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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Saturday Morning - The Smurfs

You know, I was planning on making this an elaborate entry filled with lots and lots of trivia bits, videos, and psychobabble, but instead, I'm going to make this entry short and sweet.

It has nothing really to do with my like or dislike of the Smurfs.  Truth be told, I loved the little blue guys.  The reasons behind the short blog entry for today are strictly personal.

Until recently, right after I posted my entry on Homer Simpson, my Internet connection was lost for a day and a half, and it just now finally came back up.  So, part of the reason why I'm cutting this entry short is because I wanted to make sure that I made my quota of posting one blog entry a day.

I'll make up for it on tomorrow's blog, I promise.

For now, let's talk Smurfs.

Although everyone's first chance meeting with the Smurfs was probably the cartoon series, which aired on NBC from 1981-1989, the Smurfs were created 53 years earlier, on October 23, 1958.

Originating from Belgium, cartoonist Pierre Culliford (who went by the pen name of Peyo) came up with the idea of the Smurfs in a rather unusual way.  He was having dinner with a friend at the Belgian coast and he had wanted his friend to pass him the salt.  For some reason, when Peyo asked for the salt in French, he said to pass the schtroumph.  His friend found it amusing and replied back that when he was done schtroumphing to schtroumph it back.

And, so that's how the name began.  Eventually, the word schtroumph was translated to the word Smurf in the Dutch language, which was adopted into the English language as well.

I could go on and on about all the individual Smurfs, and all the character traits that they were famous for...but considering that there were well over ninety-nine different Smurf characters created, it would take me forever to talk about, so I'll just bring up a few.

Certainly, everyone knows about Papa Smurf, who is the leader of the Smurf community, and who happens to be one of the very few Smurfs to wear red clothing, as opposed to the basic white.  Then there's Smurfette, who happens to be one of the only female Smurfs in the whole community.

That had to make for some awkwardness.

Most of the other Smurfs were named after their personalities, and how they managed to fit those personalities.  You had Clumsy Smurf, who could barely walk in a straight line without breaking something or getting hurt.  There was Painter Smurf and Poet Smurf, two of the more artistic Smurfs in the whole community.  Lazy Smurf really needs no description.  As for Jokey Smurf, well, you can see him in action in this video.

Personally speaking, I would say that I am a combination of Brainy, Poet, Painter, and Jokey all rolled into one.  Intelligent, artistic, crafty, and with a sense of humour.

Though, I'd never send anyone a package with explosives inside of it, because we all know how well it worked out for the Unabomber.

The Smurfs were not without controversy though.  It has been suggested by a couple of writers that because the Smurfs all work together to earn a living and how they run the Smurf village, that the Smurfs have been accused of being communist figures.  One person even took it one step further, and accused the Smurf community as a totalitarian and racist utopia.  Allegations that the son of the creator of the Smurfs, denies.

Regardless of what your feelings are about the Smurfs, they certainly have made their mark on pop culture.  I can remember going to my first grade classroom for Show and Tell, and at least one kid in the class would bring in a Smurf doll.  Usually either Papa Smurf or Smurfette.

Personally, I would have rather had a Gargamel doll, and I know it sounds really strange to admit that, because Gargamel was supposed to be the main antagonist against the Smurf community, but I don't care.  I always kind of liked the guy, and I think that was part of the reason why I adored watching the Smurfs cartoon.  It was nice to see the Smurfs get their way most of the time, but Gargamel was quite hilarious to watch at times.  I'll admit it.

And, speaking of Gargamel, while I haven't seen the live-action film of the Smurfs that came out a few days ago, I did see the clip of Hank Azaria playing the role of Gargamel inside of it.  First off, kudos to make-up and costume designers.  He looked so much like Gargamel, it was unbelievable.

It's hard to say how well the Smurfs will do in the box office, but at least it's nice to know that a new generation of kids will be introduced to the Smurfs.

Here's the trailer for the movie.  Judge for yourselves.

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