August 3rd, 2011, by Rob

The Smurfs - Movie2k Movie PosterMovie2k Movies – The Smurfs Synopsis

The Smurfs is a 2011 American 3D family film based on The Smurfs comic book series created by Peyo and the 1980s animated TV series it spawned. It was directed by Raja Gosnell and starsNeil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Winters, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays, and Sofía Vergara. It is the first CGI/live-action hybrid film to be produced by Sony Pictures Animation and in The Smurfs trilogy. During early production the film was known as The Smurfs Movie.

After five years of negotiations, Jordan Kerner bought the rights in 2002 and was in development with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies until Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation obtained the film rights in 2008. Filming began in March 2010 in New York.

After having the release date changed three times, Columbia Pictures released The Smurfs on July 29, 2011. Box office analysts initially predicted the film would tie with Cowboys & Aliens, but The Smurfs ultimately came in second grossing $35.6 million against Cowboys & Aliens‘s $36.4 million.

The Smurfs received generally negative reviews from film critics but CinemaScore polls showed a positive score from audience voters.


Movie2k Movies – The Smurfs Plot

In the beginning of the film, Narrator Smurf tells the audience about the Blue Moon Festival, where every Smurf prepares to sing the Smurf theme song, almost every Smurf. Gutsy Smurf and Grouchy Smurf tell Clumsy Smurf he’s on the “Don’t Not Let In” list because he is too accident prone.

Meanwhile, Papa Smurf sees a vision, showing Clumsy with a dragon wand, The Smurfs in cages, and Gargamel having ultimate power. Worried that this may happen, Papa does not let Clumsy pick Smurf Roots. Refusing to listen, Clumsy does so anyway.


Gargamel soon finds Clumsy and chases after him. Clumsy leads Gargamel into the hidden Smurf village, and Gargamel destroys it. Running from Gargamel, Clumsy accidentally goes the wrong way, and some of the other Smurfs go after him and leap into a magic portal and finally discover New York City.

They take shelter with a young married couple (Patrick and Grace Winslow), who are expecting a baby. The Smurfs have to return to the Middle Ages and stop Gargamel. With the help of Patrick and Grace, The Smurfs eventually defeat Gargamel.


Movie2k Movies – The Smurfs Cast

  • Neil Patrick Harris as Patrick Winslow
  • Jayma Mays as Grace Winslow, Patrick’s wife who is pregnant with their first child.
  • Hank Azaria as Gargamel, the arch-nemesis and antagonist of The Smurfs who plots to use The Smurfs as part of a spell which would turn lead into gold. As opposed to the television show where Gargamel’s goal is use The Smurfs as the key ingredient in an alchemical formula to create gold, in the film he wants to capture them to serve as charms, “whose mystical essence will make his inept magic more powerful — and dangerous”. To look the part of Gargamel, Azaria wore a prosthetic nose, ears, buck teeth, eyebrows and a wig (to make the process easier, he shaved his head). The initial make-up test took three hours, but by mid-production the process took 90 minutes to complete. Azaria was transformed over 50 times and spent approximately 130 hours in the make-up chair.
  • Sofía Vergara as Odile, an executive at a French cosmetics company who is the boss of Patrick Winslow
  • Tim Gunn as Henri, an Executive Assistant at a major cosmetics company
  • Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf. Winters also provided the voice of Grandpa Smurf in the 1981 cartoon series.
  • Katy Perry as Smurfette. About gaining the voice role, Perry said, “They had done a blind test where they took certain voices from previous interviews and matched them with the character. They liked my voice without even knowing who it was, and when they found out it was me, they thought that would work out. My personality was just a plus!”
  • Fred Armisen as Brainy Smurf


  • Alan Cumming as Gutsy Smurf, one of three Smurfs created specifically for the film and who is Scottish, wears a kilt, and has sideburns. The character is also described as the “action hero” of the film.
  • Anton Yelchin as Clumsy Smurf. Yelchin commented on his character’s personality change from the cartoons series saying, “I was familiar with Clumsy from the TV series, where he had that Southern twang. I went back and watched that, and then Raja, Jordan and I talked about it. We decided to make Clumsy a little simpler, a little sweeter. His voice is pitched higher than my normal speaking voice – it‘s full of joy, optimism, and enthusiasm for life. Clumsy isn’t trying to mess anything up for anybody — he’s just clumsy, and actually, he‘s tired of being clumsy”.
  • George Lopez as Grouchy Smurf. To prepare for his role of being “grouchy”, Lopez did not drink coffee, made sure he had bad breath and picked the busiest time to get to the studio.
  • Jeff Foxworthy as Handy Smurf
  • Paul Reubens as Jokey Smurf
  • Gary Basaraba as Hefty Smurf
  • John Oliver as Vanity Smurf
  • Kenan Thompson as Greedy Smurf
  • Adam Wylie as Panicky Smurf, the second Smurf created specifically for the film
  • B. J. Novak as Baker Smurf
  • Wolfgang Puck as Chef Smurf
  • John Kassir as Crazy Smurf, the third Smurf created specifically for the film
  • Tom Kane as Narrator Smurf
  • Frank Welker as Azrael the cat. Welker provided the voice of Hefty Smurf in the 1981 cartoon series. Four cats played the role of Azreal with some scenes being created with CGI by Tippett Studio. Animal trainer Larry Madrid had a “rare Burma cat” that was used to educe snarls from the other cats since they did not like him


Movie2k Movies – The Smurfs Production Notes

In 1997, producer Jordan Kerner sent the first “of a series of letters” to The Smurfs‘ licensing agent Lafig Belgium expressing interest in making a feature film. It was not until 2002 after a draft of Kerner’s film adaptation of Charlotte’s Web was read by Peyo’s heirs, that they accepted Kerner’s offer. Peyo’s daughter Véronique Culliford and family had wanted to make a Smurfs film for years and said that Kerner was the first person to pitch a film that shared their “vision and enthusiasm”. Kerner soon began developing the 3-D CGI feature film with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. In 2006, Kerner said the film was planned to be a trilogy and would explain more of Gargamel’s backstory. He stated, “We’ll learn [more] about Gargamel and Smurf Soup and how all that began and what really goes on in that castle. What his backstory really was. There’s an all-powerful wizard… there’s all sorts of things that get revealed as we go along”. Early animation footage was leaked on the internet in early 2008. The filmmakers were allowed to create three new Smurfs for the film – Panicky, Crazy, and Gutsy.


In June 2008, it was announced that Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation obtained the film rights from Lafig Belgium. Kerner said the current project started with Sony during a conversation with the chairman-CEO Michael Lynton, who grew up watching The Smurfs in the Netherlands. Kerner explained, “He relished them as I do and suggested that it should be a live-action/CG film. Amy Pascal felt equally that there was potentially a series of films in the making”. Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third writers, David Stem and David Weiss wrote the screenplay along with Zookeeper writers Jay Scherick and David Ronn; Stem and Weiss also wrote the story. Raja Gosnell directed. Quentin Tarantino was in talks to play Brainy Smurf.

On a budget of $110 million, principal photography began in New York City on March 26, 2010. In May, scenes were filmed in the SoHo of Manhattan. That month, scenes were shot all night for five nights in a row at F.A.O. Schwartztoy store. Production was temporarily halted after a worker fell 30 feet from a set at the toy store on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street; he later recovered in a hospital. Other locations used for filming were Belvedere Castle, the Russian Tea Room, Rockefeller Center, and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. A Belvedere Castle set was built as an exact replica of the real castle, but is two-thirds the actual size and has wooden grates as floors to create additional contrast. Gargamel’s dungeon under Belvedere Castle, which included the “Smurfalator”, was built on a soundstage. It took three months to build because some parts were hard to come by. Production eventually found the rare parts at garage sales, flea markets, on eBay and Craigslist.


In order to help The Smurfs‘ animators during post-production, cinematographer Phil Meheux and his team would light up a scene where The Smurfs would be digitally added using 7 and one half-inch tall models to stand in during set-up and rehearsals. He explained, “We can then position the light so that it falls right. The actors know where the Smurf will be when it is animated later, so their eyelines will match. Then we can take out the model and shoot the scene, and they look quite real, fitting the real backing that we’re giving them. It looks like they’re part of the surroundings”. Also during the process the Imageworks visual effects team used a new camera system to precisely record the on-set lighting, so it could be applied later in the computer. When time came to film a scene that would include actors and Smurfs, each Smurf was represented by a different colored dot and the actors had to remember which dot was which Smurf. The Smurf characters were created during post-production by 268 Sony Pictures Imageworks employees who spent around 358,000 hours animating. Character designer Allen Battino, a long time Kerner collaborator, was brought in to redesign The Smurfs characters for CGI.


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