A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie intends to entertain rather to educate, but there are some worthwhile social lessons about honesty and patience.
The movie reinforces positive lessons, and characters who stray from the straight and narrow find that their actions have unhappy consequences. There are also positive messages in the relationship between the humans and the Smurfs, since it's only through their collaboration that they're able to right the story's wrongs.
Positive Role Models
Johan and William's dissimilar personalities bring both positive and negative behavior. William's hasty judgment and questionable choices bring trouble to everyone around him, but Johan's methodical problem solving helps save the day. Similarly, the Smurfs' individuality has both positive and negative contexts, and identifying the nature of each helps illustrate their messages for kids.
Violence & Scariness
Brainy Smurf takes some knocks to the head from his peers when they don't appreciate his advice. There's some hitting and slapping, and William is bound and gagged in one scene. A character's life is verbally threatened, and there's a brief jousting match, but no one is hurt.
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Products & Purchases
The Smurfs are the stars of their own long-lived TV series and an extensive product line that includes toys, games, clothing, and accessories.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
William sips from a jug of wine, and adults drink what's assumed to be beer, but little attention is paid to the beverages' presence.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although the famous blue gnomes have a title role in The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, they don't make an appearance until nearly halfway through the movie, which could be frustrating to young fans. The story uses the characters' actions to highlight positive choices and show the repercussions of negative behavior, letting you draw your kids' attention to the consequences of selfishness, haste, and short-sightedness, for instance. There's a seedy-looking villain and some playful violence (thumps to the head, slapping and hitting), plus the unremarkable presence of beer and wine in a few places, but none of this is worrisome for kids. This '70s cartoon moves at a notably slower pace than most modern kids' movies and shows do, but if kids can hang in there for the duration, it's a well-rounded, wholesome pick. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This classic cartoon is a must-see for Smurf fans, to be sure, and it's a pleasant enough way for most families to while away an hour in front of the TV if that's what you're looking to do. But The Smurfs and the Magic Flute does show its age, and, for better or for worse, by today's entertainment standards, it's a fairly bland offering. It's driven less by action and more by dialogue -- and even at times plods along without any of that, either -- and kids who are used to the Smurf TV series' 30-minute format will find the movie's production value subpar and the story a little long, especially considering that nearly half of it is spent without the friendly blue gnomes in sight.
That's the bad news. The good news is that the lengthy format offers kids a chance to exercise their attention span beyond that 30-minute window, and the story is rich in positive messages. There are admonishments against greed and selfishness, examples of the benefits of patience, and some deference to the wisdom of elders, among others. There's a commercial tie-in to consider, of course, but it's not as much of a consideration as it may have been during the Smurfs' '80s heyday.
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