Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Rihanna’s ‘Smurfs Movie’ Reveals First Footage and Demo Track at Annecy 2024

Director Chris Miller teased the pop superstar's work on new original music for the feature that is set for release in early 2025 from Paramount Animation.

The Smurfs Movie title art

Rihanna is proving to be a powerful force for Paramount Animation‘s upcoming feature The Smurfs Movie.

Director Chris Miller led the film’s presentation at the Annecy Animation Festival on Tuesday (June 11), where he was joined on the stage by Paramount and Nickelodeon Animation president Ramsey Naito. The Smurfs Movie is based on the characters and work of artist Peyo and is set to hit theaters Feb. 14, 2025.

Miller (Puss in Boots) debuted work-in-progress footage from the movie’s opening sequence, along with a demo version of original music. The filmmaker went on to describe how Peyo’s art laid the groundwork for the film’s vision.

“The DNA in Peyo’s original drawings guide so many creative choices in the film,” Miller said. “It’s the blueprint for the kind of film I want to make. All of the action lines and thought bubbles from the comics are going in the movie, and the comics have inspired the style of animation to be fun and buoyant, with plenty of squash and stretch.”


Rihanna is voicing Smurfette in The Smurfs Movie, alongside an expansive voice cast that also includes Nick Offerman, Natasha Lyonne, Daniel Levy, Amy Sedaris, Nick Kroll, James Corden, Octavia Spencer, Hannah Waddingham, Sandra Oh, Alex Winter, Billie Lourd, Xolo Maridueña, Kurt Russell and John Goodman.

Miller praised Rihanna’s contributions to the project, with the star writing, producing and singing new original songs that will help inform the spirit of the movie. Additionally, he described the movie’s look as naturalistic and lush.

During Paramount’s presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas earlier this year, studio chief Brian Robbins described Rihanna as “the most legendary Smurfette ever.” She was nominated for an Oscar for her song “Lift Me Up” from 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with that track marking her first new solo music since her 2016 studio album, Anti.

The Smurfs became recognizable pop culture figures with their eponymous 1980s cartoon TV series. Sony released the animated movie The Smurfs in theaters in 2011 with Katy Perry as Smurfette, followed by a 2013 sequel. Smurfs: The Lost Village, a 2017 reboot, featured Demi Lovato voicing Smurfette.

In additional The Smurfs news, IMPS — The Smurfs‘ global license holder — announced at Annecy that it will operate under a new name going forward and begin to revive other original creations from the little blue characters’ famed founder Peyo, aka Pierre Culliford. Characters created by Peyo will be brought to life in new TV shows inspired by the original Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron comic books. A fourth season of The Smurfs animated series was also announced, along with plans for Nickelodeon to premiere season three this summer.

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Original source: The Hollywood Reporter.

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