The Dark Blue Side of Smurfs

Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by these adorable blue goblins with the white hats and the holes cut in the asses of their pants so that their cute little button tails can protrude. They were the creation of Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford ( who went by the nom de plume Peyo ) and originally appeared as supporting characters in the “Johan and Peewit” comics, where they were called “Schtroumpfs.” Once the European merchandising mill kicked in, Hanna-Barbera entered the Smurf business and ended up producing 256 episodes of the Saturday morning cartoon that we all know and love. Nickelodeon is currently producing a CGI Smurf movie to coincide with the 50th anniversary of these merry mushroom dwellers only “three apples tall.” Still, some troubling questions remain…

Are The Smurfs Commies?

The rumours have been circulating for years and, I must admit, the evidence is quite compelling. Smurfs all dress the same ( Mao suits anyone? ), they all have assigned jobs in the community ( Farmer Smurf, Poet Smurf, Painter Smurf, etc. ), and there has been no indication of a Smurf currency. Also, they rally behind Papa Smurf ( didn’t they call Joseph Stalin Papa? ) a red-hatted Karl Marx lookalike who tells them exactly what to do and when to do it. Some housebound lunatic with way to much reading-into-things time on his hands came up with this: SMURF as an acronym for Socialist Men Under Red Father. If this “mushroom and sickle” scenario is accepted, Gargamel and his lust for gold easily become hateful symbols of Capitalist greed.

How Do Smurfs Reproduce?

Every serious Smurf buff knows that Smurfette was originally sent by Gargamel to sow seeds of dissent in the fungi-rimmed Utopia of Smurfville. Papa Smurf intervened, and with a little splash of alchemy, he turned her into the blond, pump-wearing hottie that every male Smurf wants to “smurf” all night long. I had a theory that Smurfs might lay eggs, but a quick perusal of the Official Smurf Website tells me different: Smurfs have always been the same age that they are now. Baby Smurf, for instance, will always be an infant and will never achieve toilet independence – and, for the record, Baby Smurf was dropped off by a stork. Storks bring Smurfs. As for the attainment of carnal delights outside of the procreative arts, well there’s 99 guys and one girl – you figure it out.

Why Do So Many Of The Smurfs Exhibit Signs of Mental Illness?

The easy answer would be that they’re strung out on mushrooms, but, no, we must probe further into this tragic condition in which a tiny village is afflicted with every variety of psychological disorder imaginable. You have the Narcissist ( Vanity Smurf ), the Narcoleptic ( Lazy Smurf ), the Extreme Negativist ( Grouchy Smurf ), the Codependent Control Freak ( Brainy Smurf ), and the Sociopath ( Jokey Smurf, who sets off bombs in other Smurf’s faces for fun! ) One of Peyo’s original comics was called “The Aviator Smurf,” which makes me think of a smurf that suffers from germ phobia and stores his urine in bottles.

Do Smurfs Serve Satan?

Not per se – no. Back in 1983, Puerto Rico was gripped by an anti-Smurf hysteria. Smurfs were accused of promoting black magic, and certain people of touch-and-go sanity began to see them everywhere: leering in flower beds, running across people’s faces at night, and sacrificing baby mice on altars made of match-boxes. But it turns out it wasn’t the Smurfs that were to blame, it was The Snorks!

Was Smurfville Subjected To “Shock and Awe” By The American Air Force?

A 2005 Belgian UNICEF commercial, which aired only after 9pm to prevent shaking, incoherent school-kids the next day, showed the Smurf village getting leveled by some pretty serious firepower. Only Baby Smurf was left by the end, wailing in the midst of bloody blue carnage. The ad was approved by Peyo’s estate, was designed to raise money for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi and the Congo, and ended with the admonishment: “Don’t let war affect the lives of children.” Handy Smurf and Hefty Smurf managed to get to a flak cannon and took out three or four of the sons-of-bitches but it was all for naught.

There’s no doubt that Smurf life is shrouded in mystery. You cannot get to a Smurf village unless a Smurf leads you there. This explains why Gargamel’s entire life is an exercise in futility. Smurfs can indeed befuddle the mind and damage the spirit. Even their creator, Peyo, was incensed by the fact that he had to keep drawing Smurfs for a public hungry for blue whimsy. He would much rather they embraced his other cartoon creations: Benoit Brisefer and Poussy. They aren’t as popular as they were in the 80’s, but they’re still in the game. Smurfly Smurfarific!

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