OK for kids 6+
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.
- 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?
The good stuff
Educational value: The movie is meant for amusement only, but the Smurfs do teach kids about teamwork, while Papa and the Winslows teach about the importance of putting family first.
Messages: The Smurfs offer positive messages about cooperation, teamwork, and family togetherness. Clumsy Smurf's transformation into a fearless hero is a great lesson that none of us is just "one thing," even if that's what we're most known for by our friends and family. On the downside, in one scene Gargamel calls an older woman a "hag" and uses magic to give her a younger, more bosom-y appearance, after which a group of people rave about her transformation.
Role models: Grace is kind and helpful, even though the Smurfs frighten her at first. Papa always thinks of his Smurfs first, himself second. The other Smurfs are optimistic and sweet. Patrick learns how to be a father from Papa Smurf.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: Lots of pratfalls and cartoonish violence, mostly involving Gargamel, who's always trying to capture the Smurfs. Azrael the cat is often thrown into danger's way, after which Gargamel says "Are you dead?" to see if he made it. A climactic battle between Gargamel and the Smurfs (note -- possible spoiler alert!) causes a few minor Smurf injuries, but there's no blood or deaths. One sequence in which Gargamel finds Smurf Village might frighten very young children, since Gargamel destroys many of their homes and winds up driving them off into the enchanted forest. Azrael also coughs up Smurfette's hair in a rather graphic way that might gross out some viewers.
Sexy stuff: A married couple is affectionate -- holds hands, embraces, and eventually kisses -- in a short-and-sweet manner. Smurfette stands over a subway grate, Marilyn Monroe-style, but her Smurf "brothers" are more interested in the breeze. Grace is pregnant.
Language: The word "smurf" is used as a substitute for many other words, including curse words -- for example, "smurf off," "you smurfin' crossed the wrong smurf," "smurf me," etc. Also very sparing use of "damn" and "oh my God."
Consumerism: Many visible product placements, including Blue Man Group; Samsung Blu-Ray player, Apple computers, a prominent mention of M&Ms, Aerosmith Guitar Hero, CBGB, Bluetooth technology, FAO Schwarz, ALEX toys, Madame Alexander dolls, and references to Katy Perry's song "I Kissed a Girl" and Braveheart.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
Great for anyone!!! :) by sabrinaellis
My husband and I took our 5 year daughter to see the Smurfs Saturday night. This was her first trip to the movies as well. She LOVED the movie. We even loved it, especially the ending when the cat said "Are you dead?" and laughed. This movie is for anyone and is especially a great refresher for the ones that grew up watching the smurfs like I did.
CUTE MOVIE! by twyatt1980
My husband and I went and saw this movie and loved it! Cute movie and cant wait for Smurfs 2 to come out! ;)
Smurfs by kkay75
We took kids ages 4-16.... It was a little silly at some points, but the kids enjoyed it and that's what matters!
Funny and cute by Basildave
It was pretty funny, with the word "Smurf" used for just about anything, one could imagine that it might even allow for some grown up humor in there. I liked the use of Neil Patrick Harris as the protagonist and Hank Azaria as the evil wizard. Katy Perry did a good job as Smurfette with kudo's to explaining the origins of the Smurfs and crediting their creator during the movie (which is pretty unusual). I was surprised that Jonathan Winters played Papa smurf, I haven't seen his name on the big screen in a number of years.
Most important of all however, was that my 9 year old loved it. So if you've got kids, definitely go see it.
Very cute movie! by MotheroftheKing
I took my son and one of his good buddies to see this movie. They both absolutely LOVED it! I must admit that I enjoyed it as well! Great family fun film!! Would love to see the Smurfs come back to Saturday mornings! ;-)
So much fun we saw it THREE times in theaters! by mycarvingtree_com
Saw it on opening night and then went back again a week later! Once it hit dollar movies we saw a third time and kids are dying to own the Bluray. To top it all off it was a great trip down memory lane for my wife and I too! Way fun!
TooModern. by smurf_girl98733
what happened to the cute little blue cartoons running through the forest? the orginal cartoon is to... orginal to be remade, especially into a movie. This movies wasn't a complete train wreck though, it was funny and i love the actors/ress they had.
Prepared to hate it, but laughed out loud! by oldmom
I was always offended by the pentagrams, spell casting, etcetera on the old cartoon, but took my 7 yr old to this movie.
It was perfect for kids, yet some funny moments for adults as well. I THINK there were no cuss words!
Neil Patrick Harris & his wife did an awesome job of interacting with invisible co-actors.
There was a lesson, believe it or not, about cherishing what is REALLY important in our lives.
What the Smurf!?! by kraduate
Better than I thought it would be. And not just because of Neil Patrick Harris.
I was a fan of the cartoon as a kid and this brought back fond memories.
Modernized without being trite. Like all the best children's movies, a good amount of adult humor thrown in. In the trailer, Hank Azaria's Gargamel looked like it was going to be cringe inducing but somehow his portrayal wasn't as painful in the film as a whole.
Overall, The Smurfs is cute...because the Smurfs are cute.
cute by jess crush
i realy do not get what all the bad reviews for this movie are for because i watcjhed it with my family and we all loved it it was cute funny and fun just what you would expect from a movie like this one pure joy and entertanment how wonderful