Nearly thirty-one years ago, the world was introduced to what is perhaps one of the most iconic cartoons ever to grace television. That cartoon was none other than The Smurfs. That cartoon ran until about 1990. Until recent years, the Smurfs had all but disappeared until the first couple of seasons made their way to DVD. And then last year, audiences were re-introduced to the Smurfs with a big screen adaptation that was anything but a hit. Now, thanks to Shout! Factory, Fabulous Films, and Arrow Films, the honor of the Smurfs has been restored with the upcoming release of the classic movie, “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.”
“The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is a wonderful walk down memory lane for true fans of these animation legends. The most noticeable thing that audiences will love about this classic movie is its animation. In an era when so many cg-based movies and TV shows are considered “animated”, it’s nice to see yet another classic hand drawn piece of nostalgia. Animation may seem minor on the surface. But one watch of this movie, next to any other true animated feature will note that the animation style is a big part of said features’ identities. Whereas cg-based “animation” is cookie cutter by nature, hand drawn animation is different from one work to the next. And this feature’s animation definitely gives it its very own identity.
The animation of “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” gives this feature its own identity. It’s one part of what makes this classic cartoon such a joy to watch. Another factor that makes “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” so fun is that while it does lift lightly from the classic Pied Piper story, it still manages to create its very own story. The story centers on a magic flute discovered by William that makes everyone who hears it dance. This is where the Pied Piper similarity comes in. However, it’s also where that similarity ends, and the Smurfs’ own story comes in to play. When William goes out and talks about the flute, the evil McCreep steals it and uses it to steal people’s money. So what do the Smurfs have to do with it all? It just so happens that the wood used to carve the magic flute comes from their magical world. How this is discovered will remain a secret for those who haven’t yet seen this retro classic. But it comes in to play in the story’s ultimate outcome, which audiences will love.
The animation and the story of “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” together make for an excellent re-issue for fans. There’s at least one more factor that makes this such a welcome re-issue. That factor is the bonus features included in the single disc presentation. Among the best of those features is the “Glossary of Smurf Terms.” Parents who grew up with the Smurfs can share lots of Smurf terms and teach their own kids about them. There’s even a Smurfs Story in the bonus features that will teach new audiences all about the Smurfs.
From the bonus features to the story to the animation, “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is another wonderful walk down memory lane for audiences who grew up watching the original cartoon series in its near decade long run. Now that those same audiences are grown up, not only can they re-live some great childhood moments, but they can also share those same moments with a new generation. That will keep not only family memories alive, but also keep The Smurfs alive for a whole new generation. “The Smurfs and the Magic Flute” is available on DVD beginning August 14th via Shout! Factory, Fabulous Films and Arrow Films. It will be available in stores or to order online at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com.
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