Saturday, July 9, 2011

Are You Smurfing Me, Sony?

Like most folks of my generation I was a huge Smurf fan growing up.  It was a fairly simple cartoon, an easy to understand plot, and really not a whole lot else.

I have to wonder though, who exactly is the target audience with the updated movie version?

Is this intended to appeal to my generation, the generation that grew up watching The Smurfs every Saturday morning?  Are the jokes intended to be more adult because we’ve aged?  Do we really need to crude up the Smurfs?  Is it necessary when my generation already has fond memories of the cartoon and a sense of nostalgia?  Seriously, my generation gets nostalgic over everything!  First it was I Love the 60s on VH1, then the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and then “Last Week Was Freaking AWESOME SAUCE.”  We are the generation of fake vintage t-shirts; my generation buys into nostalgia like Donald Trump buys into his own hype.

So maybe this movie is not meant to appeal to those of us who grew up with the Smurfs, maybe this is a children’s movie intended to appeal to younger audiences.

Why then must the Smurfs be set into contemporary society?  Does Sony think today’s children are incapable of watching a movie that doesn’t have all the modern trappings of text messaging, twitter, and hip hop music?  Must we update Smurfette as a modern, miniature, blue, Marilyn Monroe?  Would Neil Patrick Harris portraying Johan and Jayma Mays portraying Princess Savina instead of two random yipster (yuppie/hipster) New Yorkers seriously confuse this delicate generation that doesn't know a life without wifi?  Does Sony seriously think that little of the current generation of children and their ability to imagine a world outside their own?
The King, Peewit, Princess Savina, Johan and Dame Barbara
The Harry Potter franchise does just fine and I never see Ron tweeting “LOL, Malfoy fell off his broom” and Hermoine never texts Harry to remind him to finish his assignments for potions.  So, I refuse to believe it had to be updated to appeal to the younger audience.

I hope I’m wrong.  Maybe, like Enchanted before it, it will be refreshingly charming.  But I won’t hold my breath.  I will give credit where credit is due, Hank Azaria as Gargamel and Anton Yelchin as Clumsy Smurf  are superb casting choices.  (A disclaimer, I may have an inappropriate crush on the young Anton Yelchin.)

On the bright side, Smurfette rocked some pretty hot shoes in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Here we have Smurfette wearing Lanvin:

 and in Dolce & Gabbana:

I mean seriously, you didn't think it'd be an entire post about Smurfs without a little something about shoes did you?

Multitasking baby.

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