Adventure Animation

'Smurfs: The Lost Village' Blu-ray Review: Fun for kids, but for grown-ups, this reboot is merely tolerable

July 18, 2017Ben MK

Originally created by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford — better known as Peyo — the Smurfs have been around for almost 60 years and have left their bright blue fingerprints on everything from comics to television. More recently, they've enjoyed success at the box office, but with their latest big screen adventure, Smurfs: The Lost Village, the live-action setting of the last two installments has been jettisoned in favor of a fully CG-animated reboot.

This time around, the story focuses on Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato), who's unlike all the other Smurfs in nearly every way. Aside from being the only girl in Smurf Village, she's also the only one who doesn't know her purpose in life — unlike Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi), Clumsy Smurf (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty Smurf (Joe Manganiello), whose defining characteristics are literally spelt out in their names. Not to mention, she was brought to life from a lump of clay by the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson), who intended to use her against the Smurfs. That is, before Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin) turned her to the good side with his own brand of magic.

When Smurfette discovers Gargamel's scheme to locate and capture the inhabitants of the long-lost Smurfy Grove, it prompts her, Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty to set out to warn their distant Smurf cousins. Embarking on a perilous mission through the Forbidden Forest, they encounter all manner of wondrous creatures along the way, from fire-breathing dragonflies to bioluminescent bunny rabbits, but it's what they find at the end of their journey — an all-female tribe of Smurfs — that could be the key to helping Smurfette unlock the meaning of her very existence.

Make no mistake, though. Despite the apparent philosophical underpinnings of its plot, Smurfs: The Lost Village is no masters thesis, but rather ends up being little more than something to entertain the youngsters in your life for an hour and a half. That said, fans of the Smurfs will surely find the movie's vibrant and colorful visuals appealing, whereas adults who only find themselves watching the film to appease their kids will likely get a kick out of the impressive voice cast, which also includes Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter and Julia Roberts.

The natural expectation for any computer-animated movie is for it to look fantastic on Blu-ray, and Smurfs: The Lost Village is no exception, thanks to a gorgeous 1080p image that pops with the blue skin of the title characters, the greens of the forest, the red of Papa Smurf's hat and pants, and the full spectrum of colors in between. As for the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix, it too is exactly what one might expect, which is to say that the film's sound design is a melting pot of cartoony sound effects and pop songs, from the meowing of Gargamel's cat, Azrael, and the squawking of his vulture, Monty, to toe-tapping tunes from the likes of Eiffel 65 and Meghan Trainor.

Sony's single-disc Blu-ray release includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras, most of which are aimed squarely at younger audiences:

  • Emoji Sneak Peak (2:05) - A trailer for Sony Pictures Animation's upcoming comedy.
  • Filmmaker Commentary - Director Kelly Asbury, Animation Supervisor Alan Hawkins and Head of Story Brandon Jeffords chat about their ideas for introducing the movie's characters, the animation style and the character designs, the visual aesthetic, the cast and the actors' vocal performances, crafting the narrative, the Easter Eggs hidden throughout the film, the music and more.
  • Deleted Scenes (7:35) - Four scenes, in storyboard form ("Smurfberry Blast," "Brainy's Experiment," "Bridge Escape" and "Gargamel's Lair").
  • Kids At Heart! The Making Of Smurfs: The Lost Village (9:12) - A kid-friendly look at the movie's cast, its characters, the story, the visuals and the animation.
  • The Lost Auditions (4:14) - The cast try out for the roles of their co-stars.
  • Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette (1:01) - Smurfette interviews the singer/actress who voices her.
  • Lost Village Dance Along (3:10) - Kids dance along to Meghan Trainor's "I'm a Lady."
  • Smurfify Your Nails (2:23) - A how-to for guide for adorning your nails with various Smurf designs.
  • Baker Smurf's Mini Kitchen (4:07) - Baker Smurf (Gordon Ramsay) shows viewers how to make mini donuts in his mini kitchen.
  • Meghan Trainor "I'm A Lady" Music Video (2:48) - The official video for the song from the movie.
  • Making The Song "You Will Always Find Me In Your Heart" (3:00) - Composer Christopher Lennertz, songwriter KT Tunstall and singer Shaley Scott talk about making the song for the movie.
  • The Sound Of The Smurfs (3:44) - A piece about creating the music of the film, from the vocals to the instruments.
  • Draw Your Favorite Smurfs (7:42) - Three featurettes on how to draw various characters ("How To Draw Smurfette," "How To Draw Brainy" and "How To Draw Clumsy").
  • See More Smurfs! (5:48) - Four trailers and one ad for an app ("The Smurfs Movie Trailer," "The Smurfs 2 Trailer," "The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow Trailer," "Smurfs: A Christmas Carol Trailer" and "Smurfs Bubble Story").

Smurfs: The Lost Village is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of July 11th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French and Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 30 Mins.

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