Review: The Smurfs 3D (U)

Undated Film Still Handout from The Smurfs 3D. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from The Smurfs 3D. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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BASED on the comic books by Peyo, The Smurfs 3D brings the iconic characters to life on the big screen using the same digital magic as Alvin And The Chipmunks.

As the Blue Moon Festival approaches, Papa Smurf (voiced by Jonathan Winters) experiences a horrifying vision of arch-nemesis Gargamel (Hank Azaria) imprisoning the entire Smurf village in cages and lovable Clumsy (Anton Yelchin) fumbling a dragon-shaped wand that could save the Smurfs from their grim fate.

Soon after, Clumsy accidentally leads Gargamel and his cat Azrael to the village and the Smurfs flee for their lives.

Papa, Smurfette (Katy Perry), Clumsy, Brainy (Fred Armisen), Gutsy (Alan Cumming) and Grouchy (George Lopez) stumble upon a portal, which sucks them into present-day New York.

“I don’t think we’re in Smurf Village anymore,” whimpers Smurfette.

Luckily, kind advertising executive Patrick Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris) and his pregnant wife Grace (Jayma Mays) are on hand to help the Smurfs return to their village.

Meanwhile, Gargamel gives chase through the portal and uses his dark arts to track down his diminutive prey.

The Smurfs 3D recycles the fish-out-of-water plot of Alvin And The Chipmunks and doesn’t have any original ideas about what to do with the tiny characters once they are at large among us.

Harris and Mays are both endearing in thankless roles and the vocal performances are solid though unremarkable, including a self-referential moment for Perry when Smurfette coos, “I kissed a girl ... and I liked it!”

Azaria is camp rather than menacing.

The Smurfs 3D doesn’t benefit at all from the eye-popping format, so if childhood nostalgia compels you to see Gosnell’s film, opt for the cheaper 2D version.