Sony Pictures Animation has followed up the successful big screen adaptation of The Smurfs(2011) with The Smurfs 2. Hank Azaria returns as the villainous Gargamel with Jonathan Winters (in his final role) as Papa Smurf, Katy Perry as Smurfette, and Neil Patrick Harris(How I Met Your Mother) and Jayma Mays(Glee) reprise their roles as Patrick and Grace Winslow, the married couple who befriended the Smurfs in the first film. This time around, the Winslows jet from New York to Paris to help the Smurfs save Smurfette from Gargamel and his minions.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/MVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, UltraVioletAmaray
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 12/03/2013
The Smurfs 2 finds Patrick and Grace Winslow dealing with the demands of parenthood when they are reunited with their Smurfy friends. Gargamel has enlisted two of his new trollish creations, the Naughties, Vexy(Christina Ricci) and Hackus(JB Smoove), to lure Smurfette from the Smurfs' village and prey on her feelings of lack of appreciation when she believes, incorrectly, that the Smurfs have forgotten her birthday. The Winslows accompany the Smurfs to Paris to locate Gargamel, who has become a successful stage musician with his authentic magic.
The Production Rating: 3/5
It may be apropos for the Smurfs to travel to Europe this time around since they were created by the Belgian Pierre Culliford, aka Peyo. Peyo found success with the Smurfs in his graphic albums in the late 1950s. Toys and other merchandise followed the Smurfs popularity, and they became better known in North America with the Hanna Barbera produced cartoon that aired on the NBC network in the 1980s.
The Smurfs 2 is clearly aimed at the younger audience, but there is enough eye candy in the location filming in Paris to give older viewers some entertainment. This sequel improves on the original by focusing more on the Smurfs and giving us just enough of the human actors without having the latter overstay their welcome. Hank Azaria chews the scenery successfully as Gargamel, and his CGI cat Azrael provides entertainment for younger audience members.
The movie is in 1080p high definition in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The picture quality is excellent with vibrant colors, intricate fine detail, and solid blacks. The 3D effects are good but not great. There are a few pop-out moments but they are minimal. Fortunately, ghosting is also minimal to non-existent.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: 3.5/5
The English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks are adequate for the demands of this film but not exceptional. The volume of dialogue is always appropriate and properly audible over the music and sound effects. The audio serves the film well even if it is not demo material.
Audio Rating: 4/5
The special features are included on the 2D Blu-ray disc, and included the following:
Special Features Rating: 4.5/5
The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow(22:15): This 2013 TV special is also available separately on DVD. It is nice to have it included as a bonus with this film.
Deleted Scenes(3:52): Four deleted scenes may be selected individually or with a "play all" selection.
Daddy's Little Girl: The Journey of Smurfette(6:21): Director Raja Gosnell and Katy Perry talk about recreating Smurfette for this sequel.
Evolution of the Naughties: The Tale of Hackus and Vexy(5:42): JB Smoove and Christina Ricci talk about voicing the "Naughties".
The Puurrfect Companion: Azrael's Tail(4:40): This featurette demonstrates how the CGI Azrael was modeled after movements of real cats.
Animating Azrael(3:24): Animation supervisor Spencer Cook talks about animating the CGI cat.
Trailers for Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 (2:22), The Smurfs(2:33), Angry Bird Toons(0:41), and One Direction: This Is Us(1:48) appear by default after the 3D disc is loaded and prior to the main menu. These trailers are also included in the Previews menu of the special features on the 2D Blu-ray disc.
Also included is a third disc with DVD version of the film as well as an Ultraviolet activation code for those viewers who enjoy streaming from “the cloud.”
The Smurfs 2 is good entertainment for children, and adult fans of the Smurfs may find something to enjoy. The human actors are all excellent, particularly Hank Azaria who succeeds in embodying the villainous Gargamel. The 3D adds value (and replayability) to the film, and the video and audio are fine. The special features are worthwhile, particularly the animated "Legend of Smurfy Hollow". The Smurfs 2 is a fun children's film and will entertain adults who come in with reasonable expectations.
Overall Rating: 3/5
Reviewed By: Timothy E
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