Thursday, December 20, 2012

Year One. Day Twenty: "The Smurfs Christmas Carol" (2011)

Day Twenty of my Advent Christmas Carol Challenge:

"The Smurfs Christmas Carol" (2011)

Further proof, if it were even needed that "A Christmas Carol" is the worlds most elastic story - in that it can be stretched into any form conceivable, comes in the form of this direct-to-DVD Christmas special.

I was never much of a fan of the Smurfs. There was nothing about them I ever found particularly loathsome, they simply never captivated me as a child. However, I was somewhat intrigued to see how this version would play out nonetheless, as at only 22 minutes, it is the shortest adaptation I have seen so far.

Grouchy Smurf is the only Smurf in town who refuses to make merry on Christmas Eve, much to the ire of the rest of the Smurfs.

With the help of some ghost-poisoned tea (yes, that is correct) Grouchy is spirited away from his computer generated 3D home, to a traditional 2D cell animation version.

From then on it's business as usual, with three ghosts showing him the error of his ways, with a few digressions, including a lot of nonsense involving hats and ending with the total destruction of the Smurf Village.

The problem with adaptations of this story that are set within the continuity of a running series, is that characters are never really allowed to change too much, therefore their redemption can't be too grand and their miserly ways can't be too awful. This is precisely the case here.

Grouchy Smurf is mildly reformed by the end of the story, but not so much that the next time we see him, he will be in any way changed.

The animation, especially the cell animation, is charming and the voice acting is fine, but it's impossible to get too excited about a version such as this, in which every effort seems to have been made to ensure that it never becomes anything greater than mediocre.

As uneventful and forgettable as Christmas day with Jacob Marley.

"The Smurfs Christmas Carol" (2011) 2/5

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