The Smurfs TV Poster Image

The Smurfs

Little blue gnomes share, care, and learn.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

What's the story?

THE SMURFS is a now-classic cartoon series about a community of little blue gnome-like creatures who work together to keep their mushroom village running smoothly and stay out of the clutches of evil wizard Gargamel and his cat, Azrael. The hit series had a successful run on NBC's Saturday morning line-up from 1981-1990 and now airs in reruns on Boomerang. The Smurfs' kid-friendly adventures teach some worthwhile lessons. For instance, when Brainy Smurf turns himself into a real monster for Halloween the other Smurfs feel it's unfair, so Brainy turns everyone into monsters -- much to the dismay of Papa Smurf, who wanted them all to put in the time and effort required to make a real costume. In the end, the Smurfs learn that cheating and taking short cuts are less rewarding in the long run.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about being part of a group in The Smurfs. How does working together help the Smurfs succeed?

  • Should you always do what the group says, or are there times when it's better to think for yourself? How can you tell the difference?

  • What would your name be if you were a Smurf?

  • How do the characters in The Smurfs demonstrate compassion and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:September 12, 1981
Cast:Don Messick, Frank Welker
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship
Character strengths:Compassion, Teamwork
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Smurfs was written by

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Kid, 8 years old April 9, 2008


THE SMURFS ARE AWSOME!!! they are cute too
Teen, 15 years old Written bymoviegeek April 9, 2008

Who doesn't love the Smurfs???

Kid, 12 years old August 24, 2011

Who doesn't love the Smurfs?

What other families should know
Great messages