In 1997, producer Jordan Kerner sent the first "of a series of letters" to The Smurfs ' licensing agent Lafig Belgium expressing interest in making a feature film. It was not until 2002 after a draft of Kerner's film adaptation of Charlotte's Web was read by Peyo's heirs, that they accepted Kerner's offer. Peyo's daughter Véronique Culliford and family had wanted to make a Smurfs film for years and said that Kerner was the first person to pitch a film that shared their "vision and enthusiasm". Kerner soon began developing the 3-D CGI feature film with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. In 2006, Kerner said the film was planned to be a trilogy and would explain more of Gargamel's backstory. In June 2008, it was announced that Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation obtained the film rights from Lafig Belgium. Kerner said the current project started with Sony during a conversation with the chairman-CEO Michael Lynton, who grew up watching The Smurfs in the Netherlands. On a budget of $110 million, principal photography began in New York City in March 2010. In order to help the Smurfs' animators during post-production, cinematographer Phil Meheux and his team would light up a scene where the Smurfs would be digitally added using 7 and one half-inch tall models to stand in during set-up and rehearsals. ees who spent around 358,000 hours animating. Character designer Allen Battino, a long time Kerner collaborator, was brought in to redesign the characters for CGI.
The film stars Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays and Sofía Vergara, with Jonathan Winters and Katy Perryas the voices of Papa Smurf and Smubrfette. The cast gave less than stellar performances and have disappointed my Smurf spirit with their ridiculous antics and flat comical jokes.
Simon says The Smurfs receives: