The Smurfs 

The popular kiddie TV show hits the big screen

click to enlarge smurfscolor_31.jpg

There doesn't seem to be much to like about director Raja Gosnell's take on the Smurfs, who won the hearts of American kiddies in an animated 1980s TV series. The plot is contrived, the dialog is hokey, and the performances by most of the live-action cast leave a lot to be desired. Running from the evil Gargamel, the mythical (and digitally animated) Smurfs dive through a wormhole and wind up in New York City living with a nice-guy workaholic (Neil Patrick Harris). Mixing animation and live action rarely works. Yet in spite of that, and this film's obvious flaws, I enjoyed The Smurfs. Maybe it's because I grew up watching The Smurfs on Saturday morning, and the film does have a nice nostalgic feel to it. Or maybe it was realizing that comic legend Jonathan Winters is still alive and now the voice of wise old Papa Smurf



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