, Clumsy. It was a bittersweet surprise hearing his voice. RIP Anton.
Now, the bad. We’ve been shown time and time again that our children’s/family movies don’t have to be artificially dumbed down to keep the kids entertained. Granted, there are some more adult oriented jokes, but for the most part the gags and stunts are all very cliche and take you out of the experience. Secondly, and this is likely more on me personally, but The Smurfs just don’t age well, in my opinion. Maybe had this been treated more on the level as Despicable Me or The Croods in terms of target age range, they would have been more successful.
While the CG animated style certainly looks pretty good, I don’t think that The Smurfs really benefits from the 4K upgrade. The picture is quite sharp, with a lot of great colors (which I assume is due to HDR), but I wouldn’t say that this is a necessary upgrade if you already have the Blu-ray.
Sporting a DTS Master Audio 5.1 channel track, the audio is quite good. Lots of silly effects and ambient sounds fill the mix, and the dialog is never lost in the fray.
- The Smurfs: Comic Book to the Big Screen
- Two commentary tracks
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Going Gargamel
The special features included are identical to the Blu-ray release, so there’s no added benefit here for upgrading. However, my daughter did enjoy watching the Blue-pers and extra shorts. So if you don’t already have this film, there is a bit of content here worth watching.
The Smurfs gets a standard 4K release, with the black amaray case, single sided artwork with a matching sleeve, two discs (one 4K and one Blu-ray), and a UV slip. Nothing too fancy here, but it’s always nice to get a digital copy and the slip looks nice enough.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this film, as it fell pretty flat to me, and my daughter wasn’t super enthralled either. However, it might be worth a try if you have fond memories of the series and aren’t as much of a snob as I am. There are a few good jokes to be had, but unless you are bored of the other family films out there, your time is likely better spent elsewhere.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.