Smurfs

Today, Sony Pictures Animation held a panel promoting some of their future releases, including The Smurfs: The Lost VillageThe Emoji MovieStarHotel Transylvania 3, and the Spider-Man movie featuring Miles Morales. At the event, some casting announcements were made. Julia RobertsMaya RudolphSir Patrick StewartEllie Kemper, and others have joined some of the studio’s upcoming films.

Below, learn more about The Smurfs cast and The Emoji Movie.

Julia Roberts is playing SmurfWillow in the Smurfs film, which looks like a considerable improvement over the last two Smurfs films. SmurfWillow is the leader of The Lost Village, where Smurfette, Hefty, Brainy, and Clumsy’s adventure takes them. There’s something different about this village, which Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) is searching for. The scene set in The Lost Village was brief, but the other footage teased an irony and mostly pop culture jokes-free animated comedy. The clips feature some clever, broad gags, with most of the laughs coming from Joe Manganiello (Hefty) and Jake McBrayer (Clumsy)

Michelle Rodriguez (playing SmurfStorm), Ellie Kemper (the excitable SmurfBlossom), and Ariel Winter (SmurfLily) are other new additions to the cast. They’re voicing Smurfs found in the Lost Village. They’re joined by Gordon Ramsay (Baker), Jake Johnson (Grouchy), Jeff Dunham (Farmer), Gabriel Iglesias (Jokey), and Tituss Burgess (Vanity). The film’s director, Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2), voices Nosey. Ashbury, by the way, wanted to go back to the original look of the Smurfs from Pierre Cullifor‘s comics. If you look at Pappa Smurf (Many Patinkin) and compare him to the one from the live-action films, there are far fewer wrinkles in his face and even less texture to his beard. The Smurfs now have a simpler, more old-fashioned look.

Here’s a new pic from The Smurfs: Lost Village, featuring the main gang and the Smurfs voiced by Rodriguez, Kemper, and Winter:

Smurfs pic

Next up is co-writer/director Tony Leondis‘ The Emoji Movie, which Sir Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Coolidge, Jake. T Austin, and former SNL star, Maya Rudolph, has signed up for. The story follows Gene (T.J. Miller), an emoji with multiple expressions in a world — your smartphone — where emojis are only meant to serve one purpose. Rudolph is voicing Smiler, the always smiling emoji:

The Emoji Movie Poster

Sony hasn’t shared a photo of his character yet, but Patrick Stewart has the distinct honor of voicing the Poop Emoji, surrounded by the likes of Poop Jr. and an Elephant passing wind. The emojis are kept in these cubes, almost like Hollywood Squares or the monsters from Cabin in the Woods, waiting to be selected by their user, Alex. There wasn’t as much footage shown for The Emoji Movie as Smurfs: The Lost Village, but some of the jokes we saw are what’s expected. Enlightened creator Mike White co-wrote the film, though, which is a little promising, and there was one piece of concept art — Gene and High-5 (James Corden) riding streams in Spotify — that perhaps would’ve impressed a few folks skeptical about an Emoji movie intended for children.

Smurfs: The Lost Village opens in theaters on April 7th, while The Emoji Movie opens on August 4th.

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