Director: Kelly Asbury
Voices: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter, Meghan Trainor, Jake Johnson, Mandy Patinkin, and Julia Roberts
Remember our often deranged childhood fantasies where, I am sure, some of us stood by the edge of our society buildings and hoped Shaktimaan (or any other superhero if you were inclined towards the West right from the start) would magically appear to rescue? Or, buying his costume and spinning vehemently with our right hand pointed towards the sky, hoping to turn into a superhero, somehow? Ten minutes into this 3D animation magnum opus and I was taken back to those semi-preserved memories, smiling all by myself.
The storyline is unarguably along the lines of Finding Dory and Finding Nemo, or any other carefully designed animation film for children--good triumphs over evil and an all-preachy protagonist--but what sets this one apart and forms a league of its own is the innocence of those marshmallow-like blue-hued critters. Sheer brilliance!
A village inhabited by a community called "Smurfs" live under the well-guarded shelter of Papa Smurf, the leader of the pack. Strangely, all the smurfs are named according to their characteristic traits but one person is visibly upset for not knowing what she stands for, and that’s Smurfette. Born through the iniquitousness of wizcrafty, a chance encounter with her evil creator Gargamel ushers her into a new phase in life she was least prepared for. But since an unexplored village and its undiscovered dwellers were at stake, Smurfette embarks on a journey to extricate it with her friends: astute Brainy, goofball Clumsy and a very strong Hefty.
The inexplicably colour-rich visuals give us an adrenaline rush from the word go. Writers Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon have infused an innate sense of righteousness in all these characters and it works well with the spirit of Smurf franchise. Like in the recent past, the only reason Smurf: The Lost Village may not appease you is because of its somewhat predictable end, which is a tad surreal and involves resurrection. Really?
If songstress Demi Lovato has not contemplated taking up acting, she definitely should! I was running through the credits with a microscope in hand to confirm that the cuteness in abundance aka Smurfette was actually Lovato. Surprise, surprise! The songs add charm to the rawness of the film and our pick is You Will Always Find Me in Your Heart by Christopher Lennertz & Shaley Scott.
The best aspect of this cuteness-laden plot is that it is so mushy that you will begin to love it. The writers and director have emphasised on the fundamental principles of friendship, that we should stick by each other regardless of how dark the end of the tunnel is and you do know it kind of works in these trying times.
At a time when clerics and public figures are getting into social media scuffles over the usage of loudspeakers and challenging to shave off their mane, seeking solace in this utopian land is probably the best option one could go with. Also, the innocence of Smurf clan will surely prove to be therapeutic.