Smurfs: The Lost Village is an updated, politically pleasing delivery of the beloved franchise. One that ended up bland and unfunny.
Smurfs: The Lost Village Synopsis
Smurfette encounters a mysterious blue creature one day and decides to investigate. Together with Clumsy, Brainy, and Hefty, they defy Papa Smurf’s orders and venture into the Forbidden Forest. There, they not only discover a whole village of Smurfs, they must also work with their new friends to survive another diabolical scheme by Gargamel.
This is my personal opinion. The Smurfs cartoons of the 80s were so enduring not simply because of their irresistible cuteness, but because there were all sorts of socio-political messages embedded into the episodes. Messages that work and please on a subliminal level. After re-watching most of the seasons in 2011, I concluded that the Smurfs were indeed creator Peyo’s vision of a socialist utopia. If you’re wondering why I was on the lookout, it was articles like this that led me to investigate. I was stunned by how Peyo had so slyly worked his worldview into younger me back then.
Smurfs: The Lost Village uses an updated and more politically neutral version of this formula, expressed through the expansion of one of the oldest Smurfs storylines i.e. Smurfette’s origin and purpose. To be honest, this semi-feminism endorsement comes across as somewhat old and bland. At the same time, I’m also unsure whether I prefer the new more worldly and self-aware version of Smurfette.
Call me a pig but the Smurfette I love is the hysterical but intrepid, ooooh Papa Smurf (!!) blond head of the 80s. Despite her simplistic ways, that version feels more sophisticated and real. She feels more relatable too.
And then there’s the new Brainy, another character amendment that I disliked. Brainy is the one Smurf all fans hate and love. Wait, we all hate him more than love, don’t we?
This revised version not only vastly tones down his obnoxiousness, it goes as far as to inject distinct elements of Handy Smurf. Was this done because the producers felt this would go down better with today’s young audiences?
What I’m saying overall is, for better or worse, Peyo’s opinions have established too impregnatable a mental fortress in me. I prefer my Smurfs simpler and less politically correct. Their older personae were way more enjoyable too. This new edition, with all these changes, just feels so lacking in charm.
PS: While this movie somewhat disappointed, I still love the Smurfs! Here’s why!
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