A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The overall message promotes togetherness and sharing in a cooperative and communal environment, with themes of compassion and teamwork. Most episodes also teach a clear lesson about appropriate behavior, with negative consequences befalling those who deserve it.
Positive Role Models
The Smurfs as a whole value sharing and cooperation. Individually, their personalities are simple and one-dimensional (Grumpy Smurf, Jokey Smurf, etc.), but that's helpful for young viewers who aren't used to complex characters. That said, Smurfette is the only regular female character and is portrayed as stereotypically "feminine," wearing a dress and high heels with long, blonde hair. The sorcerer Gargamel is a blatantly mean, conniving, and selfish villain in his relentless pursuit of the Smurfs although even he, on occasion, must work with them rather than against them.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Smurfs is a classic animated series that promotes togetherness and sharing. Although some skeptics believe the Smurfs' mushroom village is a spoof of communism, kids won't pick up on that possibility. They're much more likely to notice Gargamel's mean personality and relentless pursuit of the Smurfs, which may frighten some very young viewers.
Is It Any Good?
While the show is simplistic, its positive storylines teach kids many valuable lessons. Lessons aside, some interesting rumors have been attached to the series over the years. The most popular is that the series' creators used the show as a way to spread Communist ideas -- the Smurfs' lack of individual identity is one of the main arguments for this theory.
But kids won't care about any of that. They'll enjoy The Smurfs for the sweet, funny characters and their kind acts of sharing and teamwork. Overall, it's a very entertaining show for the younger set. Even if the rumors are true and the series' creators did have ulterior motives, their political messages are displayed in good taste and fly below the radar of all but the most eagle-eyed viewer.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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