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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
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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.
Talk to your kids 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?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
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