Smurfs: The Lost Village arrives in theaters April 7, 2017
Julia Roberts is looking very blue these days.
The Oscar winner has joined the cast of the upcoming animated comedy Smurfs: The Lost Village, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal — as the wise new character SmurfWillow.
“Smurfs are such a fun part of our animated culture,” Roberts tells PEOPLE. “They were popular when I was a child and they were popular when my kids were little. It’s fun to be part of such a sweet group that continues to entertain young people.”
The film, from Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation, already boasts a superstar vocal cast — including Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf, and Rainn Wilson as the evil wizard Gargamel.
The story follows the Smurfs as they race Gargamel to find the mysterious Lost Village and uncover the biggest secret in Smurf history. Using a mysterious map as guidance, the adorable blue friends embark on a roller-coaster journey through the Forbidden Forest — filled with action, danger and more than a few laughs.
Smurfs: The Lost Village will also mark a return to animated films for Roberts, who previously voiced characters in the 2006 family films The Ant Bully and Charlotte’s Web.
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“I am thrilled with Julia Roberts’ performance in Smurfs: The Lost Village,” director Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) tells PEOPLE. “Julia brings to the role a sense of honesty and depth, thus helping to create truth to the reality of the entire story.”
He adds, “It was a blast working with Julia — whose real-life generous, good-natured spirit translates beautifully in giving voice to this new, mysterious character.”
Smurfs: The Lost Village arrives in theaters April 7, 2017.