Direction: Raja Gosnell
Actors: Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays
Combining live-action and animation, the big screen exploits of the tiny blue-hued characters created by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo back in 1958 are a cut above the commonplace.
The plot revolves around six of the wee ones who are stranded in New York. How come? They were chased out of their magical world by a sinister sorcerer (Azaria, in manic mode). They must now skedaddle home to the rest of their clan.
Enter a married couple (Neil Patrick Harris-Mays) who reluctantly adopt the cuddly sextet.
It’s at this point that the film loses momentum. Despite the interminable mugging, running and jumping, the proceedings are devoid of energy. Worse still, the sermonising by the Smurf patriarch (voiced by comic old-timer Jonathan Winters) tends to get heavy-handed.
All in all, The Smurfs yields some enjoyable moments for the kids. But that’s it.