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The Smurfs DVD Review
The Smurfs DVD Box Set 1. Look what arrived in the mail - The Smurfs Box Set 1. Magna Pacific was kind enough to send us copies of their Smurfs DVDs to review...so here we go!
The Expectations. First, some questions: Will the Smurfs on DVD live up to my expectations? This was my favorite show as a child - will it still be enjoyable? What about picture quality... it was grainy and washed out when I watched it on TV as a kid - how will it look on DVD now? More importantly - is it really possible to watch seventeen episodes of The Smurfs in brief succession?
The Experience. The first thing you notice when you open the DVD is the bright, colorful artwork. Very appealing. Next - the "feel" of the boxes. Rather than the more brittle plastic standard DVD containers are made of, these boxes use a soft resilient material that can take kids' manhandling/deliberate abuse. Totally kid-friendly.
Opening up the DVD box you find three discs. The discs themselves are adequately smurfy (Papa is on disc 1, Brainy on 2, and Hefty - sans tattoo - on disc 3), and they're secured with a special ring so kids can't damage the discs or the holder. The box is semi-transparent and has a cute picture of Brainy Smurf and the Meanie Genie from season one's "Magical Meanie". Nice.
The Excitement. But what about the episodes themselves? After watching around 280 minutes of the Smurfs, I can say only one thing - bravo! Quite simply, the Smurfs have never looked or sounded so good. The color transfers are vibrant, and the washed-out look of the old TV broadcasts are a thing of the past. Gone are the lines, the graininess and the nasty artifacts from the film originals many of us remember as kids. Instead, we experience a visual treat that looks (and sounds) fantastic.
This isn't a "special edition" DVD, so there are no extras. The menus are simple but very easy to use. No cast interviews are included - I would have loved to heard commentary from Danny Goldman/Brainy Smurf or Julie Dees/Smurfette. Oh well. Also not included: the Smurfs theme song. Instead, there is this weird version with spliced-in foreign animation. Smurfs without the famous "la la la la la la" music? I think it would have been better not to include any song at all.
The Episodes. But what about the shows themselves? That's where things start to get exciting. The seventeen episodes include some classics: "King Smurf" (where Brainy runs amuck), "Smurf Colored Glasses"(Smurfette falls in love... with Gargamel!), the Star-Trek inspired "Fuzzle Trouble", Big Mouth's pièce de résistance "Soup a la Smurf", meeting the Swoofs in "The Astrosmurf", and the entertaining episode "The Baby Smurf". These stories aren't just good - they're fantastic, and they'll keep the kids (young and old) mesmerized through repeated viewings.
The Evaluation. So how does this DVD collection rate overall? Amazingly well. Magna Pacific has done a masterful job transferring these episodes to DVD. The video and audio is superb. The packaging is particularly well thought out. The only negative is the lack of the Smurfs theme song, which would have been much easier to ignore if they didn't constantly repeat that strange alternate introduction, which you will nonetheless find yourself humming by the end of the day.
The BlueBuddies.com one-line review: Don't miss the opportunity for a fantastic Smurf adventure!
Technical Rating: 10/10
Content Rating: 9/10 (no song!)
Overall: 9.5/10 Buy it today!
The Smurfs Volumes 1, 2 and 3
Disc One: King Smurf, Jokey's Medicine, The Astrosmurf, St. Smurf and the Dragon, the Sorcerer Smurf, Magical Meanie. Disc Two: The Smurfs and the Howlibird, Bewitched, Bothered and Be-smurfed, Smurf Colored Glasses, Dreamy's Nightmare, Soup a la Smurf. Disc Three: Fuzzle Trouble, All that Glitters Isn't Smurf, Romeo and Smurfette, Smurfette's Dancing Shoes, the Fake Smurf, the Baby Smurf.
Technical Note: These discs are for use only in region 4 (Australia). You will want to make sure your DVD player automatically converts PAL to NTSC, and that your player can play discs from all regions if you are outside of Australia. The discs are all single-layer DVD5.
Buy The Smurfs DVD or else Gargamel will get you!