From the breathless press release:
In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
Animation veteran Kelly Asbury is directing The Lost Village. Mr. Asbury has a long and successful track record in the land of cartoons: story artist on The Little Mermaid and Toy Story; the directors on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek 2, Gnomeo and Juliet. He had this to say about his upcoming feature:
How different is SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE from the previous two Smurfs features?
KA: Sony Pictures Animation’s previous two SMURFS movies were live action films in which real humans interacted with more realistically designed and animated Smurfs, and the stories centered as much around the human characters’ issues. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE has nothing to do with those other films. It is a radically different take on the Smurfs and their imaginary world, fully computer animated, and much closer to the tone and style that creator Peyo initially envisioned.
What was the inspiration for this film?
KA: Many things inspired the type of movie we wanted to make. Everyone involved agreed that the story should be a high-adventure journey, so classic movies like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and GOONIES came to mind. The richness in color was influenced by the great French Impressionists painters. The Forbidden Forest where the Smurfs venture was envisioned as equal parts Oz, Pandora and Wonderland, filled with dangerous and magical creatures like Smurf-eating Flowers or Boxing and Kissing Plants, to name a few. ...
The feature rolls out across the fruited plain on April 7th. It will likely do brisk business at the box office.