“OMG. Is that a sub-par review?!” ©Sony Pictures Animation

With the help of a mysterious map, Smurfette (Demi Lovato) and her best friends, Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello) set out to to locate a lost Smurf village before the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson).

The plot for this fully-animated Smurf film was child-friendly but also rather predictable, with familiar life lessons that didn’t carry much impact. As compared to animated films from Disney and Dreamworks, it was also devoid of twists and memorable takeaways.

Perhaps the introduction of a flurry of characters didn’t give the audience a chance to relate which resulted in the sub-par attempt at teaching a moral lesson. It felt like the characters were only given brief introductions on the assumption that the audience should already know who the Smurfs are.

“It’s okay guys! We’re doing it for the kids!” ©Sony Pictures Animation

Several of the voice talents behind the respective Smurfs were clearly picked strategically, which made for a perfect match. This was evident in Brainy, Clumsy and Smurfblossom, who were voiced by Abed Pudi, Kenneth Parcell McBrayer and Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper. Having played characters with similar personalities on TV, they were able to deliver their lines with great comedic timing that was an added bonus to their animated character’s expressions. It almost felt as if I was watching the actors in blue get-up on-screen playing their roles in live action.

Kudos to Wilson for somehow making Gargamel seem like an extension of his The Office character Dwight Schrute. It was so hard not to imagine his character in the evil wizard’s costume as their personalities were so similar. Manganiello, on the other hand, wasn’t quite what I expected. His voice made his Smurf character seem older (though the Smurfs don’t have exact ages in the film), which made his crush on Smurfette sound rather weird.

Perhaps Manganiello will be much better suited as Deathstroke in the still-in-production The Batman. Come to think of it, it would have been really weird if Hefty had whipped out his semi-automatic and planted a couple of rounds in Gargamel’s head.

On a whole, The Smurfs: Lost Village is a rather enjoyable film but slightly more fitting for younger audiences. So, if you’re accompanying little ones to a screening, you are guaranteed to enjoy a fuss-free one and a half hours.

Smurfs: The Lost Village opens in Singapore this Thursday. Tell us what you think of the movie!