This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Sony Pictures. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. As always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
The Smurfs are back!! Can you guys hear me shouting and jumping with joy? Seriously, if you were a kid during the 80s and up until 2003, you should definitely be familiar with the Smurfs. Growing up I always felt like a cross between Brainy and Smurfette. So I was stoked to find out that Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, Clumsy and the rest of the gang were coming to big screen in their new fully animated movie SMURFS: The Lost Village on April 7th.
Armed with a mysterious map, besties Smurfette, Hefty, Clumsy and Brainy find themselves on a race through the mystical Forbidden Forest. The four friends are trying to save a mysterious lost village of magical creatures from falling into the clutches of the evil wizard Gargamel and his goons. However, once the Smurfs reach the lost village, they make a discovery that will change their lives forever!
Why Your Family Should See SMURFS: The Lost Village
Thankfully, the kids and I don't have to wait until the 7th to see the new Smurfs movie. We got to screen it early this past weekend. Below is what we loved about it and why we think every family should make plans to head to the theaters this Friday and watch it as well.
Cast | I'll be honest and admit that I wasn't thrilled initially when I found out that Katy Perry wouldn't be returning as the voice of Smurfette. However, Moo was over the moon that Demi Lovato was bestowed the honor. She's Disney Channel royalty and my kids are all about their Disney stars. Overall, I can see now that Lovato was a great choice.
The all-star cast doesn't stop there. There's Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf, the hunky Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Rainn Wilson as Gargamel and Danny Pudi as Brainy. As soon as Brainy Smurf spoke, Moo exclaimed, "That's Fix-It Felix's voice!" She LOVES Wreck-It Ralph and I wasn't sure if she was going to recognize Pudi's voice.
Also, new to cast was the hilarious Ellie Kemper as SmurfBlossom, Ariel Winter (more Disney Channel royalty) as SmurfLily, the lovely Meghan Trainor as SmurfMelody, Michelle Rodriguez as SmurfStorm and the uber talented Julia Roberts as SmurfWillow! Honestly, my mind was a little bit blown when I found out Julia Roberts had joined the Smurf crew. She's beyond talented and her character really fit what I envision her real life personality to be like. Kudos to Sony for putting together such an amazing band of actors to voice over these characters.
Overall Animation | You guys may not know this about me, but art was one of my favorite electives in junior high school. I was disappointed when I discovered I couldn't continue taking art classes in high school. As a result of my early love of drawing, I've always been slightly obsessed with the animation of cartoons. In my personal opinion, I think the artists absolutely nailed the overall animation for SMURFS: The Lost Village!
The kids really loved all of the scenes in the Forbidden Forest because of all of the vivid colors that were used. We definitely wish the Forbidden Forest existed in real life because it was simply beautiful.
Life Lessons | I'm always a sucker for a movie that contain important life lessons and positive messaging, especially when it comes to family movies. My favorite lesson from the movie was:
No one can define your purpose or who you are!
If you know anything about the Smurfs or have seen any of the previous Smurf movies, you know that Smurfette was originally created Gargamel to help him capture the Smurfs. With the help, love and kindness of Papa Smurf, she changed from evil to good. At the opening of this movie, we saw Smurfette struggling with defining and figuring who she and what her purpose was. After she wasn't a Smurf, but a Smurfette.
And not just any Smurfette either. She was created from a lump of blue clay using evil magic. We saw her so desperately trying to fit in and be like her brothers. Then, in a run-in with the evil Gargamel, he taunts her by saying that her purpose will always be ruin the Smurfs and involuntarily help him carry out his evil plans because that's what he created her to do. This declaration on made Smurfette question her purpose and identity even more.
I think kids and even some of adults can really relate to Smurfette's self-identity and purpose struggle. As a mom, I know I've really struggled with maintaining an identity that doesn't consist of JUST being a mom. I'm more than that. While raising amazing and compassionate children is one of my biggest purposes in life, it's not my only purpose.
Again there are many lessons and opportunities for discussion and even self-reflection that can be found in these best friends' journey to selflessly save strangers they never knew existed.
All in all, this is an excellent movie to see with your family (or friends). I loved it, the kids definitely loved it. We give it two thumbs up.
I'd like thank the lovely folks at Sony for sponsoring a SMURFS: The Lost Village Prize Pack giveaway! One lucky YUMMommy reader 18 years or older from the US will win all of these goodies above. All you have to do is use the widget below.
And if you haven't already, go check out my SMURFS-tastic Freeze Ball Punch Recipe! It's a delicious and refreshing color-changing, frizzy drink that everyone is sure to love. Also, you can find out more about the new Smurfs movie, print activity pages for the kids and more here. Don't forget to follow the Smurfs on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on any new Smurf movie releases and events.