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A Live Action Adaptation of the Belgian comicbook The Smurfs, released on July 29, 2011. The story focuses on six of the Smurfs (Papa, Smurfette, Brainy, Gutsy, Clumsy and Grouchy) who get transported via a magical portal to modern day New York City after the evil wizard Gargamel manages to finally locate their village. Once there, they run into a young couple, Patrick and Grace Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays), who act as their Secret Keeper until they can figure out a way to return to their own world. Unfortunately, Gargamel and his cat Azrael have also managed to find their way through the portal, and his scheme of using the Smurfs' essence to make his magic dangerously powerful may come to fruition unless they can Smurf him back.
The film is notable not only for being a Human-Focused Adaptation (though to a much lesser extent than you'd think from watching the previews), but also for containing some of the most brazen uses of Product Placement to date.
This film contains examples of
- Action Girl: Smurfette is mostly The Chick as usual, but gets an impressive solo action scene against Azrael.
- Actor Allusion: In one scene, Smurfette says "I kissed a Smurf and I... liked it!".
- Aesop: Whole scads of them, delivered deadpan and with extra application of anvils.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses Hey! Say! JUMP's "Magic Power" as its theme song.
- Art Shift: The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol switches from 3D CGI to 2D animation during the sequence when Grouchy is visited by the Smurfs of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
- Ascended Meme: There was a well-known commercial image of the Smurf village being devastated by war. What's the first thing Gargamel does when he follows Clumsy and finds it for himself?
- Badass Grandpa: Papa Smurf.
- The Bechdel Test: Passes easily with the conversations between Smurfette and Grace.
- Be Yourself: Parodied, as the Smurfs are named after their salient trait, meaning that telling Clumsy to Be Himself has a tendency to backfire. That said, he does find his heroism by the end.
- Big Applesauce: In all its media-saturated glory. The end credits even show the Smurfs bringing it back with them (though to be honest, the fact that Gargamel found their village and leveled it would make rebuilding necessary.)
- Big Damn Heroes: Invoked when all the Smurfs show up to fight Gargamel and rescue Papa—though he turns out, in the end, to be more than a match for them with his super-powered wand. Luckily, Gutsy and Clumsy manage to get the wand from him.
- Brave Scot: Gutsy's character is basically this.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Gargamel does this at the end of the movie.
- Broken Aesop: Apparently Smurfette's independence as a person means no longer settling for a single outfit and wholeheartedly embracing consumerism.
- Busby Berkeley Number: The Smurfs are rehearsing one at the beginning, and Brainy colliding into the first row even leads to the infamous domino-pool-dive effect.
- Butt Monkey: Gargamel and Azrael both get a lot of comedic, basically-harmless injuries.
- Cardboard Prison: It's hard to blame the folks at Riker's for this one, as they didn't anticipate that Gargamel could just... fly out.
- The Cameo: Joan Rivers and gossip columnist Liz Smith at Odile's promotional party.
- Cats Are Mean: Azrael
- Cats Are Snarkers: Azrael snarks in meows.
- The Cavalry: Brought by Brainy after opening the portal back to Smurfland.
- Celebrity Paradox: Zig-zagged. Patrick has never heard of the Smurfs when he meets them, but a little research shows that Peyo did exist, although in this universe he claims Smurfs were mythical creatures rather than his own inventions. They even find a book of Peyo comics, which turns out to be important to the plot.
- Chekhov's Gun: The leaf blower.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Parodied.
Patrick: Smurf! Smurfity smurf smurf smurf!
- Commander Contrarian: Zig-zagged with Grouchy.
- The Danza: Variation. Neil Patrick Harris plays Patrick Winslow.
- Don't Think, Feel: Played with—Patrick's boss Odile demands that he give her "what I want, not what I ask for". This dilemma drives him to distraction until he gets an inspiration for his ad campaign from the Smurfs... and then gives it up for the safe bet, only to have Clumsy send the "wrong" ad by mistake -- which turns out to be a smashing success, but only after Brainy turns the moon blue with the portal opening spell.
- Evil Is Hammy: Gargamel.
- Evil Laugh: Yeah, but don't milk it...
- Evil Sorcerer: Gargamel
- Executive Meddling: This brought Gutsy Smurf into the film, apparently because Hefty Smurf wasn't sufficiently macho (or Scottish) to be The Big Guy.
- Five-Man Band, with each role conveniently Lampshaded by their names.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: The pastoral, communal Smurfs are dumped in 2010 New York City, and Hilarity Ensues, especially after Gargamel joins the fray.
- Fountain of Youth: What Smurf essence is when it was used on Odile's mother, which makes Odile want to get her hands on it.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The Smurfs, which results in Grace giving a high-five and Smurfette returning with a high-four.
- G-Rated Drug: Grouchy has a scene in which he overindulges in M&M's (blue, of course), leading to In Vino Veritas.
- Green Thumb: Or blue, rather. Clumsy and the others turn a simple window planter into a blooming flower garden literally overnight.
- Human-Focused Adaptation: The Smurfs take refuge with a husband and wife in New York after being teleported there, and must help them resolve their problems in order to get back home.
- Note, however, that the humans (excluding Gargamel) don't turn up until quite some time into the film, and the focus is arguably more on the Character Development of the Smurfs than the humans, making this almost an inversion.
- Hotblooded Sideburns: Gutsy of all the young Smurfs his age wears these.
- I Ate What?: Grouchy ends up eating the blue M&Ms that he thinks are "Smurf droppings".
- Earlier on, Clumsy mistakes liquid soap for something edible and tries it out, only to not like the taste of it before he burps out a bubble.
- Improbable Weapon User and Abnormal Ammo: The Smurfs make use of golf balls, bowling balls, needle-laden fruit and lipstick when forced to fight.
- Incessant Music Madness: Patrick Winslow is driven crazy by the Smurfs constantly singing their theme tune.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Gargamel, mostly. Until he gets his hands on Smurf Essence, that is.
- Insistent Terminology: It's not a hole, it's a vortex. Or possibly a portal.
- Interactive Narrator: Narrator Smurf is a character, and this is his job. Mixes with Sorry I Left the BGM On when the opening narration turns out to be done by him in the scene, as part of the rehearsal for the Blue Moon Festival.
- In Vino Veritas: Grouchy's "candid" conversation with a green M&M plushie in a toy store.
- Invisibility Cloak: Smurf Village has a magic barrier that renders the entire place invisible to anyone outside it.
- Ironic Echo: "Are you dead?"
- Jerkass Facade: Grouchy admits (to a plushie) that he only puts on a gruff exterior because he's afraid of getting hurt.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all his gruff exterior, Grouchy apparently just wants to be loved too—see In Vino Veritas above.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Neil Patrick Harris has a crowbar. Your argument is invalid.
- A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll": Patrick Winslow introduces the time-traveling Smurfs to a little something called Guitar Hero. They even bring the music style back to their own time and Brainy forms his own band called the Brainiacs.
- Mage in Manhattan: Gargamel.
- Man in a Kilt: Gutsy. For laughs, he is clearly wearing Smurf pants underneath, but the other Smurfs react as if he is "nae trews". He concludes the film with some I <3 NY underpants.
- Marilyn Maneuver: Executed by Smurfette, to the apparent admiration of the other Smurfs—except Gutsy, who proceeds to do the same with a kilt, to considerably less admiration.
- Meaningful Echo: Living in a larger home means you can be further apart...
- Meaningful Name: All the Smurfs' names are this by definition. Lampshaded when the humans ask about it.
Patrick: And you're all named after your personalities? Do you get your names when you're born or after you've exhibited certain traits?
- Meaningful Rename: Papa Smurf refers to Patrick as 'Papa' at the end, to show that he believes Patrick will be just as good a dad as he is.
- Mundane Object Amazement: "Oooooh... Google..."
- Mythology Gag: Quite a few.
- Gargamel finds, to his surprise, that Azrael is a male. This references the fact that in the former comics, Azrael was a female cat until the TV series made Azrael a male and later comics followed suit.
- There's also the part when Gargamel refers to the Smurf Village as "The Cursed Land", its original name, as a derogatory.
- Late in the movie, Azrael's ear is damaged, making him look a little more like his comic counterpart.
- Nice Hat: The Phrygian cap style hats of the Smurfs serve as parachutes that slow their descent as they drop from the Winslows' apartment window to a nearby taxicab.
- Nobody Poops: Grouchy mistakes a candy dish of blue M&Ms in a toy store for "Smurf droppings". Then eats them.
- Gargamel urinates in a champagne bottle cooler at a restaurant in the middle of the movie, which he mistakes for a chamber pot.
- No Except Yes: Gargamel isn't obsessed with the Smurfs, he just "can't stop thinking about them".
- No One Gets Left Behind: After Papa Smurf gets captured, the rest of the party goes back to rescue him, against his orders.
- Once in a Blue Moon: The Blue Moon Festival takes place at every blue moon, which is when Papa Smurf is able to see into the future to tell what it may hold for his little Smurfs. It also causes a portal within a waterfall to open that transports whoever enters it through time and space. The image becomes an inspiration for Patrick Winslow's latest ad campaign.
- Parental Bonus:
- "I kissed a Smurf and I liked it?"
- It's unlikely that young children will get the joke of Smurfette mistaking a rack of doll heads for actual heads displayed on spikes (probably a valid punishment in whatever time period Peyo's books are meant to be set in).
- Parenthetical Swearing: "Smurf" is often used in place of... other words.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Gargamel's magic is empowered by "Smurf essence", which he extracts from them in the form of hair clippings, sweat, tears, and the like.
- Product Placement: So blatant and constant that it approaches a sublime art form all by itself.
Flick Filospher: The cleverness of The Smurfs never ceases to astonish! Gosnell plays with product placement, launching an extended sequence set in the famous toy store FAO Schwarz with a chase set in the plaza outside... while at the same time completely avoiding getting even the tiniest sliver of a shot of the dramatic glass-cube Apple store situated in that very plaza. (By spectacular contrast, Sony computers litter the film.)
- Prophetic Fallacy: Clumsy interrupts Papa Smurf's attempt to foresee the outcome of the Blue Moon Festival, so he misses a crucial part of the prophecy and spends most of the film trying to keep Clumsy out of trouble, which naturally triggers the plot.
- Punctuated for Emphasis: Grouchy in A Christmas Carol: "I! HATE! HATS!" And before that..."I! HATE! CHRISTMAS!"
- Recursive Canon: The original "Smurfs" comic book in our world proves to be Peyo's in-universe document of their existence, and the Smurfs try to find it because it contains the spell that can return them to their world.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Papa Smurf—five hundred and forty-six, to be precise.
- Remember the New Guy?: Gutsy.
- Rich Bitch: Patrick's boss.
- Right-Hand-Cat: Azrael, obviously.
- Secret Keeper: Patrick and Grace Winslow have to hide the presence of the Smurfs in New York because, well, who would believe them?
- Shout-Out: Gargamel, in prison, whispering to a butterfly in an attempt to summon eagles.
- The Smurfette Principle: Subverted without apparent irony—yes, Smurfette is the only female Smurf, but the human cast has both a down-to-earth female and a domineering lady boss. Justified as well; Gargamel created Smurfette in order to entrap the all-male Smurfs, but she did a Heel Face Turn and joined them.
- SMURFING: Variously played straight, parodied and lampshaded.
Patrick: ...and you like to use the extremely imprecise term 'smurf' for just about everything.
- So Proud of You: Papa Smurf shows this to Clumsy near the end of the movie.
- Speech-Impaired Animal: Azrael is a Nearly-Normal Animal, but he borders on Speech-Impaired Animal in the scene when he tries to say, "Are you dead?"
- Summon Magic: Parodied. Gargamel tries for eagles and instead gets a swarm of flies. But hey, as long as he got something...
- Time Portal: How the Smurfs get from the medieval forest to modern-day New York City.
- Totally Radical: Papa Smurf wearing Wayfarer sunglasses on the poster? Check. Smurfette turned into a shopaholic ditz right out of Sex and the City? Check. Smurfs rapping? Kill us.
- Unexplained Accent: Why does Gutsy speak in a Scottish accent? Probably same reason why Vanity speaks in a refined upper-class English accent in this movie.
- Clumsy, on the other hand subverts the trope, at least compared to the cartoon; in the cartoon he spoke in a Southern accent, but in this movie he doesn't.
- Vague Age: Other than Papa, none of the Smurfs are given explicit ages, and their varied behavior lends itself to a whole range of interpretations.
- Wait Here: The rest of the Smurfs to Clumsy, twice. The second time, he actually does stay behind, which allows him to initiate the No One Gets Left Behind, as Papa had made them all promise not to go back for him -- but Clumsy, who wasn't there at the time, never promised anything.
- Weapons That Suck: Gargamel uses a leaf blower for capturing Smurfs when he chases after them in FAO Schwarz.
- We Are as Mayflies: Smurfs can apparently live to almost 600 and still be sprightly and active.
- Welcome to The Real World: Well, the modern world thinks they're fictional, thanks to Recursive Canon at work where Peyo portrays them more as a historical legend than his own cartoon creation.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: At one point Odile makes a deal with Gargamel to help him in exchange for his Fountain of Youth potion, but nothing comes of this.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, which is included in the three-disc Blu-Ray bundle.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Brainy gets this sort of lecture from Papa when it falls to him to decipher the portal spell.
- You Shall Not Pass: Papa Smurf, to save the other Smurfs from Gargamel, leading to No One Gets Left Behind.