A gang of creepy blue CG creatures took the box office by storm last week, and they did it while claiming to be Smurfs! If seeing the modern era’s faux-live action Smurfs wigs you out as much as it does me, you’ll no doubt be happy to see that the real, true Smurfs are still around, and they’re featured in The Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure, which released on DVD from Warner Bros last month.
I highly doubt that any of you aren’t at least a little bit acquainted with the Smurfs, but just in case you’ve managed to avoid getting to know the lovable creatures, this release is a good chance to get to know them. The Smurfs are small woodland creatures that live in toadstools and harvest Smurfberries whenever they’re not thwarting the plans of their evil human pursuer, Gargamel. Papa Smurf is the aged patriarch of the bunch, and he’s joined by an array of other Smurfs, each of whom embodies a specific trait and is named accordingly.
The new DVD release is a two-disc set that assembles ten episodes of The Smurfs, all taken from the second season of the show. This is not a full season release, so it serves as a sort of cross-section of that second batch of classic Smurf adventures. Most of the older cartoons Warner has been bringing to DVD lately have been remastered and touched up for the format, but A Magical Smurf Adventure does not appear to have any polishing from its original state. Purists might like the original and fuzzy feel of some of the imagery and the mono audio, but the whole presentation really would have benefited from some visual and audio improvements. It’s entirely watchable and enjoyable as it is, but I’ve just been spoiled by the crispness of some other recent DVD cartoon releases.
The ten episodes collected here run the full gamut of quality. There are a few included that are decidedly less than good, but the best in the collection are outstanding examples of the innocence and humor that have made the Smurfs classic and enduring characters for several generations. The episodes on the two disc include:
- Smurf Van Winkle
- Revenge of the Smurfs
- The Magic Fountain
- Smurf Me No Flowers
- The Cursed Country
- The Blue Plague
- The Ring of Castellac
- A Mere Truffle
- Gormandizing Greedy
- Sister Smurf
Along with the ten episodes, there are two special features included in the set. The first is “Smurf Speak,” a guide to expressing yourself the Smurf way (hint: drop the word “smurf,” “smurfy,” or “smurfing” into every sentence, and you’re good go to). The second is a countdown of the top 10 moments from the second season of the Smurfs, labeled “Smurftastic Moments.” Neither of the bonus features is essential viewing, even for hardcore Smurf fans. The episodes themselves will go a ways toward building up your Smurfs collection on DVD, though.
The Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure released on DVD on July 19.