The Smurfs 3D Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Stephen Withers, 30th December 2011.
This 3D Blu-ray release of the The Smurfs comes as a three disc set that includes the 2D and 3D versions of the film on separate Blu-rays and also a DVD copy. The film itself is an enjoyable and good natured romp with a positive underlying message that should certainly entertain children but might prove less enjoyable for adults. The animation is generally well executed and overall the film is an excellent example of the kind of mass market entertainment that Hollywood does so well. The voices of the Smurfs themselves are not always ideal but the live action cast try hard with honourable mentions for Neil Patrick Harris and the always reliable Hank Azaria.

The Blu-rays are both region free and the 1080p/24 2D version boasts a nearly reference quality image that is both gloriously colourful and highly detailed. The digital source results in a beautifully clean print that is free of any unwanted artefacts or other manipulation. The 1080p/24 3D version was converted in post-production, and as such suffers from the usual problems of a lack of genuine depth and other image and motion artefacts. Whilst the Smurfs themselves convert to 3D quite well, any live action elements often appear flat and dimensionless, thus giving the appearance of a pop-up book, rather than the natural appearance that can be achieved with native 3D. On the plus side, the bright look of the film lends itself to the darkened nature of 3D viewing and the transfer is free of any crosstalk but ultimately the 2D version remains the preferred viewing experience.

The Smurfs includes the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack on both the 2D and 3D versions of the film and what a fantastic sonic experience it is. The sound design is superb, with a highly aggressive use of surrounds that creates a truly enveloping experience. The imaging within the sound field is very precise resulting in a dynamic mix that is as frenetic as the action on screen. Overall, this is a superb soundtrack that delivers an incredibly engaging and immersive experience, if only the 3D had been this good.

Whilst at first glance the extras on this Blu-ray release of The Smurfs appear quite comprehensive, in actual fact most of them are rather pointless and some are just plain annoying. The two audio commentaries are both excellent and informative, providing a valuable insight into the amount of work and attention to detail that goes into these big budget productions. The remainder of the extras are mostly promtional pieces or pointless games and other such features that even children would find lame and patronising. The Smurfs makes for a fun package, with a cute movie and excellent picture and sound but we recommend you just buy the 2D version and save yourself some money.

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