The Smurfs movie as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothIf you grew up on the Smurfs and want to introduce them to your little ones then this is as good a chance as any.

Director: Raja Gosnell
Stars: Hank Azaria, Katy Perry and Jonathan Winters
PG, 86 Minutes

The Smurfs have their own movie. And guess what? It is in 3D. The characters from the very popular TV series (1981-1990) are hitting the big screen for an all new, live action, adventure. This PG rated film might be a little too cute for those old enough to have watched the TV show but it certainly fun for the new generation of movie goers.

The Smurfs are little, blue, gnome like creatures that live in an enchanted forest and are led by the elder Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters voiced). They each have names that sum up their main personality or character traits. There is Gutsy (voice Alan Cumming), Grouchy (voice George Lopez), Clumsy (voice Anton Yelchin), Brainy (voice Fred Armisen), etc. They are all boys except for Smurfette (voice Katy Perry) which means there is not a lot of talking in the forest but quite a few sports bars. Just kidding. If I lived there I would probably be Sarcastic Smurf.

The Smurfs are constantly on the run from Gargamel (Hank Azaria) and in this film they all end up in New York City after Clumsy accidentally leads Gargamel and the other Smurfs through a secret portal. The Smurfs hide away in the apartment of Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) Winslow until they can find a way to get back home. During their stay the little blue Smurfs help Patrick learn a very big lesson about his family, job, and trusting his heart.

Live action is a good direction for this film and gives it a more adult feel. Still the writing and characters are aimed directly at the 11 and under crowd. There is a cuteness to the story and a heartwarming lesson running through it about family and discovering who you really are. This is mixed in with a lot of visual antics and mild elementary humor. The comedy is simple and younger kids will laugh louder and longer than those teenaged or older. The 3D again is unnecessary and you might as well save some money and do it in 2D if available. It isn't distracting, just doesn't add anything to the movie.

The Smurfs is rated PG for some mild rude humor and action. There is nothing offensive about this film. Parents should know that there are a lot of moments that include magic and spells. If this isn't your cup of blue tea then choose another flick. If you grew up on the Smurfs and want to introduce them to your little ones then this is as good a chance as any. I give it 3 out of 5 waterfalls. They play it safe, keep it simple, and stay very close to the box. If money is tight you may want to wait for it to hit Blu-ray. I can see this being better enjoyed on your soft couch when you need the kids to be quite for 90 minutes. So says Reality Smurf.

Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.