17 Jan 2008


As it happens quite often you are the last one to know what happens in your own country ! Yesterday I was asked by my Canadian Blog friend Tossing Pebbles in the Stream if I would write something about the 50th anniversary of the Smurfs. I was flabbergasted ! I hadn't heard anything about it. I asked my friends, they ignored it too. Finally I found it on the Belgian Homepage !

13 things about the Smurfs

1. This year "The Smurfs" will celebraty their 50 anniversary

2. They were published for the first time in Belgium in a magazine named "Spirou" in 1958.

3. Their creator was Peyo, a Belgian comics artist born in Brussels on 25 juin 1928. His real name was Pierre Culliford

4. He named himself Peyo because his little cousin couldn't pronounce his name Pierre and had called him Payo instead.

5. The merchandising of the Smurfs began in 1959, with the PVC figurines as the most important aspect until the late 1970s.

6. the Smurfs achieved more international success, with a new boom in toys and gadgets. Some of these reached the United States, where Hanna-Barbera created a Saturday morning animated series in 1981.

7. The original name of the Smurfs is the "Schtroumpfs"

8. "Schtroumpf" is an invented word. The pronunciation of "Schtroumpf" in French is quite similar to the German word "Strumpf" (English "sock"), but there is no indication that this is more than a coincidence.

9. According to Peyo, the word came to him as he asked a friend for "salt" during lunch and, struggling to find the word that eluded him, finally managed to say "passe-moi le schtroumpf" ("pass me the smurf").

10. all the characters look quite alike — male, very short (just "three apples tall"), with blue skin, white trousers with a hole for their short tails, and a white hat. Sometimes some additional accessory identifies their personality. (For instance, Handy Smurf wears overalls instead of the standard trousers, a brimmed hat, and a pencil above his ear).

11. The smurfs fulfill simple archetypes of everyday people: Lazy Smurf, Grouchy Smurf, Brainy Smurf, and so on. All smurfs but Papa, Baby, Nanny and Grandpa are said to be 100 years old, and there are normally 100 smurfs (but this number increases as new smurf characters appear: smurflings, Nanny, etc).

12. The Smurfs also speak a special smurf language. The smurfs replace enough nouns and verbs in everyday speech with smurf as to make their conversations barely understandable: "We're going smurfing on the River Smurf today." And I smurf my Thursday Thirteen today.

13. The festivities for this anniversary will start in the next few days in Belgium. A "Schtroumpf" home page in several languages has been opened here.

This is the original version of the Smurf/Schtroumpf song


MondaythroughSunday said...
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MondaythroughSunday said...

I used to watch the smurfs when I was a kid. I did not realize where it originated..so learned a lot from your list!

pussreboots said...

I knew 11 of your 13 facts but I'm blown away by them turning 50. WOW. Happy TT.

Cheerio said...

That was interesting. Actually I like the smurfs. My son had a toy before with plenty of smurfs aboard a ship.]

Malcolm said...

Earlier this week I read about the 50th anniversary of The Smurfs. Your TT reminded me of how they often replaced nouns and verbs with variations of the word "smurf". Thanks for including the clip of the orig. version of the theme song. Have a Smurfy TT!

Tiffany Aller said...

I can just see it now...I'm going to be humming the theme song to the Smurfs all night and tomorrow...ARGH! Darn you! Seriously, what a cute post to do - bravo! Happy TT!

Nicholas said...

Forgive me! I always thought they were French! But at least I knew that my childhood hero, Tintin, is Belgian.

Hootin' Anni said...

You really did your homework on this Gattina! I never could understand the fascination of the little blue guys....but then again, I never understood the hoopla over a flush toilet either. rofl

Happy Thursday.

Flip Flop Floozie said...

I learned a lot from this post!! I did not know that they started in Belgium!! Hm!! Thanks for the list now I know something NEW today.
Also thanks for stopping by. I have been so busy working. I need to come by more often.


Sandy Carlson said...

Who knew the blue dudes are 50! Wow. They don't show their age at all. Thanks for this one, Gattina. I enjoyed it very much.

jenn said...

I have thought about smurfs in ages! I used to collect them as a kid.
Happy tt!

Jeanette said...

G'Day Gattina. Wow the Smurfs are 50.
Thanks for the storyon were they were orginated from.
My children used to collect the smurfs every time we bought Petrol (Gas) at certain service stations two was handed out free and you could pick the ones you wanted to add to collection so you didnt double up on any .I only gave them away a few years ago. take care Jen

The Mocha Mom said...

What great memories reading this TT. My sister would love this post- she is a smurfaholic! I am up too.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

From all the comments, it seems the Smurfs have their smurfin' fans. When my beard frosts up when the temperature reaches -25C or lower, I call myself "papa Smurf". Well! it used to be funny to my young son.

I too had thought Tintin was French. Shame on me. He was the creation of another Belgian, George Remi.

Lazy Daisy said...

I remember watching the Smurf cartoon with my kids. Who knew they were 50 years old. (Now I'm suddenly feeling very old!)

Melli said...

WOW! We learn something new every day! I did NOT know that Smurfs originated in BELGIUM!!! I do remember LOVING them when I was little! Especially wise old Papa Smurf! GREAT post Gattina!

It is SNOWING here today! Right now it's just flurries... I'm hoping it stays that way! ;)

Lifecruiser said...

I agree, it's Belgian! When they showed it here in the eighties I never liked them, perhaps because I already was grown up ;-)

Though nowadays I can at least admire the creative side of them, coming up with something so very special!

betty said...

we had a kitten we named gargamel. it wasn't until the cat was nearly a year old that someone told us Azreal was the cat on the smurfs lol.

Linda said...

Ugh, my son loved Smurfs back in the early 80s. We have since come to loathe that smurfy theme song.... 50 years huh? Who knew!?

Pamela said...

That's enough smurf info to make me Blue in the Face.