‘The Smurfs’ Edit Bay Visit and Chat with Hank Azaria & Jayma Mays

Published 3 years ago by

the smurfs movie trailer 2 The Smurfs Edit Bay Visit and Chat with Hank Azaria & Jayma Mays

“La, la, la, la, la, la [insert clever-phrase here].” (Have a go at filling in that blank in the comments section… keep it clean please.)

We recently had the opportunity to attend an edit bay visit for the upcoming live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic and beloved Peyo children’s comic-strips The Smurfs. Most of us are likely more familiar with the Saturday morning cartoon version of the little blue-ones – but the creators of The Smurfs movie assure us that they are drawing primarily from the original source material.

Fun fact! Peyo came up with the name for his creatures when he momentarily forgot the word for “salt” at a dinner with a friend and very politely requested they pass the “Schtroumpf” to which his friend responded, “Here’s the Schtroumpf — when you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back.”

They spent the weekend working “schtroumpf” into a variety of uses (as both descriptors and nouns) which led to the creation of the phrase “smurfy” – via the magic of translation, of course.

Now, on the the latest iteration of The Smurfs.

We were greeted with all manner of Smurf cutouts, plastic figurines, balloons and dolls (one of which may, or may not, have found its way to a new home looking out the rear-view window of my car) at the beginning of our visit. We were then shepherded into a theater – wherein we were shown nearly twenty-minutes of footage from the film (in both 2D and 3D). Intermittent “glasses on, glasses off” instructions were provided.

The footage looked very similar to what you have seen in the trailers. Though The Smurfs aims to be a “for all audiences” film, our best assessment (based upon what we were shown) is that the film works more as a children’s movie: in the same way that Alvin and the Chipmunks is a laugh riot to most little ones (and  just plain befuddling to adults) or how The Teletubies are endearing to toddlers (and terrifying to everyone else – because they are trying to control our brains).

Small children are very likely to enjoy this film, though there is one section with Azrael (Gargamel’s minion) that boarders on cat-abuse – which animal lovers may find perturbing.

 The Smurfs Edit Bay Visit and Chat with Hank Azaria & Jayma Mays

We went from the screening directly into roundtable interviews with stars Hank Azaria and Jayma Mays (Glee) followed by producer Jordan Kerner and director Raja Gosnell — please see the footage of the interviews below:

Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria

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Producer Jordan Kerner and director Raja Gosnell

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From there we were given a quick lesson in Smurf animation, I dubbed mine “Tai Chi” Smurf (he was very wise). We asked the animators which nicknames they gave each other throughout the course of production – some of them are not fit for print (though they are highly amusing) and we are able to report that both “disappointing” Smurf and “passive aggressive” Smurf were in the mix.

From animation we were taken into the V.O. booth for an opportunity to bring a Smurf to life. It’s me against Katy Perry for the voice of Smurfette in this rapid fire tour through the world of voice over (guess who wins :)).

Check out the video below:

As you can see from the interviews the filmmakers clearly have a lot of affection and respect for both Peyo as well as his creation – and the cast had a good (if somewhat confused) time making this film.

We certainly had fun with our brief foray into the world of tiny and blue.

As to the final film audiences will be able to weigh in on the results of the team’s collective efforts when The Smurfs opens in theaters on July 29th.

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14 Comments

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  1. Move over Katy Perry.

  2. I’m sorry but I found everything about this article to be very very annoying.

    • I’m not sorry — and I find everything about this comment very annoying. Exactly what does making a comment like this do for you or anyone else? This is what it is — it is a “Smurfs” edit bay visit. You don’t have to read it, your comment says nothing about the film, and only serves to contribute negativity into the world and put a damper on my night — after a long day — so thanks for that. Also, my biggest pet peeve in life? Adding “I’m sorry” to the front of a patently rude statement. If you are sorry, then don’t make the rude comment. If you choose to make it, then you are not sorry.

      Enough — I’m going to bed.

      • I hope you had a good nights sleep, Roth. I found your article to be well written and informative. I, for one, am not interested in the movie per se but I just wanted to see what this article was about; I found the trailer for this movie a bit….smurfed up. :-D

        • Thanks John, I am almost at the finish line and plan to stare at a wall for five straight hours sometime this weekend. Yes, I don’t think this film is for most adults :) thank you for your comments.

          Hope you have a great weekend!

          Roth

      • Whoa, it sure was a long day for you. Maybe I should have stressed that it was because I’m a fan of the Smurfs (should be Smurves, really) and listening to the interviews annoyed me because nothing of what they’re saying makes me want to see this movie. Even Hank Azaria seems like he’s just going through the motions. It had nothing to do with your work. But even if it did you need to relax. Sometimes you’ll get negative comments regarding your articles but just push ‘em aside instead of immediately verbally bashing someone for a misunderstanding. That would be one of my pet peeves. So who’s really the negative one?

        • Hey Alex,

          I did misinterpret those words and apologize for being too quick on the trigger.

          I could provide reasons for the slip, but it is ultimately irrelevant. This is a reminder of why I normally strive to show restraint. I really am sorry if anything in my comment was hurtful, that is the opposite of what I hope to put out in the world.

          Only human,

          Roth

          • Hey, no big deal. No need to apologize. I still read this site religiously no matter who writes the article. But I humbly accept your apology and I appreciate your comment.
            Water under the bridge, Roth. I refuse to have an altercation over a Smurfs movie. ;)
            I do thank you, though.

        • Yeah, you should have been more clear, Alex. You said the article was annoying, not the video’s. Good on you for trying to clean up the rude comment but it was still rude. Own it.

  3. This movie looks like a worthless turd. Where is it written that children’s entertainment has to be insultingly stupid? Oh wait, it doesn’t, just look at pixar.

    • Where is it written that “Clifton” is an acceptable handle? Why is there so much negativity on chat boards these days? Is everyone that unhappy?

  4. I think it’s time for a “Godzilla meets the Smurfs” movie. :) Sorry Roth LOL :D

  5. They may be nice people but this movie will be worse then Transformers 3 and Green Lantern.

  6. I grew up in Germany and the Smurfs are HUGE over there, I see this movie not doing great here, domestically, but doing really big numbers overseas.

    Seriously, the Germans love the Smurfs, my little brother had about a trillion little plastic rubbery Smurfs doing all sorts of stuff. I think he still has them but the Texas heat has warped them quite a bit over the years.

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