This Week In Home Entertainment: Smurfs 2, Duck Dynasty And More

By Jessica Rawden 2013-12-03 12:23:45discussion comments
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The holidays caused a little bit of a snafu with this weekís releases. Donít feel as if you got scrooged, our The Wolverine review will be up as soon as possible!

Smurfs 2 box
Smurfs 2 Blu-ray
Movies geared towards kids need a lot of energy and goofiness, and The Smurfs 2 is not lacking on any of those counts. In typical Smurfs fashion, audiences get plenty of moments filled with the tiny creatures racing through underground tunnels and riding on the backs of beautiful birds. From a childís perspective, thereís a lot of wonder in the half-filmed and half-animated movie, but thatís not to be confused with imagination.

Raja Gosnellís movie tells a tale of gentle lessons, of bringing new family members into the fold and placing trust in the people closest to you. As such, itís not breaking new ground in childrenís programming. In many ways, it does the opposite, starting with a dream sequence before jumping into plenty of easy-to-follow one-liners from each of the Smurfs' individual personalities. Like Shrek and nearly every Disney movie that has come before Smurfs 2, the film ends with a celebration, in this case one that is filled with dance moves and a Britney Spears song. First, there are plenty of shenanigans from Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who is still on an endless quest to retrieve Smurf essence.

The Smurfs 2 focuses on Smurfette (Katy Perry), who is worrying about betraying the Smurfs, as well as feeling like a bit of an outcast as the only female in the community. Of course, criminal Gargamel finds her at her most vulnerable, and kidnaps her, introducing the female Smurf to her new family, a set of naughties named Vexy (Christina Ricci) and Hackus (J.B. Smoove), Smurf-like creatures who enjoy causing trouble. The whole gang gets back together to bring Smurfette back home, but the blonde-haired lass is torn between the life she stemmed from as a creation of Gargamel and the life that nurtured her and made her into the person she is.

Life can present plenty of obstacles that bring doubt and fear into a peopleís minds. The Smurfs 2 perfectly captures those complicated emotions in a way that should seem reasonable to children, but that doesnít mean adults will find it quite as compelling.

Best Special Feature: There are a ton of extras available with the Blu-ray set, but thereís really no contest when it comes to bonus features. The best is "The Legend of Smurfy Hollow," an original short film that was given a separate release before Smurfs 2 came out. Itís the extra that should hold your kids attention the most, and it features a story told by Narrator Smurf. Itís a ghost story, so itís probably a little more appropriate for Halloween than the holiday season, but itís pretty nice that fans sort-of get a 2 for one deal with the set, and it offers original animation to boot.

On a side note, the deleted scenes are actually shot or animated on the disc, so they are a lot better than the drawn fodder that most animated movies offer.

Other Special Features:
"Daddyís Little Girl: The Journey of Smurfette"
"The Naughties! The Tale of Hackus and Vexy"
"The Puurrfect Companion: Azraelís Tale"
"Animating Azrael"
"Evolution of The Naughties"
Deleted Scenes
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