Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Smurfs on DVD

Good news for all you Smurfs fans: it's looking like the complete first season of the Smurfs is going to be released on DVD at some point this year. There's no official announcement yet, but apparently there's a promo on the new Popeye DVD. Jaime J. Weinman has posted the video on his blog. He also ponders what made the Smurfs so popular:

Interesting question is why kids love "The Smurfs." I attribute it to that whole "village" concept, the idea that the Smurfs lived in a secret village whose location was a secret to most non-Smurfs. That taps into kids' longing to have a secret place where adults can't find them and where adult rules don't apply; even though Papa Smurf is sort of an authority figure, it really feels like they're all kids and Gargamel is from the adult world. This concept was so successful that other cheesy '80s kids shows tried to do something similar; remember how on the Pac-Man cartoon, Pac-Man had a secret "power forest" that the villains were always trying to find.

At Cartoon Brew, Jerry Beck posted an image of a temporary tattoo being distributed at the Warner Brothers booth at the San Diego Comic-Con, which confirms that the DVD will be out this year:

The commenters at the Brew -- aside from debating the procreational logistics of a community containing only one female -- seem somewhat ambivalent. Larry T is pleased, though:

Seriously you guys, take a look at the artists’ credit list the next time you watch one of those things- it’s jam-packed full of whomever was held over from H-B studios, WB, and MGM. There’s some pretty funny stuff in there if you watch some of the better ones, especially in the first two seasons.

David Gerstein prefers the Smurfs in their original iteration:

Were the Smurfs’ Hanna-Barbera series their entire body of work, I can’t say I’d be very interested in them. But the Smurfs were earlier in Pierre Culliford’s brilliant series of semi-sophisticated comic albums—Asterix-style stories, even translated to English in the late 1970s by the Asterix team. Some earlier H-B cartoons were dumbed-down versions of the album stories; but the originals included such scenarios as Smurf civil war, Smurf political turmoil, and Smurf drinking binges… no kidding!
(It’s the same story as with Mickey Mouse; once the American public perceives the brand as being for preschoolers, the original version of the characters comes across as almost a dark parody of the version with which more people are familiar.)


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