Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Movie Review: The Smurfs Christmas Special

The Smurfs Christmas Special is one of those Christmas movies that have been with me from the beginning. Even though I'm sure it wasn't immediately one of our family Christmas movies, I can't remember a Christmas from my childhood when I didn't watch it. The Smurfs originally got their start in France as Les Schtroumpfs.[1] They were such popular characters that they were eventually exported to the rest of the world. In English we call them the Smurfs, but they've picked up a variety of names elsewhere:

al-Snafer (Arabic—السنافر)na Štrumfovite (Macedonian—на Штрумфовите)
Pottokiak (Basque)Smurfene (Norwegian)
Štrumpfovi (Bosnian and Croatian)a Smurfha (Persian—اسمورف‌ها)
els Barrufets (Catalan)Smerfy (Polish)
lán Jīnglíng (Chinese—藍精靈 or 蓝精灵)os Estrumpfes (Portuguese)
Šmoulové (Czech)Ștrumf (Romanian)
Smølferne (Danish)Smurfi (Russian—Смурфы)
de Smurfen (Dutch and Flemish)Štrumfovi (Serbian—Штрумфови)
Smurffit (Estonian and Finnish)Šmolkovia (Slovak)
Shtrump’ebi (Georgian—შტრუმფები)Smrkci (Slovenian)
Die Schlümpfe (German)los Pitufos (Spanish)
ta Stroumfákia (Greek—Τα Στρουμφάκια)        Smurferna (Swedish)
ha-Dardasiym (Hebrew—הדרדסים)Smeir̒f (Thai—สเมิร์ฟ)
a Törpökről (Hungarian)Şirinler (Turkish)
Strumparnir (Icelandic)Smurfy (Ukranian—Смурфи)
i Puffi (Italian)Kwayf (Urdu—کوائف)
Sumāfu (Japanese—スマーフ)Xì Trum (Vietnamese)
Seumeopeu (Korean—스머프)diy Smorfs (Yiddish—די סמורפס)

My verdict: As with Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer [2], it's bizarre than anyone ever thought of these guys—a village of all-male (until Gargamel created Smurfette), little blue [3] people, who each have one overdeveloped personality trait and all wear pants and a Phrygian cap, but no shirts and live in mushrooms. But there's no denying it was fun to watch as a kid. As an adult I can still watch this Christmas special with pleasure, but I probably couldn't go back to watching the series. It sounds like the voice actors for the Smurfs had someone tightly gripping their voice box, almost choking them. The movie has a good moral and a satisfying conclusion. It's even a little stirring when Gargamel joins with the Smurfs to help them defeat the unnamed purple-cloaked wizard (who, just like the villain in Frosty the Snowman [4], looks jaundiced).

One more thing. This time around I noticed that the note left by the children's uncle is in Cyrillic letters. The best I could do transcribing it was:
ЦвóЦяп Ж Тли
Ш ьбКИ обı
геДıӤ жаóб
Цялé ӏ ЯЛ
Робп олї ӏр
Дпӏó ӥж
This is gibberish, but that may be due, in part, to the poor quality of the image and my unfamiliarity with Cyrillic letters. I welcome suggestions for a proper transliteration or translation.


[1] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smurfs#Johan et Pirlouit.

[2] Read my review here.

[3] This is not due to argyria. But see http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=5843725 (due to his blue skin and white beard, Paul Karason is often called Papa Smurf).

[4] Read my review here.

Image attributions:

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) Mushrooms is by Thergothon, available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amanita muscaria fruit bodies.jpg.

Screenshots of A Smurf Christmas are © 1982 Hanna-Barbera Productions, all rights reserved. They are used here for informative purposes only. This copyright notice supersedes the Creative Commons license applied to the rest of the blog post.

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