KA: Sony Pictures Animation’s previous two SMURFS movies were live action films in which real humans interacted with more realistically designed and animated Smurfs, and the stories centered as much around the human characters’ issues. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE has nothing to do with those other films. It is a radically different take on the Smurfs and their imaginary world, fully computer animated, and much closer to the tone and style that creator Peyo initially envisioned.
What was the inspiration for this film?
KA: Many things inspired the type of movie we wanted to make. Everyone involved agreed that the story should be a high-adventure journey, so classic movies like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and GOONIES came to mind. The richness in color was influenced by the great French Impressionists painters. The Forbidden Forest where the Smurfs venture was envisioned as equal parts Oz, Pandora and Wonderland, filled with dangerous and magical creatures like Smurf-eating Flowers or Boxing and Kissing Plants, to name a few.
What can you tell us about the voice cast?
KA: Demi Lovato has a certain toughness mixed in with a confident brand of femininity, which is perfect for Smurfette. Mandy Patinkin is one of my favorite actors, who can play both comedy and drama, each with honesty and sincerity. Who better then to play Papa Smurf? Rainn Wilson has a unique way of portraying wacky, comical characters, who are self-important, yet deeply insecure and flawed – that’s Gargamel in a nutshell. Joe Manganiello is the manly man, with a big heart, so he’s perfect for Hefty and happens to be a major Smurfs fan. Danny Pudi has a way with nerdiness that encompasses Brainy Smurf’s persona. Jack McBrayer can channel the fumbling nervousness needed to play Clumsy Smurf. All together, they form a wonderful ensemble, each of whom is hugely fun to work with. And there’s other incredible talent in the film which I can’t tell you about just yet.
The teaser poster & tomorrow’s teaser trailer hint at a mysterious forest, what can you tell us about what’s new in this film?
KA: Without giving too much away, all I’ll say is that this new movie takes the Smurfs – and the audience – on a journey into a Forbidden Forest, a fantastical world like no other, filled with crazy plants, insects and animals. Most of all, there are surprises at every turn. The colors, shapes and overall environment are transportive and exciting, just the way a fun adventure movie should be. And the clever humorous tone should delight audiences of all ages–Smurfs fans or not!