Warner Bros. // 1982 // 48 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 30th, 2011
Elvis was right...it'll be a blue Christmas.
If I thought The Smurfs live action movie was a chore to get through, it was nothing in comparison to The Smurfs Holiday Celebration. The '80s animated series holds up about as well as a house of cards making love to a tsunami. These are two very chintzy, cheap Saturday morning animated specials that feature stories as thin as tissue paper with all the entertainment value of chewing tin foil. If you have nostalgia for the Smurfs, do yourself a big favor and don't revisit this series -- it will play a lot better in your memory than it does on your television screen.
The Smurfs Holiday Celebration is comprised of two 25 minute episodes. In "The Smurfs Christmas Special" (originally aired in 1982) the Smurfs have to rescue a couple of little kids whose sled has overturned and knocked out their grandfather. Of course, the malevolent wizard Gargamel -- the Smurf's eternal nemesis -- gets involved and tries to use the kids' tragedy to his advantage. In "Tis the Season to be Smurfy" (originally aired in 1987) the Smurfs help an elderly couple who don't have the money to celebrate Christmas. In both episodes the Smurfs learn the true meaning of Christmas -- that giving is better than receiving, helping people is good, etc. The truth is, these specials are basic examples of "Christmas 101" storytelling. Both of them are filled with slapdash characters and paltry writing to wrangle in kids who don't realize there's a lot better kids' programming available.
These two short features are firmly planted in the '80s so your enjoyment of them may depend on how well you remember or liked The Smurfs. I remember them and I didn't like them, so you can imagine how well these two specials went over with me. I found the voice acting to be overly enthusiastic, the music to be intrusive (subtleness is not something the creators of The Smurfs subscribed to) and the animation to be just a notch above the flipbooks I'd make on the page corners of my algebra book during junior high.
Honestly, it's very hard to recommend The Smurfs Holiday Celebration to anyone who graduated past the second grade. Children may get a kick out of it. Then again, I've known some children to eat earthworms and pick at their own feces, so maybe an older, wise authority figure is needed to help discern between worthy entertainment and brain numbing programming. Guess which one The Smurfs Holiday Celebration falls under?
Each episode in The Smurfs Holiday Celebration is presented in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The transfers here are mediocre at best; each image looks only slightly better than a good VHS copy of the show. The soundtracks are presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono and are exactly what you'd expect from the lowest common denominator sound mix. Also included on this disc are English subtitles.
No extra features are included on this DVD.
The Smurfs Holiday Celebration is a great gift if your uncle's name is
Scrooge and he wasn't visited by three ghosts this year.
Review content copyright © 2011 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 48 Minutes
Release Year: 1982
MPAA Rating: Not Rated