Friday, July 22, 2011

Movie Review - I Got Smurfed!

(guest post by Deanna - resident blog designer and occasional mom blogger)

I was a bit skeptical when I heard there was going to be a live action/cgi movie made about the Smurfs. I didn't think the current generation of kids would be interested in the little blue guys (and girl!) and all their smurfiness -

Get Smurfed

I am willing to admit when I'm wrong :)

I was invited to be part of a press event at Sony's Imageworks studio to get a sneak preview, see some behind-the-scenes action and interview a few of the people involved with the movie - AND to get my smurf on! (go chicky, get your smurf on, go chicky, get your smurf on...)

While we only saw a few clips from the movie, I can confidently say this is one movie we won't be missing - producer Jordan Kerner (Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web) and Director Raja Gosnell (Scooby Doo, Never been Kissed) spoke about "suspension of disbelief" and they were spot-on...the cgi and live action blended seamlessly, and it was easy to ENJOY the movie and not be conscious of that how-did-they-do-that aspect. My favorite part of the day was talking with two of the live action actors. Jayma Mays (Miss Pilsbury from Glee) plays Grace Winslow, who is a newly pregnant woman married to Neil Patrick Harris (lucky girl!).

Hank Azaria plays Gargamel, the smurfs' arch enemy and nemesis. Hank may be well known for his voice-over work, but he's been a part of some of my favorite movies, like Quiz Show, The Birdcage, and America's Sweethearts. (have to admit a slight crush here)



It was fun to ask them about acting against the stickers and wires representing the smurfs, and I got to ask Hank about creating a character who was only played by one other person (the iconic Paul Winchell). He said he at first tried to create a voice that was NOT like the original, but as the character evolved, it became much closer to Paul Winchell's original voice-over. (/total geek moment)

We then got to try two different technologies involved in making the movie - animating a character using Mya software, and doing a voice over of one of the Smurfs! Animating a smurf was so much fun - it took a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it wasn't super hard, just time-consuming. It was amazing to find out how many hours of work it took just to create a small bit of cgi animation.

Now about getting Smurfed - we got to choose which character we voiced, and since there is only ONE female smurf, I picked Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry). We were given a script, and viewed the bit of the movie we would be voicing. Then we went into the voiceover studio, which was a small, simple room with a screen and mic. After a couple of rehearsals, it was time to record. Let me tell you, it is NOT as easy as it might seem, but it was LOTS of fun! Here is me in all my smurfy glory:



I got Smurfed! from Deanna on Vimeo.

I am looking forward to taking my kids to see this, and it will be even better having the little bit of behind the scenes trivia in my head while I watch :) The Smurfs movie will be released July 29.





I give it 5 (out of 5) chickies!

Disclosure - I was invited to this press event, but was otherwise not compensated by Sony for this review - all opinions are strictly mine, including that Hank Azaria is dreamy...

Photo credits - Sony, Me, Me. :)

14 comments:

jax said...

as a hardcore Smurf fan I refuse. It can win a fkn Oscar for all I care.

ChasingHeaven said...

Awwww....Congrats on getting Smurfed! I'm so jealous!!

Carrie L. said...

Awesome review, I am very jealous! Also, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks Hank is pretty drool-worthy!

RocketQueen said...

What jax said. And why the fuck is there a Scottish smurf now?? Any old-timey fan knows that makes no sense.

RocketQueen said...

Also - WORD on Azaria ;)

Em Cue Em said...

I'm sorry, but when I got to the part about America's Sweethearts being one of your favorite films, I stopped reading.

Baka Neko said...

I loved the smurfs but I'm going to watch it just for Neil Patrick Harris.

Cancan said...

Yeah, or how Jayma Mays is from Glee, rather than the far superior Heroes or Ugly Betty.

I'm from Belgium and grew up with the Schtroumpfs and I'll be skipping this too - even though I have a five-year-old. Looks unwatchable. Sadly, I fear the same for Tintin.

Smasherstein said...

Em Cue Em - that's where I stopped too haha!

Ida Blankenship said...

What Jax said. I'm sick and tired of Hollywood ransacking my childhood for inspiration.

Nicole said...

Thanks for posting something about The Smurfs that makes me look forward to going to see it! I was a big Smurf fan, and I am a HUGE fan of NPH, but the preview doesn't do much for me. That said, I have two kids who can't wait to see it so I knew it was inevitable. Now I don't dread it quite so much.

Snakeoiler said...

I'm not going to miss it, either. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to see it.

Geebz said...

No thanks. But...Hank IS dreamy!

Lelaina Pierce said...

You lucky girl, you! That sounds so amazingly fun.

I'm kinda feeling meh on them re-making one of my favorite cartoons too, but I do love me some NPH so I don't know...

@RocketQueen - Totally agree w/ the Scottish smurf comment. WTF???

I guess they aren't making this movie for our generation.