The Smurfs were first introduced back in 1958 in a comic book series by Peyo. Since then, they have become known worldwide both for their hand-drawn and animated escapades, most often involving trying to escape the clutches of the evil Gargamel. After the success of two live-action/animated movies, a third film (described as a reboot) is set to be released in 2017, titled Get Smurfy.
In celebration of Global Smurfs day, Sony Pictures Animation has announced the voice cast for Get Smurfy with a short video featuring Demi Lovato (who's voicing Smurfette), Mandy Patinkin (who's voicing Papa Smurf), and Rainn Wilson (who's voicing the villainous Gargamel).
Get Smurfy will be Lovato’s first foray into animated voice-over work, but she is no stranger to acting, having made her name in the Disney Channel original movie Camp Rock before starring in the Disney Channel TV show Sonny With a Chance. Her most recent acting appearance has been in a guest role on Glee.
Rainn Wilson, on the other hand, has had a string of high profile animated roles, including work on Monsters vs. Aliens, Family Guy and Adventure Time. Plus, his comedic background could very well make him perfect for the role of Gargamel.
And finally, Patinkin, famous for his work on The Princess Bride and Homeland, is no stranger to the family film genre, having played the villain in Elmo in Grouchland.
Get Smurfy will differ from the previous Smurfs films, as it will be entirely 3D-animated rather than a live-action/animation hybrid. It will also apparently stay closer to creator Peyo’s original drawings and ideas. The reboot will be directed by Kelly Asbury, whose previous credits include Shrek 2 and Gnomeo and Juliet.
The previous two Smurf movies, simply entitled The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, both did well at the box office despite negative reviews. Given how popular the little blue creatures are worldwide, it would be surprising if Get Smurfy weren't similarly successful, though we'll have to wait and see on the critical reception.
The casting certainly sounds good. Lovato follows on from Katy Perry in delivering a perky yet punchy Smurfette, Patinkin definitely has the gentle, lilting timbre needed for Papa Smurf, and judging by the introductory video, Wilson is enjoying channeling the evil Gargamel already.
It’s not easy to be critical of a franchise such as The Smurfs. For a start, they are a huge part of a many people’s childhoods, and movies such as this now give them the opportunity to introduce their own children to the little blue characters. They bring great joy, and the overall goal of Get Smurfy will be to create a family film that adults and kids will want to watch together again and again. Hopefully, Sony Pictures Animation will pull it off.
Get Smurfy will be released in theaters March 31, 2017.