1. Headline
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Image: Smurfs
Sony Pictures
Papa Smurf leads the little blue toys on to the big screen.
By
TODAY.com
updated 7/27/2011 5:48:14 PM ET 2011-07-27T21:48:14

Before some pre-release screenings of "Cowboys & Aliens," a movie trailer ran for a film about America's Navy being attacked by aliens. Viewers were understandably puzzled — since when was Liam Neeson making a war movie? Shouldn't we have heard about this?

But the audience for at least one showing broke into laughter when the movie's title slammed onto the screen. "BATTLESHIP." As in, the board game from Milton Bradley. As in "B-4!" "Hit!" "J-10!" "Aw, you sank my battleship!"

The 2012 film isn't the only toy-related film coming out next year. Taylor Lautner of "Twilight" fame will star as Stretch Armstrong, the 1970s toy that trained kids for future careers as medieval torturers. And of course, "The Smurfs" hits theaters July 29, and "Transformers 3" was a huge box-office success last month.

Story: A Smurfy interrogation of Neil Patrick Harris
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Besides the inevitable jokes ("What's next, 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos in 3-D'?), we wanted to know what viewers really think about seeing their favorite childhood toys turned into films. Here are some of your thoughts.

KEEP MAKING THEM
"I see nothing wrong with it, but it seems there are no original ideas any more." —Cindy Rabon Lynn

"I think it's awesome when we can share a love for something. Alvin and the Chipmunks, and now the Smurfs!"  —Alli Smith Blue

"They are great and especially since younger generations aren't familiar with them. It's a great way to introduce them to classics."  —Juliana Mendrano

Story: What happens when Smurfs meet the stars?

"When we played with these toys, we thought they were 'alive,' so now all Hollywood has done was took our childhood conversations that we had with our toys and put them on the big screen."  —Sidney Barnes

"I'll take my kids to 'The Smurfs' for sure! Memory lane."  —Janita Owen

"FUN! If you don't think they are fun, don't go watch them. This debate has been going for over 30 years now, and probably longer."  —John Sheppard

IT'S LAZY AND DUMB
"I just think that they are unable to come up ideas of their own. Also that a lot of adults will want to take their children to movies they are more familiar with. Maybe just to say, 'hey this is what I had when I was a kid.' "  —Keri Mewbourne

"My kid's teacher is waiting for Voltron to hit the big screen. How about the game of Life? Will the stars roll into Millionaire Acres at the end of the movie with a full car load of kids? How about a film version of Stratego, and the spy can collect all the bombs? There, I said it — 'film' and 'bomb' in the same sentence, which describes these movies. They are extended commercials for action figures, nothing more."  —SKM

Video: Co-stars chat about 'Smurfs' (on this page)

DEPENDS ON THE MOVIE
"They don't hurt anything as long as they stay true to the original idea. ... Sometimes they do suck, though. 'Yogi Bear' for instance."  —Stan Robinson

"No matter the criticisms about 1980s cartoons, which are said to be mainly cartoons made to promote toys, they made some cartoons back then that are tons better than the educational-only junk they make today, with actual plot and action. I would go for a toy-inspired movie if it did justice to the original."  —Beth

"Not every toy has translated well into a movie ('GI Joe'), but overall I would rather see these than remakes of old/older movies — THAT is Hollywood being lazy. I've enjoyed the 'Transformers' movies — and I'm far from being a kid. Look at the financial success of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' — a ride at Disneyland. These movies from toys or rides encourages creative writing, sets, locations, costumes and CG work. Yes, they're more expensive — but can be great entertainment to escape the problems of real life for a couple of hours. They need to be better at the sequels — second 'Transformers' left a lot to be desired (third was a big improvement)."  —Cathy Linefsky

Slideshow: 'Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?' (on this page)

"Where studios tend to fall short is their inability to properly translate older franchises into modern cinema. Take 'Transformers.' The special effects are great, the movie's make a lot of money, but Bay's attempt to include somewhat adult humor into them (robots urinating on people, wrecking ball testicles, etc) is such a far cry from the original vision that while some of us may chuckle, others lose respect for the film maker for ruining our childhood favorites. Other movies such as 'The Smurfs' take too simple of a route when doing the initial plot. Instead of staying in the same realm as the original Smurfs and focusing on them and their daily lives, they've taken the characters and decided to drop them in NYC. I would've thought this lesson would've been learned back when they released 'Masters of the Universe.' Others such as the 'Battleship' movie try too hard to turn a simple concept into a big screen adaptation. Why someone thought that making a movie about a board game like that was a good idea is beyond me, but I definitely don't understand why they decided it needed aliens in it too."  —Brian Lester

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Vote: Do you approve of toys and games becoming movies?

Photos: Celebrity cartoon voices

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  1. Katy Perry

    On July 29, Katy Perry will make her animated debut voicing a Smurfette in "The Smurfs." "I feel like a walking cartoon most of the time, anyway," Perry told USA Today of her role. The California girl joins a long list of stars who have lent their voices to animated characters.

    Perry's character channels Marilyn Monroe's famous "Seven Year Itch" moment in the movie's trailer, as the Smurfette's billowy white dress flies up over a windy grate.

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    (Getty Images; Sony Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Angelina Jolie

    Angelina Jolie's children were the biggest fans of her role as Tigress in "Kung Fu Panda." "I brought my children to see the movie and they absolutely loved the movie and laughed though the whole thing," the actress told The Hollywood Reporter.

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  3. Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway gave a voice to character Jewel in "Rio." Though Hathaway made her singing debut in the film, she had done voiceover work before in the TV shows "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy." (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Cameron Diaz

    Cameron Diaz voiced Princess Fiona, the unlikely damsel in "Shrek." "She's never depended on anyone to rescue her, which is a different message from Snow White and Rapunzel, waiting for a Prince Charming to come rescue her," Diaz said.

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    (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Christina Applegate

    Christina Applegate voiced sassy female chipmunk Brittany in "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," alongside two other Chipettes, played by Amy Poehler and Anna Faris. (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ellen DeGeneres

    Ellen DeGeneres puckered up to play Dory in 2003's "Finding Nemo." The comedian mastered the amnesiac fish's stumbling speech patterns in the film.

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    (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Emma Watson

    Emma Watson voiced the part of Princess Pea in "The Tale of Despereaux." "I read the script, and I just loved it. It was so charming. I fell in love with Despereaux, so I really didn't have a choice. I had to be his princess," Watson told MTV. (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Isla Fisher

    Isla Fisher gave voice to Dr. Mary Lou Larue in "Horton Hears a Who!" The Dr. Seuss-inspired film boasted a star-studded cast of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Seth Rogan and Jaime Pressly. (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Jada Pinkett Smith

    Jada Pinkett Smith played Gloria in "Madagascar" and "Madagascar 2." "I always have such a good time with Gloria, it allows me to be very playful," Smith said of her role in the films.

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    (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Jennifer Aniston

    Jennifer Aniston served as the voice for character Annie Hughes in 1999's "Iron Giant," when the actress was still part of the "Friends" cast. (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus provided the voice to Penny in "Bolt." More than her voiceover, she won high praise for the song "I Though I Lost You," which she sings in the film with John Travolta. (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Nicole Kidman

    Nicole Kidman voiced penguin Norma Jean opposite Hugh Jackman and Robin Williams in 2006's "Happy Feet."

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  13. Queen Latifah

    Queen Latifah provided comedy as the voice of Ellie, a mammoth who is convinced that she is a possum, in "Ice Age." "She has her own idea about who she is and she just won't be dissuaded," the star said of her character. (Getty Images; Everett) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon chose to play Susan Murphy a.k.a Ginormica in "Monsters vs Aliens" because the character had role model potential. "You always go for the great character to play, even if she's animated," Witherspoon said.

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  1. Image: Katy Perry
    Getty Images; Sony Pictures
    Above: Slideshow (14) Celebrity cartoon voices
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    Slideshow (22) Summer blockbusters
  3. Gael Cooper 1970's Items
    Scott Eklund / Red Box Pictures
    Slideshow (28) 'Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?'

Video: Watch 'The Smurfs' trailer

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