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Smurfs: The Lost Village

Papa Smurf, voiced by Mandy Patinkin, and Smurfwillow, voiced by Julia Roberts, appear in the animated movie "Smurfs: The Lost Village." The Catholic News Service classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (CNS photo/Sony)

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NEW YORK (CNS) -- If you've always wondered, "Just what is a Smurfette?" then "Smurfs: The Lost Village" (Columbia) may be the film for you.

Moviegoers not consumed by curiosity about that question, on the other hand, are likely to find this children's cartoon colorful but less than engaging.

Those familiar with the lore surrounding the blue-skinned, white-capped elves of the title will know that luxuriantly coiffed but vaguely enigmatic Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato) is the sole female in their community. They will also remember that she was originally created by the evil human wizard Gargamel (voice of Rainn Wilson).

He planned to use Smurfette as an infiltrator to entrap the male Smurfs -- whose youth-restoring, power-bestowing "essence" he has long sought to extract and make his own. But, as flashbacks show, the kindness of Papa Smurf (voiced by Mandy Patinkin) converted the newcomer into a cheerful and dedicated ally.

Now, however, Smurfette is suffering an identity crisis. Neither she nor anyone around her seems able to answer the query cited above.

Smurfette's restlessness turns out to have positive consequences, though, since it leads -- indirectly, at least -- to a journey of discovery. She's joined on this quest by a trio of her male counterparts: vain bodybuilder Hefty (voice of Joe Manganiello), good-hearted but uncoordinated Clumsy (voiced by Jack McBrayer) and book-smart nerd Brainy (voice of Danny Pudi).

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