The Smurfs Dance Party for Wii - My Kid's Review



Currently my children have Smurf fever. In the early part of the summer they went through a mild obsession with the Smurfs iPad game and spent weeks trying to farm enough fruit and flowers to earn Sumurfette. The iPad game also did a pretty good job of introducing them to all the characters as well as hyping the movie (which releases today - 7/29). They even used their Build-A-Bear gift cards from their birthdays to get the “exclusive” Smurfette and Clumsy Smurf. Trust me, I’m pretty Smurfed-out these days.

Their favorite video game on the Wii however is “Just Dance 2”  - a dancing game where you dance along to pop songs (either by yourself or with friends) and the Wii manages to give you points based on how well you are following along. It’s a great game -  fun to play and probably funnier to watch someone else playing. And the fact that they are up ad moving around kind of assuages the parent’s guilt that they are letting their kids play a video game when they could be outside doing something. Kind of.

So when I got the opportunity to review the new Smurf video game for the Wii - “The Smurfs Dance Party” it seemed like a perfect fit.

The game is basically a Smurf version of the “Just Dance” video games. There is a Smurf on the screen (all characters from the movie of course - including Gargamel) and you follow along and dance with them to songs from the movie. There are a couple of other modes - a story mode that basically tells the whole story of the movie (apparently my kids have no problem with spoilers) and a mode where you can dance to all the songs in one giant loop.

My girls (ages 5 and 7) have been playing it for a few days now and they are far more qualified to review the game than I. Here’s what they had to say about it.

My 7 year old:

This video game is almost like Just Dance 2. It has different Smurfs that dance, and there are also lyrics that you can read along with the music. The music is cool because it has songs that people know, but with Smurf words in it. Also, each Smurf has their own special song.

The only thing I didn’t like about the game was in some of the songs Gargamel dances instead of the Smurfs, and I thought that Gargamel looked kind of creepy. I’m not going to blame the actor though.
I liked the game a lot, and I think it’s just as good as Just Dance 2.

My 5 year old:

I liked the game because it was fun. There was a lot of dancing in it, and it was kind of like exercise - kind of like a Zumba thing. There aren’t many songs with Smurfette by herself, and I wish there were more. I also didn’t like Gargamel because he was kind of creepy. I liked the songs because if you’re doing one player, the person who is waiting can sing along to the songs with the person who is dancing.

This game would be good for people who like Smurfs and Wii. But if you don’t like to dance you should not get this game.

So there you have it. I sure didn’t think they would like it as much as Just Dance 2, mostly because the songs are (to me at least) way more annoying. There are only a few songs that people would recognize and a lot of filler - songs that seem written for the game. But my Smurf-crazy kids didn’t seem to mind at all. And when I had them load in the Alvin and the Chipmunks game for a comparison, it’s obvious that a lot more effort went into The Smurfs Dance Party.

Now I can only hope the movie is also better than the Squeakquel.

The Smurfs Dance Party, $33.24 (and almost sold out??) from

The 3 Biggest Disappointments of CES 2011


I went to the Consumer Electronics Show last month, and I've bitched about written already about some of the stuff I saw, but today on Man of the House I've written about my top three disappointments. Including in this is my open post to George Lucas:

Dear Mr Lucas, enough already. I bought your movies when they were on VHS. And then I bought them again on VHS when you "updated" them. Then you made brand new movies that kind of sucked but I went (and even waited in line) to see those. And then I bought the good movies when they came out on DVD. And then I bought...

The 3 Biggest Disappointments of CES 2011 [Man of the House]

Bond on the Brain - The Music and the Fashion


You may or may not have heard about the recent death of film composer John Barry, but he was the person most famous for composing eleven James Bond soundtracks, most notably the James Bond theme at the beginning of every movie. He also wrote the theme songs for Goldfinger and Thunderball.

Even if you set aside one of the most iconic themes in all of film music, he'd be tops in my book just for Goldfinger. Who can deny the awesomeness of Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger?


In fact, if you want to check out a really great interview of John Barry before he passed away, check out his interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air on NPR

The Suits of James Bond
And then last night I was reading one of the blogs that I regularly check out - Put This On (it's a blog that kind of aims to encourage men to dress like adults) and they linked to an amazing website called "The Suits of James Bond." And while I am rarely what anyone objective might call "well dressed," I stayed up way too late last night reading it.

The Suits of James Bond is a website written by a person who has (what appears to me at least) an expert-level knowledge of mens clothing, who can parse exactly what type of suit James Bond is wearing, how it is made, and often what brand it is. It covers all phases of James Bond, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. And sprinkled inbetween the minutiae is how the fashion relates and inter-relates to the rest of the James Bond universe. To wit:

Roger Moore always wore slip-ons with his suits, as practised by the literary James Bond. Slip-ons are traditionally too casual to wear with a city suit, though it was popular to wear them in that fashion in the 1980s. Moore left behind the bit loafers in the 1970s and for the 1980s wore a more conservative style.

Read it long enough, and you start to realize you're getting tips about dressing yourself too (for instance, shiny neckties are more appropriately worn in the evenings and for more formal occasions). It sounds nerdy (and believe me it is) but it is really awesome.

The Suits of James Bond via Put This On.

UPDATE: For those shopping on a budget, check out Affordable Bond via my friend (and 007 enthusiast) David.

Apple TV vs. Roku: Get Started With Internet TV | Review of Internet Television Boxes & Options | Man of the House

It's not exactly a bold prediction to state that in a few years much of the stuff you watch on TV will arrive to your TV via the Internet. With services like Netflix, Hulu and iTunes you can already watch most of your favorite shows and movies courtesy of your Internet connection, so what's the best way to start to adopt some of this new technology without spending an arm and a leg?


My latest post on Man of the House is my breakdown of AppleTV vs. Roku. If you're interested in bringing the Internet to your TV, it's my opinion that they are the only two devices worth looking at.

Oh, and they split it up between three different pages, so if you're interested make sure to click through to each page...