Movie Review

The Smurfs

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor and action.

Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Family Animation Fantasy Kids Adventure Comedy 3D
Length:
1 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
August 3, 2011 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: December 2, 2011
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.

Featuring: Hank AzariaGargamel
Neil Patrick HarrisPatrick Winslow
Jayma Mays … Grace Winslow
Sofía Vergara … Odile
Tim Gunn … Henri
more »
Director: Raja Gosnell—“Scooby-Doo”
Producer: Columbia Pictures
Kerner Entertainment Company
Sony Pictures Animation
more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

“Where the smurf are we?”

Sequel to this movie: “The Smurfs 2” (2013)

Copyrighted, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

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.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—First, I have to say that my view of this film is at least partially biased because the Smurfs cartoon was my childhood favorite. Having said this, I hope you’ll find my comments helpful. Alert: I do mention a few spoilers. There is a bit of reference to witchcraft in the film, however, I still chose to give the film an average rating, as many films have it to a greater degree. As an adult I know that one should not practice such things. I treat it simply as a thematic element in the story and nothing more. You should probably not see it if this is worries you.

Many people are also concerned about the usage of the word “smurf” as an excuse to sneak in instances where there might be an expletive. This is not the case through the entire film, as that term is used in many contexts. They may have overused it just a bit though. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jamie, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I felt that is was a pretty good movie for the little ones. I grew up watching Smurfs as a child. One thing that I actually found most offensive that I have yet to read on any of the Christian reviews was when Gargamel relieves himself in a wine bucket at the restaurant. I, also, am aware of the breasts and buttocks being lifted when the woman was turned into a younger version of herself. Both of these segments could be left out, and I would have still enjoyed the movie and understood it without any problem. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would like to let parents know that I am very conservative and was quite comfortable watching this with my daughters.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Crstocker, age 38 (USA)
Positive—My wife and 2 children, ages 6 and 5, thoroughly enjoyed the film. It was cute and fairly true to the original, though some of the voices were noticeably off. The other objections here about witchcraft are kinda of silly to me, especially to those who’ve seen the original cartoon. If you participate in watching any movies, this movie is extremely tame. Over exaggerating minor plot scenarios like Gargamel’s poorly conceived magic is counter productive to general Movie viewing. Really if this movie offends you, can you really be happy with anything that isn’t produced by Church group.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ryan, age 36 (Canada)
Neutral

none

Negative
Negative—My husband and I went to see this movie with our 8 and 11 year old kids. I could not believe how much witchcraft this movie had in it. Regret taking my kids to see this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality:
—Peaches, age 35 (USA)
Negative—I was so disappointed by this movie, I grew up with the Smurfs before I knew the Lord, but still thought that could be a funny and nice story movie for our daughter. However, the whole story line did not make lots of sense and a truck load of witchcraft, even the regular Smurfs cartoon episodes have less witchcraft than this movie. The whole Gargamel acting was close from the original, but did not make any sense in the new world (they should have thought more about it to adapt it quickly, instead of being so insane), I’m happy I viewed this movie with my wife first, because this is surely not for our 4 year old daughter.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—David, age 36 (Canada)
Negative—We were hugely disappointed in this movie. What could have been a really cute story was turned into a blasphemous story with witchcraft galore. While the smurfs themselves are cute to watch, there was very little of their village shown. Huge shock to hear the guy say that he could finish the ad in 2 days if God could create the world in 6 days. Definitely not recommended for children of any age, even my 11 year old son agrees. Don’t waste your money on this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—SH, age 35 (South Africa)
Negative—What a bore snore! I grew up watching the Smurfs and loved them, and that is the only reason why I watched it, but it put me to sleep. So boring—them running through the city and Gargoyle chasing them. They made him so gross and annoying—that didn’t help, either. And the constant use of the word “smurf” for a cussword was ridiculous. It was NON STOP. I would be surprised if you don’t have issues with a young kid seeing that movie and repeating that over and over in the place of ANY and ALL cusswords, everywhere!

Not worth your time, trust me, I have seen hundreds of movies, this one stunk!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Samantha, age 37 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—“The Smurfs” was such an enjoyable film, because it had such good morals in it, that are rarely seen in movies now-a-days. In “The Smurfs,” Patrick and Grace Winslow, the couple that takes the Smurfs in, show so much love to each other. For example, in one scene, Patrick says that he knew that his wife needed help, and he came because he loved her. That is really awesome to see in a movie.

My mom and I viewed this movie in 3D, which we both agreed was fantastic! The 3D will surely be a smart choice to go and see this movie! All of the different characteristics of the Smurfs are so fun to watch. The Smurfs were beautifully animated, and that is why it receives a great movie making quality! The opening scene was breathtaking and exciting, as it took place in Smurf Village and the Kingdom they live in.

They have already announced a sequel, which I hope takes place in the Kingdom the Smurfs live in. This movie grabbed my attention from the very beginning to the end of the credits. I loved the movie so much, and I believe that it is a wonderful family movie for all ages! Go and see this awesome movie with your family, plus watch it in 3D to make it more enjoyable! I am super excited for the sequel…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Luke, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—Even though the movie contained witchcraft, I thought it was cute. ***SPOILER ALERT*** There was a scene were Smurfette threw a cage on the cat. The cage landed on his ear, and his ear ripped, which may scare young children. ***END SPOILER***

Many young children will most likely find parts of this film frightening, though older children would most likely enjoy it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sarah, age 10 (USA)
Positive—Just bought it on DVD—grand movie! It’s not the best, but it’s great! It’s not too funny, but it’s got some laughs! And there is a few things offensive, but I give it a “Better than Average” because I only found some things slighty objectionable. Really, I found the part when the air lifts up Smurfette’s dress (they showed this in the trailers), that was really offensive. The magic I didn’t find too offensive. Great movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Andre, age 15 (Canada)