Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Bringing popular children’s toys to the big screen is not a new method of exploitation for greedy producers, but they rarely have the sparkle and wit of this comedic animated film. It puts a fresh spin on the old tale of fear of the Other, beginning in a world where big ogres called Bergens live in perpetual misery, believing themselves incapable of happiness except under one circumstance: to feel joy, they must eat a tiny spiky-haired troll. At the beginning of the story, a tree full of these potential luncheon meats make their escape and set up a secret village in the forest, throwing parties, scheduling hugs and expressing their joy without bounds. Unfortunately, their latest fiesta is a bit too bright and loud and it brings the Bergens’ cook (voiced beautifully by) to their doorstep, and she kidnaps as many as she can get her hands on with the plan of taking them back home and throwing them on the skillet. The troll leader’s daughter ( ) believes it her duty to rescue her friends, it was her overdone party that got them snatched up in the first place, so she teams up with the village grump (voiced by , who also supervised the hopping soundtrack) to accomplish her quest. When she arrives at her destination, what she finds is a community of villains who need their misconception about their enemies cleared up, but she’s held back by Timberlake’s nervous fear and cynicism about life turning out anything but bad. Bright and colourful, this is a wonderful romp for the kids that pays better tribute to the original spirit of the Smurfs than the recent big screen adaptations of those characters did, and will be surprisingly easy for adults to sit through.