Sunday, June 14, 2015

New Blue: Sony Animation's Smurfs Reboot Gets Title and First Look


A first look at Sony Animation's all-animated Smurfs movie reboot is now here...

Sony Animation had scored a big worldwide hit with The Smurfs back in 2011, a movie that was leggy domestically but exploded overseas. Two years later, The Smurfs 2 didn't quite replicate that success. The first one was no great opener by any means, but the sequel opened terribly. Good legs couldn't help it, but fortunately for the studio, overseas grosses were still strong but not as strong. The pic still made 3x its budget.

As many of you know, both films weren't very well-received. They seemed to be more for the kiddies than anyone else, unlike a good family film that both kids and adults can enjoy...

But both made good money, so why would Sony scrap the third one? Most studios probably wouldn't flinch, they'd go ahead and make the third one anyway. For a little while it was set for a summer 2015 release, but Sony Animation instead opted to reboot the franchise, really reboot it. Then they pushed it back a year, and then pushed it back some more. It's now opening in spring 2017, which will be less than four years after the second one.

They announced that the reboot would be all-animated, and it wouldn't be connected to the two hybrid films in any way. Best of all, they said it would be closer to the original comics by Peyo, rather than the 1980s Hanna-Barbera television series. It also wouldn't be a Smurf movie in name only. Director Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) even set up a production blog for it, and now, the film has a title...

Get Smurfy...

Big shock, I don't care for that title. That, I think, should've been the name of the two hybrid films! I think it fits them perfectly, not what this is supposed to be...

But a title's a title, the film itself looks and sounds like it could be decent. It seems like the crew behind it really wants to make something entertaining and something that isn't an insult to the comics or the audience.

Earlier today, Sony Animation had given us a first look at the what the film's visual style will look like, and who the new cast will be...


I like the look of it already, even if they haven't shown much. It's very Peanuts Movie-esque, the kind of CG that doesn't aim for hyperrealism and goes a more unique, cartoony route. The designs are definitely closer to the comics, too. I think it's also pretty similar to the style that was going to be used for the in-limbo Popeye, also a Sony Animation project for those who don't know.

Though we only know three members of the cast, we at least know that no one from the last two are returning. No Katy Perry as Smurfette or anything. Demi Lovato, however, isn't a replacement I'd call ideal, but then again I have to consider that Lovato's filmography is mostly just Disney Channel/teenybopper junk that she probably had to do, and that it's no indicator of who she is as an actor. (Take Zac Efron, for instance. He's more than left the Disney Channel box, but some people still think of that when his name pops up.) She could surprise with this kind of role. Rainn Wilson (The Office) will voice Gargamel, who only voice acted once in his career, in DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens back in 2009. However, he was the villain in that movie, so he's probably a good choice for Gargamel. Mandy Patinkin will voice Papa Smurf, and his voice acting resume isn't very big either, but he seems like a good choice as well. That's pretty much it for the cast, I'm surprised Sony hasn't opted to reveal more of it, but...

I will say one thing. Actually, I've been saying this ever since they announced this project...

I still applaud Sony Animation for rebooting this, let alone thinking about it. I think another animation studio wouldn't have fretted too much over how Smurfs 2 performed and would've just went ahead with another hybrid film like it. I wouldn't have thought that this studio would reboot an entire series for the sake of making a better quality film, or at least something that was respectful of the source material. But here we are...

I'm cautiously optimistic for this, but again, I'm glad Sony Animation went ahead with this decision. Hopefully it's the Smurfs movie we should've gotten. What's your take on the reboot? Do you think it'll be better than its predecessors? Do you think it could be a decent film? Sound off below!

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