Back in the 1980s, an unlikely colony of bright blue, cute, elf-like creatures soared to international success through a hit television animated series that aired on Saturday mornings. Created by the Belgian artist Pierre Culliford, under the pseudonym Peyo, as a magazine comic in 1958, “The Smurfs” would go on to earn billions in merchandising, becoming one of the most successful and longest running cartoons produced by the prominent American studio pair of directors, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.

The English term “smurf” comes from the original Dutch translation of the French “Les Schtroumpfs,” a winning concept invented during a meal Peyo was having with a colleague, in which, having suddenly forgotten the word for “salt,” Peyo improvised and asked him to please pass the “schtroumpf” instead. The delighted pair continued joking in the “schtroumpf” language and a new vocabulary evolved, launching the strip long before the age and stage of Trump.

“Smurfs” are big in online and social gaming, with about 100 distinctive, nearly all male characters, bearing names based on adjectives that emphasise certain characteristics, such as “Jokey, Hefty, Brainy, Grouchy, Clumsy, Greedy, Vanity, Handy, Scaredy, Sloppy and Dopey.” The “Flying or Aviator Smurf’s” sole passion is to try and take to the skies, by sticking feathers on his arms, using a hot-air balloon and even devouring a yeast mixture, but all fails until he gets help from “Handy Smurf,” who builds him a big wooden mechanical airplane  There are several Sony films, a 3D-animated children’s television series scheduled for 2020 and popular “Smurf” smartphone games specifically targeting young women unfazed by the lone major female persona, “Smurfette.”….

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