The Smurfs have come a long way since their cartoon creation by Belgian artist, Peyo in 1958. In the latest 3D version, all the major elements are there - the adorable Smurf village and all the different quirky characters. The evil wizard and long term Smurf chaser, Gargamel is back with a vengeance, complete with an elaborate plot to take over the planet. In order to fulfil his grand plan, he needs plenty of magical blue Smurf essence and has it all cleverly mapped out on his tablet device.
The Smurfs (2011) took place in real life New York and this time, the tiny blue gnomes race around the cobblestone streets, cafes, hotels and icons of Paris. The Winslow family join the adventure again, injecting a good dose of comic relief and themes around family dynamics. The Smurfs 2 boasts a diverse cast, featuring Hank Azaria as Gargamel, Neil Patrick Harris as Patrick Winslow and voice actors, Katy Perry as Smurfette, Christina Ricci as Vexy, JB Smoove as Hackus and Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf. This film is actually dedicated to Jonathan Winters, who died in April, 2013.
Overall, The Smurfs 2 is a fun film for older children (over 7's) and accompanying adults to see. You'll get a good laugh out of the blue themed 3D glasses, complete with mini Smurf hat and appreciate the incredible CGI detail, especially in the morphing cat and duck scenes. My kids also reported their favourite scenes as the birds flying over Paris, the fireworks over The Eiffel Tower and Smurfette's Birthday Party at the end.
If you're planning to take the kids along to this film, be sure to visit The Smurfs 2 website beforehand to familiarise yourself with the characters and to access plenty of fun interactive games and downloads. My kids enjoyed playing "Vexy Dress Up", "Whack a Naughty" and sent Smurfette themed e-cards to various friends and relatives.