Box art for The Smurfs

The Smurfs

When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours -- in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

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  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
1 out of 5
Violence & scariness
2 out of 5

Not enough bright spots in disappointing adaptation.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that although there's nothing overtly upsetting in this adaptation of the beloved childhood cartoon, you can expect some potty-type humor and some cartoonishly violent scenes involving bad guy Gargamel and his cat Azrael. But no one is ever seriously hurt, and the Smurfs always triumph. The word "smurf" is used often as a substitute for other words, including, on occasion, curse words -- i.e. "smurf off!" or "smurf me." Many brands are featured in the movie (usually if they have the word "blue" in them), as well as electronics and toy companies. While kids might pick up a few messages about positive teamwork and self-confidence, chances are they'll probably just laugh at the goofy pratfalls and jokes.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the appeal of remaking old cartoons into movies. Do you think the goal is to share the cartoons with a new generation or to appeal to grown-ups who remember the cartoons from their own youth?
  • What are the movie's messages? What do the characters learn over the course of the film?
  • If you've seen the old TV show, how does the movie compare? Do the characters seem the same?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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    reviews counted: 0
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Audience Reviews

1 star

Once again Hollywood decides to extinguish anything creative about a franchise, and simply set it in our world. The Smurfs have a rich history, but here they are just fish out of water in New York. Yes, you have seen this film before. What's most annoying is that it starts promising. In the land of the Smurfs, with Gargamel even referring to the past by calling Smurfette a traitor, it seemed as though they would be faithful. This is soon dropped for terrible jokes, inexplicable pop culture references, and product placement. Sometimes they even combine all three. For example, The Smurfs hide next to an advertisement for The Blue Man Group, and later for Blu Ray Discs. HAHAHAHAHAHA Fucking HA. The pop culture jokes are just absurd. Sure, this is a kids film, so children are supposed to add up that Katy Perry is doing the voice of Smurfette and she just referenced one of her own songs. Are we supposed to think that these characters have seen Brokeback Mountain and Braveheart. It's great to see that Hollywood has a Scottish character that simply must yell out "Freedom". Braveheart is 15 years old for Christ's sake. It even has plot points that are suddenly dropped. Nothing comes of Gargamel de-ageing an elderly woman. Nor of him being in prison. He just gets out and wastes a few minutes of a lengthy running time. Neil Patrick Harris looks bored, but at least tries to insert some form of comedy. In the only decent parts of mixing our world with The Smurf's' he questions how they are named and why they continually use Smurf as a verb and an adjective. Stupid on all accounts. Though I did love Azrael and Azaria tried to do something with this tripe.

- kiriyamakazou, Saturday, December 10, 2011

1 star

What a smurfin' terrible movie. This big screen debut for the little blue commune dwellers is a painful experience, magically transporting the little creatures to New York City. They find themselves in the care of Patrick (Neill Patrick Harris), an ad man who's pretty much a jerk, especially to his doting, pregnant wife. At one point, in his ad man frenzy, he yells, " I never wanted any little people running around here!" Oh no, what a bizarre outburst that somehow cuts directly to his fears of being a father. The movie spends so much time with the human characters, who are shrill, exasperating, and dull form the get-go. The comedy is a mixture of slapstick and insufferable kiddie wordplay, replacing "Smurf" for just about any word in a sentence for a miserable attempt at humor. It's like the screenplay was a Mad Libs page (Am I being too generous crediting a whole page to the script?). The Smurfs is clearly designed for a 3D audience, hence there is crap flying at the screen at every turn. Yeah, another stupid thing thrown at the screen. Hank Azaria plays the thankless role of Gargemel, the man who created Smurfette (voiced, not too badly actually, by pop singer Katy Perry) but schemes to capture Smurfs for their... smurfness. I don't know. If this guy could create his own Smurf, why doesn't he just keep doing this? Instead, Azaria runs around New York speaking in an arch manner, falling down a lot. I suppose the real question is whether this piece of blue excrement could entertain children, its target audience. Perhaps the youngest of tykes will be tickled by the Smurf adventures, but I think most kids will be puzzled and bored and weirded out by the movie, wondering what they had done wrong to deserve watching this dreck. Nate's Grade: D

- mrbungle7821, Wednesday, January 4, 2012