Smurfs: The Lost Village appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While attractive, this wasn’t one of the best-looking animated Blu-rays I’ve seen.
Sharpness could be a minor distraction. Though most of the movie displayed solid clarity, a few shots seemed a smidgen soft. These were mild instances, but parts of the image lacked the tightness I expect from Blu-ray.
At least no issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, the image lacked any print flaws; it remained clean at all times.
Colors became a strong element. The movie went with a somewhat pastel palette, and it displayed consistently vivid hues within its chosen range.
Blacks were dense and tight, and shadows felt fine. Overall, this was a good enough presentation for a “B+”, but that meant the presentation disappointed compared to the usual “A”-level computer animated effort.
As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it opened up the film in a satisfying manner. The mix didn’t give us wall-to-wall theatrics, but it managed to use the spectrum well.
As expected, the film’s occasional action sequences boasted nice breadth and activity, and these elements created a fine sense of involvement. While the soundscape didn’t stun us on a frequent basis, it provided more than enough to succeed.
Audio quality seemed consistently solid. Speech appeared natural and distinctive, and no edginess or other issues marred the dialogue.
Music sounded warm and full, while effects showed good clarity and accuracy. When necessary, bass response came across as deep and tight. All of this lifted the track to “B+” status.
The disc comes with a long roster of extras, and these open with an audio commentary from director Kelly Asbury, animation supervisor Alan Hawkins, and head of story Brandon Jeffords. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, design choices, animation, music and related areas.
Overall, we get an engaging chat. The commentary touches on a nice mix of technical and creative areas to offer a pretty solid examination of the film.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 35 seconds. We find “Smurfberry Blast” (3:39), “Brainy’s Experiment” (1:11), “Bridge Escape” (1:06) and “Gargamel’s Lair” (1:55).
“Blast” offers an expanded action sequence, and “Experiment” just retells Smurfette’s origin story. “Escape” provides a smidgen of exposition and “Lair” shows more of the Smurfs’ efforts to foil Gargamel. None seem all that interesting, though the last two come from an early version of the film that followed a marginally different narrative path.
A slew of short video pieces flesh out the rest of the extras, and we go to a featurette called Kid at Heart. It runs nine minutes, 12 seconds and offers info from Asbury, Jeffords, Hawkins, producers Jordan Kerner and Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews, production designer Noelle Triaureau, visual effects supervisor Michael Ford, character designer Patrick Mate, co-producer Mandy Kisthardt Tankenson, and actors Jack McBrayer, Joe Manganiello, Demi Lovato, Danny Pudi, Rainn Wilson, Ariel Winter.
A basic “making of” reel, “Heart” looks at Asbury’s work as director, cast and performances, storyboards and storyreels, art, character design and animation. Though a few basic filmmaking details emerge, “Heart” shoots for cutesy most of the time.
The Lost Auditions goes foe four minutes, 14 seconds and features McBrayer, Manganiello, Winter, Pudi, Wilson,
and actors Michelle Rodriguez and Mandy Patinkin. The performers try out (mostly) for roles other than the ones they play. Expect a smidgen of comedy – but not much.
Next comes Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette, a one-minute, one-second segment in which “Smurfette” chats with Lovato. Expect another lackluster stab at humor.
Lost Village Dance Along goes for three minutes, 10 seconds, as it shows youngsters who bust their moves to one of the movie’s songs. Pass.
After this we get Smurfify Your Nails, a two-minute, 23-second tutorial that teaches you how to give yourself a Smurf-oriented manicure. Double pass.
Baker Smurf’s Mini Kitchen spans four minutes, seven seconds. Though it sounds like it’ll offer a cooking lesson, instead it shoots for comedy – and fails.
Up next comes a music video for Meghan Trainor’s “I’m a Lady”. A mix of lip-synch footage and movie clips, it brings a forgettable song and video.
Making the Song goes for three minutes and offers notes from Asbury, musicians Shaley Scott and KT Tunstall and composer Christopher Lennertz. Here we get info about the song “You Will Always Find Me In Your Heart”. The clip emphasizes happy talk, so don’t expect much.
With The Sound of the Smurfs, we discover a three-minute, 44-second program with Asbury and Lennertz. “Sound” looks at music. It provides a few insights but mostly veers toward praise and fluff.
Draw Your Favorite Smurfs breaks into three tutorials: “How to Draw Smurfette” (3:02), “How to Draw Brainy” (2:51) and “How to Draw Clumsy” (1:58).
As expected, these offer art lessons. They seem functional enough.
The disc opens with ads for The Emoji Movie, Surf’s Up 2, The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today and The Swan Princess: Royally Undercover. We also get an Emoji “Sneak Peek” that is just a long trailer.
No trailer for Village appears here. However, we do find promos for Smurfs, Smurfs 2, The Legend of Smurfy Hollow, Smurfs: A Christmas Carol and Smurfs Bubble Story.
Perhaps very young viewers will take pleasure from Smurfs: The Lost Village. However, I suspect most over the age of eight will find this to offer a dull, charm-free affair. The Blu-ray comes with largely positive picture and audio as well as a decent array of bonus materials. Even based on my low expectations, Village falls short.