There has been a strange and somewhat horrifying trend developing with regard to big-screen adaptations of decades-old cartoons. From the Garfields to Alvin and the Chipmunks and its Squeakuel to the more recent, but no less revolting, Yogi Bear.
They almost always feature live action human actors, terribly animated CG characters, a bevy of fart jokes and/or stupid puns. Based on this new trailer, The Smurfs looks to be no different.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Smurfs, such that it is:
When the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) chases the Smurfs out of their village, they’re forced through a portal, out of their world and into ours, landing in the middle of New York’s Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.
And check out the trailer below:
Some of my favorite (read: because they're so hilariously awful) lines in the trailer include:
- “Nothing like a cool breeze through my enchanted forest,” says Gutsy (Scottish) Smurf who’s letting a vent blow cold air up his kilt, Marilyn Monroe-style.
- “I think I just smurfed – in my mouth,” says Grouchy Smurf in response to Gutsy Smurf’s hilarious (read: the opposite of hilarious) enchanted forest line.
- “Where the smurf are we?” says Papa Smurf.
- “This summer, the turf gets smurfed!” says the movie voiceover guy with as much excitement as he can pretend to muster.
- “Let’s smurf this joint,” says Greedy Smurf, which I guess is the same as saying ‘Let’s blow this joint.’
- “Goodbye blue world!” says Jokey Smurf, making a pun of that old cliché, ‘Goodbye cruel world.'
- And best of all, the final line of the trailer: “All right... who smurfed?”
Are we to believe the Smurfs have devised a language made up almost entirely of the word ‘Smurf?’ Smurf is a noun, it’s an adjective, it’s a verb, it’s a cuss word, it’s synonymous with the word ‘fart,’ and on, and on, and on. I guess this frees up the filmmakers to make supposedly raunchy jokes for the adult portion of the crowd without being called on it by the MPAA. Or something?
Judging by this trailer alone, everyone involved with this movie should be disappointed in themselves. Especially Neil Patrick Harris and Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), both of whom are genuinely talented actors and have built up a lot of goodwill in recent years, both in Hollywood and America's hearts.
In fact, the only thing this trailer makes me yearn for is a cinematic adaptation of Jeff Smith’s amazing comic book Bone. Similar to the silver screen version of The Smurfs, Bone is about a family of cartoon-esque characters – Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone, and Fone Bone – that accidentally wander into a high fantasy world not unlike The Lord of the Rings or one of its analogues.
Can you imagine? Live-action human characters, 2D-animated Bones (a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit), and a genuine attempt at making a quality movie as opposed to just cashing in on A) everyone’s nostalgia or B) every child's love of fart jokes. But then, maybe I'm asking too much of Hollywood.
The Smurfs, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays, Katy Perry, Alan Cummings, George Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Anton Yelchin, and more, hits theaters August 3rd, 2011.