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DVD Review: The Smurfs – True Blue Friends

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If you were to snag this DVD from the side of the road, it would be a great find. Nonetheless, I can't imagine paying for it. Hanna Barbara has released The Smurfs: True Blue Friends. Quality is not the issue, as these are solid episodes. The question is if the Smurfs are still or ever were worth watching. Far better can be found on cable and there's always Bugs Bunny. Is the money really worth five episodes of blue dwarves committing boredom?

Warner Bros.' description of the Smurfs is as follows: “The Smurfs are a group of over 100 bluish, three-apple tall creatures who live in the mushroom homes of Smurf Village. They are led by 543-year-old Papa Smurf (who doesn't look a day over 530). Their lives would be perfect if not for the villainous Gargamel, a wizard who spends his days trying to capture them to eat, turn into gold, or for other evil reason. Gargamel's cat Azrael adds to the menace, always looking for a smurfalicious snack.”

Originating from a comic strip first published in 1958, the Smurfs became an immensely popular Hanna Barbara cartoon series. As a child, I found the Smurfs mildly entertaining. I preferred the old standards Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes. The aforementioned are still the best cartoons around, but they and the Smurfs have been supplanted by tastelessness and acid trip animation.

Nobody wants to watch the Smurfs anymore, so who cares that a solid, five episode DVD was released. Sure, some people will buy it out of nostalgia. They will either watch it high or feel the sting of buyer's remorse. Their children will not watch the DVD, as they are infatuated with Spongebob Squarepants and the like.

Forget for the moment that the Smurfs are obsolete — it just wasn't that entertaining to begin with. The show is more cerebral than standard cartoons, but requires the viewer to actually pay attention. Who the hell of any age wants to go through that over a bland cartoon?

I find it borderline intolerable when the characters replace every third noun and verb with the word “smurf,” but maybe you thought that was cute. The dialogue is either boring, stale, or just irritating. On the other hand, there is an actual plot with well-crafted characters. Intelligent, but simply not even amusing.

I'd rather watch a beer go flat than watch this DVD for a third and excruciating time. What can I say? As a child I found the show interesting if not stimulating. I'm past that now.

Still interested? The five episodes are “S-Shivering Smurfs,” “Turncoat Smurf,” “The Smurf Who Couldn't Say No,” “The Haunted Castle,” and “The Black Hellebore.” Also included are character profiles, trivia, “and other treats.” I'm less than enthralled with the show, but these are good episodes any Smurf fan would appreciate with more than 90 minutes to offer. “Smurf fan?” Are there any left standing?

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