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abe vigoda gargamel.jpg

Abe Vigoda to Still Play Gargamel In My Dreams

By Miscellaneous | | March 17, 2010 |

By Miscellaneous | | March 17, 2010 |

Just when the Smurfs movie was starting to sound good — even without Quentin Tarantino actually voicing a character — news like this has to come along: character actor Hank Azaria has been cast as Gargamel. Which sounds interesting until you realize that in this sentence the word “sounds” is key, because only the actor’s voice will be in the movie [Update: Neil Patrick Harris says Azaria will in fact be playing a live-action Gargamel. But my main issue below still stands.]

Even though it probably means a Fat Albert kind of they-come-out-the-TV plot, I’m not too concerned that Smurfs will have both live-action humans and animated humans (it worked for WALL-E, and Roger Rabbit). More important is the issue that Abe Vigoda has not been cast in the role. Yes, it was always my dream for the old man to put on that black Snuggy and chase little blue creatures around a mushroom patch.

And after that Super Bowl Snickers commercial I thought he might have a shot. But no, only Betty White came away with increased fame. Maybe I should have made a Facebook page campaigning for the guy? Or, maybe it’s not too late? Maybe Abe can appear on screen while Azaria speaks for him?

Also cast is the cartoon-looking actress Jayma Mays from Glee. She’ll play the preggers wife of Neil Patrick Harris.

Here are some other responses from the blogosphere:

  • Kyle Buchanan at Movieline:
    Hank Azaria will voice Gargamel, who I’m pretty sure is a human. So real humans and cartoon humans will be interacting? Is that necessary? Is this whole movie necessary? No, you’re out of order!
  • Krystal Clark at ScreenCrave:
    Azaria will lend his vocal talents to the Smurf villain, which isn’t foreign territory for the actor. He’s been voicing multiple characters on the Fox series, “The Simpsons” for over two decades so this is like second nature.
  • Doug Norrie at Cinema Blend:
    Azaria is the voice behind two of my favorite all-time Simpsons characters: Moe Szyslak and Police Chief Wiggum. Now he will lend his pipes to the sorcerer and sworn enemy of the Smurfs. Gargamel is one of those eternal bunglers (much like Apu and Wiggum) whose quest for power ultimately leads to fouling something up, running away and hiding. Here’s looking forward to him belting out, “I hate those Smurfs!”
  • Mark at I Watch Stuff:
    So, if I’m understanding this, Smurfs has both actual humans and weird CGI humans going on at once… which is crazy. That’s literally what it feels like to be crazy. You’re looking at a human, next thing you know, a slightly not-real man in a robe shows up next to him and starts cackling and stroking a cat, and even though you know he’s clearly not real, you can’t stop him being there for some reason. What an insane concept. It’s like someone is making a film just to help us fully empathize with that wide-eyed guy on the subway steadily slapping a ball-peen hammer against his open palm. His reality is Smurfs!

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