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Village blues

Smurfs take a selfie. (Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)

Movie

Village blues

Smurfs: The Lost Village offers a charming but forgettable tale

Smurfs: The Lost Village celebrates girl power as only a movie starring blue, mushroom-dwelling humanoids can. Positive messages dot the dialogue, and vibrant colors enliven whimsical animation. But the film offers little substance, stringing together fast-paced but forgettable scenes.

Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato), the lone female resident of Smurf Village, learns she’s not a real Smurf: The villainous but bungling wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) created her from a lump of clay for an evil purpose. Gargamel hoped to use her to capture the Smurfs and drain them of their magic to increase his own. But Smurfette, knowing nothing about her origin, has until now lived happily in Smurf Village.

One day, against the wishes of Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin), Smurfette explores the Forbidden Forest, where she encounters a member of a lost village of Smurfs. She unwittingly reveals the lost village’s location to Gargamel, raising doubts about her loyalties. But Smurfette leads Hefty Smurf, Brainy Smurf, and Clumsy Smurf on a mission to stop Gargamel from ravaging the lost village. There, a surprise awaits them, as does a lesson in girl power.

Some mild action and rude humor give The Lost Village its light PG rating. Enjoyable visuals include fire-breathing dragonflies and rivers that flow like undulating tubes of azure gel. The politically correct pep talks aren’t overbearing, and the action is mostly harmless. Still, the film has only a few jokes for elementary school graduates. One example: Bright red piranhas bite Gargamel on the backside.

“They’re bottom feeders!” he exclaims.

Although it’s where Smurfette found herself, The Lost Village may not be where many viewers enjoy finding themselves.