The Smurfs

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades


If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?

Your kids will get the joke.

The Smurfs is a comic franchise about a fictional colony of small, blue, humanoid creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest.

These funny characters were created by the Belgian artist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958. He called them Les Schtroumpfs.

There are more than 100 Smurfs, their names based on adjectives that emphasize their personalities, such as “Jokey Smurf,” who likes to play practical jokes, or “Grouchy Smurf,” or “Brainy Smurf,” or “Clumsy Smurf.”

Kinda like names of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs.

So far, The Smurfs have appeared in five feature-length films and two shorts.

Today, you and the kids can catch the main film in the franchise – “The Smurfs” (2011) – at Tropic Cinema.

Directed by Raja Gosnell, “The Smurfs” is a mixture of live action and animation. Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, and Hank Azaria can be seen on screen. They are joined by animated Smurfs voiced by George Lopez, Fred Armisen, John Oliver, Jeff Foxworthy, Alan Cumming, Katy Perry, and Jonathan Winters, among others.

Want more celebs? Joan Rivers, Liz Smith, Michael Musto, and assorted others make cameos in the film.

Who cares about the silly plot? Your kids will: When an evil wizard chases the Smurfs out of their magical village, they wind up in New York City. There, they must rescue Papa Smurf amid a product launch for a cosmetic company.

Something of a fish out of water scenario – but with little blue people in floppy Phrygian caps.

Variety called it “adorable and annoying, patently unnecessary yet kinda sweet.”

Think your kids will like this? You can come back for more on June 13 when “Smurfs II” hits Tropic screens.

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