What the Smurf is a Smurf?

A Smurf is a magical creature whose body is humanoid in shape, though is very short (said to be "three apples tall") and colored bright blue. Originally, there were exactly 100 Smurfs and nearly all of them looked identical - including most of them wearing white hat and pants (no shirts). They have large noses, ears and feet, four fingers, and tiny little tails that stick out through their pants. Through some magic, nearly all of them are 100 years old and never age. They generally lived in peace in a small village of houses made of mushrooms and eat a variety of foods including smurfberries. Each Smurf in the village has a distinct job or ability that distinguished him from his neighbor. Nearly every one of them is male.

Other Languages

The Smurfs are known throughout the world as various different names. These names are all derived from their original Belgian name, "Schtroumpf":

The Smurf Language

Smurfs have a unique feature of their language in the use of the word "Smurf". This word can be used as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, explicative, interjection, and potentially several other parts of speech. Because of this, it is relatively difficult to define the meaning of the word (though a writeup in "smurf" does a good job), though interestingly enough it is quite easy to determine the meaning from context.

That flower is very smurfy.
Could you smurf me that hammer?
I am feeling very smurfy today.
Quit smurfing around and get to work.
That's the smurfiest book I every read.
Get the smurf over that hill!

Note: Evil Smurfs say GNAP!

History

Making their first appearance on October 23, 1958, the Smurfs were just some secondary characters in a comic strip in an issue of Le Journal de Spirou. The two popular adventurers Johan and Peewit (pronounced Pee Wee) meet up with these curious blue creatures. They quickly became a hit in the printed world, and their popularity spread throughout Belgium, Holland, and later the rest of the world.

The Smurfs slowly began to take over other media, and by 1981, Hanna Barbara purchased the rights in the US to create an animated TV series for NBC. A total of 256 episodes were produced and are shown in over 30 countries today. By 1983, their first movie, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute was made based on their original appearance with Johan and Peewit. After the movie (which itself featured music by the Oscar and Grammy winning Michel Legrand), several musical albums inspired by the Smurfs became hits. In addition figurines, games, plush and other toys were produced, and to this day are collected by fans across the globe. A theme park was even created in their honor in France. Their popularity has since waned in the US, however storybooks, videos, CDs, CD-ROMs, toys, and other Smurf related items are still produced, and they are still very popular in Europe.

Author

Pierre Culliford (better known by his pseudonym, Peyo) was a Belgian cartoonist born in Brussels on June 25, 1928. It is said that after finishing school, he found two jobs listed in the paper - one for a dental assistant and the other for an illustrator. He went to apply for the dental assistant position and was told that the job was given away 15 minutes prior. Lucky for us, he got the position as an illustrator for Le Journal de Spirou.

After their first appearance in 1958, the Smurfs became Peyo's passion. He created hundreds of comic strips and sixteen books based on these tiny creatures. Because of their success, he created his own studio and publishing company. His last book, The Financial Smurf was published in 1992, the year of his death, and the legacy of the Smurfs was passed to his son, Thierry Culliford.

The Word

The original name for the Smurfs was "Schtroumpf". While created in Belgium, the word does not have any meaning in that language (though it sounds like the Belgian word for socks). It is said that Peyo and a colleague, Franquin, were dining out and Peyo wanted him to pass him something, but Peyo could not think of the correct word, so he said "Donne moi le ... Schtroumpf" ("Pass me that... Smurf"). They both had a good laugh about it, but later when he was at a loss for what to call his small blue creatures he thought that word was perfect. Les Schtroumpfs stuck, and so did all the adaptations of the word - including Smurf.

Characters

Smurfs

The Smurfs are aptly described by their names. You can assume that Sleepy Smurf sleeps a lot, and Baker Smurf likes to cook, Grouchy Smurf is a grouch, etc. Because of this, not all Smurfs below will have descriptions.

Not all of the Smurfs are named. You regularly see plain old generic Smurfs in the background scenes.

Baddies

  • Azrael - This is Gargamel's pet cat, and hungers for the Smurfs like his owner.
  • Balthazar - This is Gargamel's godfather. He is actually more evil than Gargamel and a more powerful wizard as well.
  • Bigmouth (or Big Mouth) - While not a true enemy of the Smurfs (he has been known to help them), Bigmouth is an ogre the occasionally causes the Smurfs trouble because of his stupidity.
  • Bignose (or Big Nose) - Bignose is Bigmouth's ugly girlfriend.
  • Chlorhydris - She is an evil witch who is committed to destroying love.
  • Gargamel - Gargamel is the main villain. He is a wizard who regularly tries to capture the Smurfs to use them in a potion to turn iron into gold, although sometime he just wants to eat them.
  • Hogatha -
  • Scruple - Rarely seen, Scruple is Gargamel's evil little apprentice.
  • The Wartmongers - These are a toadlike race that live in the swamps.

Others

  • Feathers - A bird friend of the Smurfs. Looks like a stork.
  • Homnibus - He is a good wizard who spends time with Papa Smurf.
  • Johan - He is page to the king. He rides a horse and first met the Smurfs in the quest for the magic flute.
  • King Gerard - Gerard is a boy-king of the land and friend of the Smurfs. Clockwork Smurf helps protect him.
  • Mother Nature - She changes the seasons and makes sure things are going right in nature. She does all of this through various magic wands.
  • Peewit - He is aid to Johan and rides a goat named Biquette. He is a horrible singer and musician and is extremely vain.
  • Puppy - Puppy was a gift to Papa Smurf from Homnibus, and is helpful against Azrael.

Theme Song

And now for the Smurf theme song!

{Sung by Smurfs in unison}
La la la-la la la,
Sing a happy song.
La la la-la la la,
Smurf your whole day long.

{Whistled}

{Papa Smurf speaks}
Smurf along with me!

{Whistled}

{Papa Smurf speaks}
Simple as can be.

{Sung by Smurfs in unison}
Next time you're feeling blue just let a smile begin,
Happy things will come to you...

{Smurfette speaks}
So smurf yourself a grin!

{Ominous Gargamel music}
{Gargamel speaks}
Oooooo I hate Smurfs!
{Azrael meows}
I'll get you, I'll get all of you if it's the last thing I ever do! Hehehehe!

{Sung by Smurfs in unison}
La la la-la la la,
Now you know the tune,
{Harmony Smurf plays the "la la la-la la la" tune (barely) on his off-key trumpet}
You'll be Smurfing soon!

Other Smurfy Stuff

CST Approved

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