Sunday, December 18, 2011


We recently watched Smurfs for family film night. So now my kids are obsessed with them. Obsession is something I'm familiar with! They must've got that from me. It fuels this blog.

So... Smurfs first appeared in a Franco-Belgian comic Magazine, Spirou, in the comic called Johan et Pirlouit (Johan and Peewit in English) in 1958 created under the name Peyo. It wasn't until the early 1980's that they reached American televisions on Saturday mornings often as the flagship show with 190 minutes of story. And of course it was on NBC which was often the only channel we could get in up in the North Woods of WI. There were 256 episodes! The show continued until 1990. That is remarkable.

I fondly remember a lot of fantastic classical music associated with the Smurfs cartoon. This was one area that the show was superior in than other programming on Saturdays. I can't help but think of the show when we listen to the Nutcracker during the Holidays.

The interesting thing about the origin of the smurf is that I remember a run of episodes that featured Peewit (pronounced Peewee). It's interesting to discover it was in his stories that the Smurfs first appeared, not the other way around, as we were introduced to Peewit. I don't remember ever seeing Johan in the show, but apparently he was.

Oh, the new live-action film was fine, by the way. There was strange character development with getting too deep into the Papa Smurf and Clumsy character, but that felt necessary for today's films.

On a final note with Smurfs, one episode that sticks with me was the zombie episode- where a smurf gets bitten by the purple fly and infects him. Soon he's hopping around biting other smurfs on the tail shouting "Gnat, Gnat". It's remarkable how zombie-movie that episode really was. I remember feeling so helpless at the end of the episode. It was quite dramatic! The episode is based on the very first Smurfs comic in 1966. That predates the 1968 Night of the Living Dead!

Here's an excellent parody of that episode mashing it up with 28 Weeks Later which is my favorite zombie movie (if it truly could be considered one). It illustrates how similar 28 Weeks and the purple smurf episode are with each other...

Smurf Sighting by n8package
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