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There’s a new, full-length trailer for The Smurfs and in addition to giving us a more in-depth look at the movie’s story, it also provides our first look at the great Hank Azaria as Gargamel. The movie seems a lot like the Chipmunks live-action films, with Neil Patrick Harris in the Jason Lee role and more magic mixed in. Maybe there are just only so many things you can do with a story about tiny creatures living with a full-size human. Of course, it’s not like they had to turn The Smurfs into the story of a bunch of tiny creatures living with a full-size human, but they have, and here’s the result.

Watch the first full-length trailer for The Smurfs embedded below. We’ll talk more after.

Before the day’s out you’ll probably read at least one person somewhere calling this one minute and forty-seven seconds worse than the holocaust. I’m not going to do that, I’ll just think it quietly while I talk about how utterly confused I am by everything that’s gone on here. In particular I’m baffled by the movie’s special effects. In theory special effects only get better, and that’s been particularly true when it comes to computer generated images. Just compare the look of Toy Story to Toy Story 3 and you’ll see what I mean.

Yet somehow, when it comes to these live action/cgi hybrids the special effects are actually getting worse. Alvin and the Chipmunks looked worse than Garfield and these Smurfs look even worse than Alvin and the Chipmunks. At this point it’s not really any better than Pete’s Dragon.

Here's a quick comparison between scenes from this Smurfs trailer and other similar scenes from previous live-action/CGI hybrids. See if you can tell a difference in effects quality here:

I expect by the time Smurfs 2 is made we’ll actually be back to using 2D animation hand-drawn on to film stock. Paula Abdul dancing with that cartoon cat was more convincing than anything in this Smurfs trailer. At least it’s in 3D. That’s sure to make it look better, he said sarcastically.

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