The Smurfs - Tiny blue creatures ("only three apples high") created in
1957 by Belgian cartoonist Peyo Culliford who made their first appearance on
October 23, 1958 in a story of Johan & Peewit in Le Journal de Spirou.
these "smurfy" elfin folks debuted in America on the sixty-minute Hanna-Barbera
cartoon THE SMURFS/NBC/1981-90, they became an immediate success.
The Smurfs lived peacefully in a forest in a tiny medieval-like village far from
the prying eyes of civilization. Their only enemies were Gargamel (Paul
Winchell) an evil wizard who tried in vain to capture them with spells from the
"Great Book of Spells" ("So many uncast spells! So many uncaught Smurfs!");
Scruple, his scheming assistant (Brenda Vaccaro); and Azriel, a wicked black cat
(Don Messick). Week after week however, Gargamel's plans to snatch a Smurf were
The Smurfs were guided by the wisdom of their village elder named Papa Smurf
(Don Messick). Like the Seven Dwarfs, each Smurf had a name that reflected some
personal characteristic such as the brainy Brainy (Danny Goldman); strongman
Hefty (Frank Welker); workman Handy (Michael Bell); the greedy Greedy (Hamilton
Camp); the vain Vanity (Alan Oppenheimer); the ill-tempered Grouch (Michael
Bell); and the vivacious Smurfette (Lucille Bliss), the only female in a village
of many male Smurfs.
The series spawned a number of successful specials including
Springtime Special (1982), The Smurfs Christmas Special (1982), My Smurfy
Valentine (1983), The Smurfic Games (1984), Smurfily Ever After (1985), and
the Season to Be Smurfy (1987).
The Smurfs inspired countless dolls, and other promotional tie-ins as well as a
number of copycat series with their own civilizations of little creatures (THE
LITTLES/ABC/1983-86, THE MONCHHICHIS/ABC/1983-84, and TROLLKINS/CBS/1981-82)
TRIVIA NOTE: The idea for the Smurfs cartoon series came about when then NBC
president Fred Silverman saw his young daughter happily playing with a Smurf
doll during a visit to Aspen, Colorado.
Born March 31, 1916, Lucille Bliss who performed the voice of Smurfette was
still actively working as a voice artist as she turned 90 years of age in 2006.
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