Growing up, I was a huge fan of 80's cartoons that featured a dominant female cast. The exception was The Smurfs and I never realized why until recently while watching the 2011 Smurfs movie.
Unlike other "boy's club" shows that featured in the 80's, namely GI Joe, He-Man, Captain Power, the males in Smurfs were allowed to do things that were unthinkable in the other "boy's club" shows. Tailor Smurf made clothes, Hefty Smurf was body obsessed, Painter Smurf painted and Vanity.... oh gurl!!!!!
Vanity has got to be my favorite Smurf.
In the new movie, Vanity is reduced to a mere cameo, but a sequel is in the works so maybe he'll get to shine there. Though I doubt it since he also seems to be absent in the new Christmas special that comes with The Smurfs Blu Ray. As a plus though, Hefty Smurf (Gym Bunny Smurf LOL) seems to have more of a role in the Christmas special (The Smurfs Christmas Carol) than he did in the film. His role in the 2011 film was also reduced to a cameo. He was replaced by new guy Gutsy Smurf.
Gotta love a guy in a kilt :-)
The film itself is cute. It's totally worth a watch, but it pales in comparison to the epic adventures The Smurfs have had in their 9 season Hanna-Barbera Series and the original Peyo comics. The best part of the movie is really in the beginning when we're in the medieval world The Smurfs inhabit.
The plot centers on a time traveling gimmick. The Smurfs are transported to modern day New York and have to get back home. There they become friends with two humans, played by Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays (Emma from Glee). Lots of fish out of water jokes abound.
What makes The Smurfs movie work though is the characterization of the characters. They're very true to character. While the world has changed, The Smurfs have not.
I recommend the film for families and for fans of the original Smurfs. It's a very loving tribute to them. I dig the scene where The Smurfs see a picture of Smurfs creator Peyo.
If you get to purchase it though get the 3 disc versions. It comes with "A Smurfs Christmas Special." A hint of what the movie could've really been.