Friday, Jul 26, 2013
by Ned Wazowski
Summer Sequels: Smurfs 2
When warmer temperatures return, so do some very familiar faces.
If it’s summer, then it’s time for a sequel. Why are sequels so inviting? Maybe the higher temperatures draw us to the familiar, and we feel that it’s just too hot to invest our time in learning the names of new characters.
Of course, sequels generally come with so-called “popcorn” movies – films that guarantee broad audiences of people who will not only splurge for the 3-D version, but who will also add some snacks to the price of their admission. And to maximize the audiences for these films, distributors release them during the summer holidays, when kids are out of school and adults may have a little more time on their hands. But it’s not just “low-brow” movies that come in multiples; Shakespeare wasn’t opposed to sequels. (Just look at Henry VI – Shakespeare knew a blockbuster when he saw one, and went for a trilogy.)
So this summer we’ve put together a special summer series saluting the sequel. Grab some popcorn and follow along with us.
Smurfs 2 opened this month as the second in a planned trilogy. Though the first film was paned by critics, it made enough money – over half a billion dollars world wide – to convince filmmakers to do another. Director Raja Gosnell certainly has experience bringing animation to the big screen. In addition to doing the first Smurfs film in 2011, he also directed the live-action films Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
This Smurfs sequel finds the Smurfs and their human friends in Paris to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel. This follows a common trope for sequels that sets the action in a foreign country. Films such as The Rescuers Down Under, The Bad News Bears Go to Japan, Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3, Ocean’s Twelve, and Rugrats in Paris all drop their characters into foreign locations. In fact, Paris is the most common setting for a foreign sequel… must be the macaroons.
Have you seen Smurfs 2 since it hit theatres this summer? If you missed it, don’t fret. Another sequel will be by in a day or two.
This reproduction of the original Spaceman Jax model sheet is a limited edition giclée print...