When I first started Just Plain Something (coming close to two years ago), one of the first things I wrote about was the confirmation that there would be a live-action Smurfs movie – although I noticed that it was originally supposed to come out last year. Last month, a trailer came out for the film, and I finally got around to seeing it.Take a look:
First things first, I think we can all be relieved the Scottish Smurf is wearing pants under his kilt. Of course, I don’t understand why there would be a Smurf that was a different nationality than the other Smurfs, but at least he’s wearing pants.
I rarely watched the cartoon growing up, so my investment in the characters is slim. From what I’ve seen, I just don’t think this movie has the charm of the show. Anytime you take classic cartoon characters from a non-modern setting and put them smack dab in the middle of America in our time, it comes off as a cheap and even a little desperate. This trailer wreaks of desperation. Instead of writing new, interesting characters for kids to grow up with, these writers turn to nostalgic characters, but throw them into the lives of trendy yuppies because it’s “wacky.” It’s why Rocky and Bullwinkle was so bad.
You’re not going to improve on these characters by making them “hip.” They’re going to look desperate. I swear, if I find out any of the Smurfs rap or dress up like KISS, I will die a little inside.
The one bright light in the trailer is Neil Patrick Harris. He’s just so adorable, so maybe he’ll bring the movie up a little. And there’s always a chance that this is the one cartoon adaptation that actually works. I actually really enjoyed Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Then again, it’s the Looney Tunes. Hell, even Space Jam had one or two good moments.