The Smurfs is this week's most ridiculous trailer
It's a mildly fun fact that the original gimmick of the Smurfs -- created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo way back in the '50s -- was the "Smurf language", in which the small blue characters substitute that word for whatever verb, noun or adjective, depending on context. But it didn't really catch on until the advent of the cartoon series in the '80s, when it was apparently hilarious and influential enough to spawn at least one (literal) copy-cat in Snarf from ThunderCats, at which point it became gratingly annoying and then faded into obscurity, never to be referenced again -- until now. Awesome.
That dumb gimmick gets far more traction than it's worth in just The Smurfs ' trailer alone -- but the gimmick far more egregiously at play here is also one more contemporary: that's right, the old self-aware-live-action-update-on-a-popular-children's-franchise-of-yore gimmick, like the one employed in Alvin and the Chipmunks and, more recently, in Hop . Here's how it works: So, okay, if you think about it, the idea of tiny anthropomorphic creatures with eccentric personalities is like, totally ridiculous, right? So what if we put those creatures in a reality-based context with a snarky human foil to comment on the quirky incongruity previously left to suspension of disbelief ? Somewhere in Hollywood, Tim Ross just blew his own mind.
But let's set aside the crass hackery for just a second to focus on the important thing, which is the point at which this trailer gets utterly bizarre. Interestingly, that moment (set your cursor, if you will, at 0:57) coincides directly with Smurfette's introduction into the film, which is of course concurrent with Katy Perry's introduction into voice-over acting, to which she will -- if God have any mercy -- never return. But yes, that was a nearly full fifteen seconds of radio silence devoted to a Marilyn Monroe-inspired joke that, in addition to being a head-slappingly obvious point of reference, also imbues this tiny blue children's characters with a disturbing amount of sexuality -- like, as if the prospect of exposing a female Smurf's genitals isn't unsettling enough, we also get some commentary referring to the male Smurf's genitals. Just what everybody went to the movies to see!
Get the Arts and Theater Newsletter
Weekly information keeping you in the know when it comes to the art and theater scene. Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events.