You may have seen the trailer or commercials for the upcoming Smurfs movie:
Obviously, this looks terrible. And the Smurfs themselves somehow end up in the Uncanny Valley despite being imaginary blue creatures. They look like they just hopped off The Polar Express. But that’s not the point.
The point is that they’ve transformed Smurfette into a slut.
The new film features Smurfette standing over a grate and having her dress blown up, Marilyn-style. This despite the fact that she is a tiny blue creature in a children’s movie.
Who is this film for?
If it’s for the kids of today, then why sexualize the only female Smurf? If it’s for kids of the ’80s who want a couple hours of nostalgia, then why brutalize the tone of the original product?
Has become this:
Go back and watch the old cartoons — Smurfette was not a slut. As much as the young boys of the time may have enjoyed Smurfette gang rape and threesome jokes, the truth is that she was an innocent character. Smurfette was flowers and sunshine, not wolf whistles and exposed labia.
Look, I’m not here to tell you that the original Smurfs cartoon is canon, or even that it was particularly good, but this gets at the heart of a problem that Hollywood seems to repeat ad nauseum. Older cartoons, television shows, toys and video games are made into big-budget summer movies with no attention paid to what made the original entertainments unique or beloved.
People have warm, fuzzy feelings about their old Transformers toys or old A-Team episodes precisely because of how kitschy they were. The innocence and cheesiness of those products makes us yearn for the simpler times of our childhoods. Converting them into $300 million, explosion-riddled CGI catastrophes defeats the entire purpose of that nostalgia. Now, that doesn’t mean that a Smurfs movie should look and behave exactly as the ’80s cartoon did. Does it mean that Smurfs and Transformers movies shouldn’t be made at all? Probably.
But the current Hollywood hegemony is too tone-deaf to understand that. And the fact that each new Transformers movie shatters box office records doesn’t help the cause.
Hipsters in my age range love to complain about their childhoods being raped. Well, with this depiction of Smurfette, we’re getting closer to that cliché being literally carried out.
Whatever. I’m just excited for the 2013 release of ALF: The Movie, in which ALF fucks Mrs. Ochmonek.