Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
Family Animation Fantasy Kids Adventure Comedy 3D
1 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
August 3, 2011 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: December 2, 2011
“Where the smurf are we?”
Sequel to this movie: “The Smurfs 2” (2013)
The Smurfs are preparing for the Blue Moon Festival. They are a happy bunch. Even the ones that cause mayhem and havoc seem to understand that they all share an important part in their land. Everything appears to be wonderful, except the Smurfs have an enemy, the dreaded Gargamel (played by Hank Azaria).
Papa Smurf (voice of Jonathan Winters) sees a vision and his visions are always right. He warns Clumsy to stay away from the forest because of Gargamel. Gargamel follows Clumsy and destroys the Smurfs village. Most of the Smurfs manage to run toward a safe hiding place. Clumsy goes the wrong way and Papa Smurf and a handful of other Smurfs follow him. They come to a portal that is only open once in a blue moon. To escape Gargamel, the Smurfs jump in the portal and are transported into New York City, but Gargamel and his evil cat are close behind.
Clumsy, Papa Smurf, Smurfette (Katy Perry), Brainy, Gutsy, Grouchy (George Lopez), are stuck in New York City until the portal opens again during a blue moon. The Smurfs stumble upon a couple of humans, Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) Winslow, who house them and care for them while they wait for the next blue moon so they can return home.
OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT: The premise of this film is good versus evil. However, both Papa Smurf and Gargamel use witchcraft and spells to see the future, have visions, create potions, etc. This is all done similar to the witch in Snow White. While some people believe that it is harmless, Galatians 5 warns us that acts of the flesh such as witchcraft keep us from inheriting the kingdom of God.
Gargamel uses a potion to turn an older woman young. The transformation is shown on the screen, including her breasts and buttocks lifting and getting firmer. Gargamel is told that if he can produce enough of the potion to sell to other women, “the world will worship you.” Gargamel summons a moth to get eagles to help him escape from prison. The moth brings back a hoard of flies. As the flies lift him in the air, it really becomes a very disturbing scene.
Smurfette walks over a heater vent wearing a dress similar to Marilyn Monroe and the dress flies up. Gargamel has champagne at lunch and grabs a waiter’s ice bucket and relieves himself in the bucket.
There is violence, some of it slapstick. Gargamel gets hit with a tree trunk. Gargamel destroys the Smurfs’ village. Clumsy is always running into Smurfs, smacking Smurfs, knocking Smurfs over, and just being clumsy.
Gargamel uses terms like “thank the gods” several times. The word smurf is used as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb. It is used throughout the movie to replace expletives. Phrases like smurf me and son of a smurf are used. The only actual swear word was d-mn.
POSITIVE CONTENT: The couple the Smurfs stay with are married and have a good relationship. They appear to care about one another and are kind to each other. This is so rare in movies today and it was refreshing to see.
The Smurfs are all defined by their names. They live out their existence by their names. Until someone else believes in Clumsy, he is only Clumsy. Satan wants us to believe that we are not whole. We are clumsy, fearful, lazy, etc. We simply do not measure up. That is not how God sees us. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” When we believe what God says about us, we can begin to live the life He intended for us.
My 6 year old would not watch this movie. He was afraid every time Gargamel appeared. I tell you this as a warning. Most children will not be bothered, but if you have a child that does get scared by the villains then do not see this movie. The music played every time Gargamel appears on the screen is very ominous.
While the movie was cute, I do worry that exposure to white magic does desensitize children to the real dangers of witchcraft. For this reason alone, I cannot recommend this movie. However, without the witchcraft, there is still plenty in this movie to warn parents to stay away.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.