The movie about blue creatures who commune with nature to defend themselves from an evil human presence, Avatar The Smurfs, has been in production for quite a few months now – just recently, principal photography began shooting in New York City.

The invention of video capable cell phone, combined with filming in a well populated city, makes it inevitable that amateur video of cast members shooting a scene would hit the web.

Collider was kind enough to point us in the direction of these two below:

Gargamel Running After Something

Gargamel Bumps into Johan

One of the important things to note here is in the second video. It had been previously stated that Gargamel’s faithful feline sidekick Azrael would be a live action cat – much like Odie was in the Garfield films.

However, it’s curious then to see Tim Gunn (the fellow in the blue suit next to Gargamel) standing there holding nothing in his arms and then outstretching them as if to release something (maybe a Smurf?) to follow Gargamel down the street. Could this mean Azrael is now going to be a CGI creature?

Not so fast. The images below would indicate that Azrael is indeed a real cat. These pics come courtesy of my good friend at Accidental Sexiness, and you can check them out in their entirety HERE and HERE.

So the question remains – will Azrael be a real cat or a CG cat? I guess it’s not really a groundbreaking, earth shattering question but just a curious observation to point out.

So far, we know that Neil Patrick Harris will play Johan, Sofia Vergara will play Odile, the CEO of a cosmetics company, with Hank Azaria in the iconic role of the evil sorcerer Gargamel.

There have been numerous annoucments regarding the actors lending their voices to the roles of the different Smurfs and here is the list according to IMDB:

Katy Perry (Smurfette), Alan Cumming (Gutsy Smurf), Anton Yelchin (Clumsy Smurf), Paul Ruebens (Jokey Smurf), B.J. Novak (Baker Smurf), George Lopez (Grouchy Smurf), Fred Armisen (Brainy Smurf), Kenan Thompson (Greedy Smurf), John Oliver (Vanity Smurf), Jeff Foxworthy (Handy Smurf), Adam Wylie (Panicky Smurf), Gary Basaraba (Hefty Smurf), Wolfgang Puck (Chef Smurf) and Jonathan Winters (Papa Smurf).

Whew! That’s a lot of smurfy action!

My guess is The Smurfs will probably turn out to be similar to Alvin and the Chipmunks in both style and box office numbers. Say what you will about the Alvin films, but both movies made boats loads of money in box office receipts and DVD sales – because the studio reached its intended audience of children. Smurfs will very likely reach the same results.

What do you think Gargamel is doing walking gingerly in front of a window in the first video? How are you feeling about the The Smurfs film in general?

The Smurfs will smurf their way into theaters next summer July 29th, 2011.

Source: Accidental Sexiness