DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Raja Gosnell
Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry
Writing Credits:
J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Karey Kirkpatrick

Evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties hoping they will let him harness the magical Smurf-essence.

Box Office:
$105 million.
Opening Weekend
$17,548,389 on 3866 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 12/3/2013

• “The Legend of Smurfy Hollow” Short
• “Daddy’s Little Girl” Featurette
• “Animating Azrael” Featurette
• “The Naughties” Featurette
• “Azrael’s Tail” Featurette
• “Evolution of the Naughties” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer

The Smurfs 2 [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 12, 2019)

When the 2011 big-screen version of The Smurfs became a decent hit, did that make a sequel inevitable? Heck yeah, and that continuation arrived via 2013’s less successful The Smurfs 2.

A prologue shows how evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) created Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry) to infiltrate and disrupt Smurf Village. Despite her wicked antics, Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters) sensed good in her and changed her into the Smurfette everyone knows and loves, though her past continues to cause periodic anxiety in the young lady – especially on her birthday, which it appears the other Smurfs forgot.

In the meantime, Gargamel stars in a stage production called Gargamania, which brings him fame and fortune. Gargamel uses “Smurf essence” to pull of his tricks, and his supply nears its end.

Gargamel needs to find some more, so he plans to use his Smurf-like “Naughties” Vexy (Christina Ricci) and Hackus (JB Smoove) to learn Papa Smurf’s secrets. His plans intersect with Smurfette’s identity crisis to create havoc – and inevitably involve the Smurfs’ human pals Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays).

When I watched the first film, I found it to be a pleasant surprise – not a big one, but it still delivered better entertainment than I anticipated. Granted, some of that stemmed from my intensely low expectations, but I still felt the movie gave us enough fun to keep us with it.

Smurfs lacked an obvious reason to exist as a creative enterprise, as it came to the screens as product more than anything else, and that seems doubly true for the sequel. At least the filmmakers attempted a real narrative for Smurfs, whereas Smurfs 2 comes saddled with plot elements in search of a cohesive whole.

The film hunts and strives to find coherence but it never succeeds. It throws in a mix of contrivances, all of which exist to create sight gags.

One slapstick element follows another, and the “plot” comes into existence to enable these. The components never come together in a sensible way, as they simply amble from one wacky moment to another.

Admittedly, I can’t claim that the first movie came with a stellar plot and great cleverness, but it did seem to try harder to create a “real film”. Smurfs 2 hews closer to the cheap cinematic product I assumed the prior flick would be, so it throws out cliché stabs at humor and fun but none of these register.

Even Harris and Azaria – both of whom added life to Smurfs - come up short this time. Perhaps they realized that Smurfs 2 lacked creative merit and just decided to cash their paychecks, but neither of them manage to show the verve they displayed last time.

In particular, Harris seems neutered, as he loses the small but likable sense of sarcasm he offered the last time. The talented Brendan Gleeson can’t pick up the slack as Patrick’s stepfather. He simply joins the paycheck parade and mugs/goofs his way through his unnecessary role.

“Unnecessary” describes pretty much everything about the forgettable, pointless Smurfs 2. Almost wholly devoid of charm and pizzazz, the sequel squanders whatever goodwill its predecessor created.

Footnote: fans should stick it out through the end of the credits for a little Gargamel tag.

The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

The Smurfs 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive. Much of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise.

No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to create problems.

In terms of colors, Smurfs 2 veered toward a pretty peppy palette to reflect the world of the Smurfs. Of course, blue dominated, but we still got a fairly broad range of hues that tended to appear lively.

Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a strong image.

Similar thoughts greeted the good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Smurfs 2. I felt the soundscape delivered an involving experience in which the various action scenes offered a nice sense of impact. Overall, the mix filled out the room in a satisfying manner, especially when it involved magic.

Audio quality was positive. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music showed good range, and effects offered a good sense of impact with reasonable punch and clarity. This was a positive soundtrack.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio seemed richer and fuller, while visuals were tighter and showed more dynamic colors. The Blu-ray became a clear upgrade.

When we shift to the extras, we open with two featurettes. Daddy’s Little Girl: The Journey of Smurfette runs six minutes, 21 seconds and includes comments from producer Jordan Kerner, director Raja Gosnell, screenwriters J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, David Ronn and Jay Scherick, and actor Katy Perry.

They cover the movie’s Smurfette character as well as Perry’s portrayal of her. Perry throws out a couple of decent notes but overall this remains a light, fluffy piece without much informational value.

During the three-minute, 24-second Animating Azrael, we hear from animation supervisor Spencer Cook. We see aspects of the animation as Cook narrates the work. Despite the show’s brevity, it gives us a solid little overview of the movie’s CG.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of three minutes, 52 seconds. Most of these focus on Gargamel and tend toward extensions to existing sequences. None of them add much, though at least we find out where Gargamel got his personal action figure.

All the features above also appeared on the DVD, but the rest provide Blu-ray exclusives. These start with a short called The Legend of Smurfy Hollow.

It goes for 22 minutes, 15 seconds and offers Narrator Smurf’s Smurf-slanted version of the Sleepy Hollow tale. Most of the movie’s actors reprise their voices, and it’s cute and mildly entertaining.

Three added featurettes appear, and The Naughties lasts five minutes, 42 seconds. It presents notes from Gosnell, Ronn, Scherick, Stem, Weiss, Kerner, and actors Hank Azaria, JB Smoove, and Christina Ricci.

As expected, the show covers the two new animated characters. It offers minor insights but remains fairly fluffy.

Azrael’s Tail spans four minutes, 40 seconds and offers info from Azaria, Kerner, Stem, Weiss, Gosnell, Cook and head animal trainer Larry Madrid.

We learn the various methods to bring the movie’s feline to life. Expect a decent overview.

Finally, Evolution of the Naughties gives us a three-minute, 41-second reel with commentary from VFX supervisor Rich Hoover. As we view movie shots and other art, Hoover describes the visual evolution of Hackus and Lexi. Hooven brings some useful notes.

The disc opens with ads for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Hotel Transylvania and The Smurfs. Previews also includes promos for Angry Birds Toons, The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale and One Direction: This Is Us. No trailer for Smurfs 2 pops up here.

While I thought The Smurfs offered a reasonably entertaining effort, no praise greets The Smurfs 2. Devoid of even minor charm or fun, the sequel provides a meandering story and tedious gags. The Blu-ray gives us very good picture and audio along with a decent array of bonus materials. Maybe huge fans of the first film will find some merit here but the movie leaves me cold.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of SMURFS 2

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main