In all the hoopla over the new trailer for Super 8 (which looks like J.J. Abrams taking on The Goonies, a.k.a. awesome), people have happily forgotten that yesterday saw the debut of the first full-length trailer for The Smurfs. Now, I'm only a moderate Smurf fan, but I've been dreading this movie since I first heard about it, because I knew it would be a train wreck of Garfield proportions. Unfortunately, the trailer does not seem to be proving me wrong, as there are numerous elements that have dreading the day I will be forced to see it for review purposes. As a sneak peek of that review, here are the things I found the most annoying, terrifying and disgusting about the trailer.
I'm well aware that Shrek is a very popular animated franchise. Hell, I'm a big Shrek fan. But the blatant attempt to latch onto that franchise's popularity by introducing a new Smurf named Gutsy who has a kilt, sideburns and a rich Scottish burr is kinda transparent. I'm not saying no cartoon can ever have a Scottish character in it again (How to Train Your Dragon did it), but when you have a hundred Smurfs to choose from, and you decide to create two new ones, and one of them is a Shrek clone, we know what you're doing. I also kind of disagree with the idea of a violent, mean-spirited Smurf who calls people names before kicking them in the face, but I'm sure I'm alone on that one, too.
I have done my best to avoid the Cats and Dogs movies, so the sight of a realistic CGI cat laughing and gesturing is still fairly frightening to me. I don't know if more cartoon-accurate Azrael, a la Garfield, would have been any better, but it certainly couldn't have gotten any worse. Amazingly, Hank Azaria's prosthetics as Gargamel don't bother me as much as that cat.
It's bad enough that Smurfette is voiced by Katy Perry (hasn't she been banished from children's programming?), but to have her stand on a heat vent and let her skirt blow up suggestively a la Marilyn Monroe as Smurfs drool over her is taking her dangerously close to the filthy areas of discussion that Smurfette has been associated with for decades. Can't we at least keep Smurfette pure in the damn Smurfs movie? Stop besmirching her, Katy Perry! The kilt-wearing Smurf doing the same thing is even worse, but mainly because it's an old joke and because the Smurf wears pants under his kilt, rendering the entire joke moot.
The Big Three Apples
Putting things in cities that aren't normally found in cities is obviously a recipe for comedy. But Smurfs are already unusual in their natural habitat, the woods, so why not simply show them there first? Aren't trips to big cities supposed to be saved for sequels, anyway? Now, instead of Smurfs 2: Smurf and the City, they're going to have to send the Smurfs into space or something just to top themselves. I'm assuming we'll see the mushroom-based Smurf Village at some point in this first installment, but the whole movie probably should have taken place in some generic rural area, where the village had to be defended from evil land developers. ...Oh, wait -- that was the plot of Avatar.
Obviously, people have been using "smurf" as a replacement for filthy words for a while now, and I'm sure that the risqué possibilities were half the reason this movie got made. But to hear it in practice -- "I think I just smurfed in my mouth" and "All right, who smurfed?" -- just makes me sad. Vomiting and farting have never been so family-friendly! And I thought there was no way to make "Cowabunga" more played-out, but "Smurfabunga" may have done it.
Watch the trailer below, then tell us what you think below that!
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