Now showing in Hong Kong

Film review – Smurfs: The Lost Village is perfect for kids and stoners

Girl power is the theme of his fully animated tale, updated with added female characters for our politically correct times. With its target audience kids eight and under, there’s not much here for most grown-ups

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 10:21am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 10:21am

2/5 stars

Earlier film adaptations of the Smurfs have been mixtures of live action and animation, and ended up as awkward affairs. The fully animated Smurfs: The Lost Village is better, featuring some bright and colourful animation that has some appealing imaginative moments. The main problem for parents is that it’s pitched squarely at three- to eight-year-olds, and makes no concessions to accompanying adults.

While kids may enjoy it, adults who have no interest in the finer points of animation technique may find it very difficult to sit through. The filmmakers try hard to give it a raison d’être, but observations about life are limited when viewing the world from the perspective of a small kid.

Film review: The Boss Baby – Alec Baldwin voices officious infant in animated comedy

Girl power’s the thing here. The Smurfs were created in 1958, in less politically correct times, and consequently the tribe has only one female, Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato). The new movie attempts to set that to rights.

After finding an old map, Smurfette and a trio of male companions journey through the Forbidden Forest in search of a lost Smurf tribe. The adventurers not only have to deal with the dangers of the forest, they must avoid capture by the evil Gargamel (Rainn Wilson), who has his own plans for the lost tribe. When the tribe is discovered, surprise surprise, they turn out to be girl Smurfs.

The Lost Village is very loud, and aims to beat its audience of tots into submission with a relentless barrage of colours and sounds. Things moves so fast, it’s more of a cascade of events than an actual story. Still, the far-out forest could give the movie a second life on DVD, rented by tripped-out hippies and stoners.

Smurfs: The Lost Village opens on April 13

Want more articles like this? Follow SCMP Film on Facebook