The Smurfs appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a terrific presentation.
Sharpness became a strength. Any softness was negligible at best, as the image consistently offered tight, concise visuals. I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and the movie lacked both edge haloes and print flaws.
Due to its fantasy characters, Smurfs arrived with an occasionally bubbly palette. The colors were very strong, with dynamic hues when appropriate.
Blacks were fine, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. Across the board, this turned into a satisfying image.
While not exceptional, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Smurfs suited the material. The soundscape offered enough action-oriented sequences to add pep to the package.
These used the five channels well and meshed together in a positive manner. I couldn’t cite any especially memorable segments, but the track had enough good activity and integration to succeed.
Audio quality seemed fine. Speech consistently remained natural and distinctive, without edginess or other problems.
Music displayed nice range and clarity, while effects showed solid definition and accuracy. This was a solid “B+” mix.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of the film. The picture comments above reflect the film’s 2D presentation – how did the 3D edition compare?
In terms of visual quality, the 3D picture seemed strong. It came across as a wee bit softer and darker than the 2D image, but only a sliver. Overall clarity was almost as good.
The 3D imaging contributed a lot of excitement to the tale. With a lot of flying tidbits and magical components, the movie gave us many elements that poked out of the screen.
General dimensionality also seemed excellent. This became a lively and fun 3D presentation, so I’d recommend it as the best way to watch the movie.
In terms of extras, we find two audio commentaries, the first of which comes from director Raja Gosnell. He offers a running, screen-specific discussion of how he came onto the project, story/character areas, cast and performances, effects and animation, sets and locations, and a few other elements.
Gosnell touches on all the appropriate topics and do so with pretty good humor and energy. As expected, he does engage in a fair amount of happy talk, but those tendencies don’t overwhelm the chat. Instead, Gosnell manages to give us a nice overview of the production in this fairly peppy and informative commentary.
For the second commentary, we hear from producer Jordan Kerner, writers J. David Stem, David N. Weiss, Jay Scherick and David Ronn and VFX supervisor Richard Hoover. All six sit together for this running, screen-specific look at bringing the franchise to the big screen, story, character and script topics, sets and locations, cast and performances, production design and various effects,
Because Gosnell offered a pretty thorough chat, this commentary doesn’t leave a lot of stones to unturn. Nonetheless, it manages to add a decent level of insight, mainly due to the extra perspectives on display. The participants mesh together well and make this a likable and fairly interesting piece.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray, we find five Deleted/Extended Scenes. These fill a total of seven minutes, 41 seconds and mainly focus on additional material with Gargamel. Because Hank Azaria becomes arguably the film’s biggest strength, his presence makes these segments amusing,
After this, we learn about how the Smurfs went from Comic Book to the Big Screen. In the eight-minute, 15-second piece, we hear from Kerner, Hoover, Gosnell, CG character designer Allen Battino, senior animation director Troy Saliba, SPI digital FX supervisor Daniel Kramer, CG supervisor Karl Herbst, production designer Bill Boes, director of photography Phil Meheux, and actor Neil Patrick Harris.
We get notes about the design of the Smurfs for the movie as well as the methods used to bring them to life. “Screen” offers a good, tight overview of the choices and work executed here.
Under Going Gargamel, we get a nine-minute, 57-second piece that features Gosnell, Harris, Scherick, Ronn, Stem, Weiss, animal trainer Larry Madrid and actors Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria.
We learn about the Gargamel character’s adaptation for the big screen, Azaria’s performance, and other related elements. Like “Screen”, this is a brisk, engaging take on the topics that offers useful material.
Not found on the DVD, Smurf Speak: Meet the Cast lasts nine minutes, 26 seconds and offers notes from Gosnell, Kerner, and actors Katy Perry, Anton Yelchin, Jonathan Winters, George Lopez, Fred Armisen and Alan Cumming.
As expected, “Speak” examines cast and performances. It tends to be fluffy but it adds some decent information.