Smurfpocalypse Now: The Smurfening

I can’t believe this is smurfing happening. I mean, I knew that a Smurfs movie was on its way, but it really wasn’t until I saw the teaser trailer below that the reality finally hit home. I don’t know why this was the straw that finally broke me, but I’ve completely run out of patience with the cartoon reboot trend that has spawned the Scooby-Doo films, the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, and the hideous term “Squeakquel” (which is clearly an abomination and should be killed with fire immediately).

Growing up during the 80s, I definitely watched The Smurfs—hell, I’ve still got the 1982 Christmas special floating around on VHS somewhere (it’s a weird one—the Smurfs actually team up with Gargamel in a deadly sing-a-long at the end…Happy smurfing holidays, everybody!). I also remember that, out of all the weird and often crappy TV my siblings and I used to watch, The Smurfs was the one show my mother absolutely couldn’t stomach—she hated the voices of the Smurfs so much she’d always try to run the vacuum cleaner whenever it was on just so that she didn’t have to listen to their maddening, high-pitched jabbering.

Admittedly, the show was never one of my great favorites, but it was a Saturday morning staple throughout my childhood, so you think I would have some sense of nostalgia about it, right?

Well, I don’t. Hanna-Barbera can go smurf themselves, and that goes double for this movie.

Don’t get me wrong: I know the original Les Schtroumpfs comics by Peyo are supposed to be great, and the characters have an interesting history (check out the Wikipedia entry—the sections on ‘Smurf language’ and ‘Smurfs and political controversy’ alone make for a pretty kick-ass article). But the cartoon just doesn’t hold up very well, and as an adult, I’m forced to agree with my mother: that theme song and those voices have to be part of some diabolical plot to sonically herd grown-ups everywhere over the cliffs of insanity and into the gaping, mushroom-ringed maw of madness.

That actually might explain a lot about the 1980s, if you think about it: Stirrup pants. Legwarmers. Rick Astley. Reagan…all products of mass, Smurf-inspired hysteria. I’ve heard crazier theories…but I digress.

As for the cast of the new movie, it’s a shame—I always enjoy Neil Patrick Harris, Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee!), Alan Cumming, and The Daily Show’s John Oliver…but I’d rather be repeatedly mauled by a pack of rabid wildebeests than spend two hours of my life watching anything involving Katy Perry, George Lopez and/or Kevin James. Then there’s the plot, in which the Smurfs find “a magical portal that transports them to Central Park,” according to the director. So, basically somebody mashed up Home Alone 2 and the 1994 Charles Nelson Reilly non-classic A Troll in Central Park, and threw in some blue CGI and a few Gargamellian prosthetics. Huh. Let’s see how that trailer looks, shall we?

No thanks, Hollywood. If you must constantly phone in the most subpar and mediocre content imaginable and waste the time and talents of a large cast of people in the process, please stop trampling all over my childhood while you do it. If I catch you looking in Jem’s direction, we are going to have some words…some truly outrageous words. Now smurf off.

Bridget McGovern still can’t talk about the whole Transformers thing, and will thank you not to bring up the ThunderCats anytime soon.


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