The Smurfs is a 2011 live-action/computer-animated comedy film and the first film in the series, and is directed by Raja Gosnell. In their race to escape the malevolent wizard Gargamel, the little blue forest dwellers find themselves suddenly transported to Central Park. Now stuck in a world populated by towering giants, the Smurfs must find a way to elude Gargamel, and find a way back to the village they call home.
A sequel titled The Smurfs 2 was released on July 31, 2013. Director Raja Gosnell and producer Jordan Kerner had returned, along with all the main cast. New cast includes Christina Ricci, J. B. Smoove and Brendan Gleeson. In the sequel, Gargamel creates a couple of evil Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties to harness the magical Smurf-essence. When he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants and that only Smurfette can turn the Naughties into the real Smurfs, Gargamel kidnaps her and takes her to Paris. Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity return to the human world and seek the help from their friends Patrick and Grace Winslow to rescue Smurfette from Gargamel. It was Jonathan Winters' final film after his death on April 11, 2013.
On May 10, 2012, just two weeks after they announced production of The Smurfs 2, Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures were already developing a script for The Smurfs 3 with scribes Karey Kirkpatrick and Chris Poche.Hank Azaria, who plays Gargamel in the series, revealed that the third film "might actually deal with the genuine origin of how all these characters ran into each other way back when." Unlike the first two live action/computer-animated hybrid films, the third film will be entirely computer-animated and won't be a sequel. In March 2014, it was revealed that Kelly Asbury was hired to direct the film. Exploring the origins of Smurfs, the comedy-adventure will feature a new take on the characters, with designs and environments more closely following the artwork created by Peyo. The film was initially set to be released on August 14, 2015, but on May 1, 2014, the film's release date was pushed back to August 5, 2016.