The Smurfs might have started out as comic book characters but they quickly evolved beyond print. Just look at The Smurfs gaming history, for example, to see how well those loveable blue gnomes are ingrained in the videogame industry. As for The Smurfs movie appearances, these are nowhere near as prolific. But with The Smurfs at 65 years and counting, the franchise continues to remain strong.
As it’s the 65th anniversary of The Smurfs it seems only right to look back over the filmography, seeing how the animation has developed and the A-list stars projects now attract. And make no mistake, there’s more to come. In the next couple of years, even a musical has been touted.
The Smurfs at the movies
Even with all their comic book, television and videogame appearances, The Smurfs have only appeared in four, true feature-length films. Not counting 1965 short Les Aventures des Schtroumpfs, the “three-apples” tall Smurfs had their first theatrical adventure in 1975. Called The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, this was based on the original cartoon created by Pierre Culliford (aka Peyo), in 1958.
Not seen it? Watch the whole movie below!
21st Century Smurfs
As surprising as it may seem, there were no more The Smurfs movies for the rest of the 20th century. It wasn’t until Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures’ The Smurfs in 2011 that they graced the big screen again.
Giving the franchise a modern makeover, the film was a live-action adaption. Featuring Neil Patrick Harris, Sofia Vergara and Hank Azaria (as Gargamel), the film was set in New York City. While it wasn’t well-received by critics The Smurfs still went on to gross $564 million worldwide, making it Sony Pictures Animation’s most commercially successful film to date.
Hence why The Smurfs 2 came along in 2013. With Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria reprising their roles, the movie also welcomed for the first time Katy Perry, Christina Ricci and Brendon Gleeson. The Smurfs 2 is based in Paris, France, with Gargamel creating evil Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties.
Sony did plan on continuing the franchise into The Smurfs 3, another live-action/animated mashup. However, that was cancelled, rebooting the series again with an entirely animated project. That turned out to be Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017), with Demi Lovato, cast as Smurfette and Rainn Wilson (The Office) voicing Gargamel.
The Smurfs bit parts
They’ve also appeared in numerous TV movies over the years, most recently in The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol (2011) and The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow (2013). And a few more below:
- The Smurfs Springtime Special (1982)
- The Smurfs Christmas Special (1982)
- Here are the Smurfs (1984)
Future Smurfs Roles
Currently, there’s only one confirmed Smurfs movie in production, and as mentioned, it is going to be a musical. Originally announced at the beginning of 2022, The Smurfs musical does have an official name just yet but it is being developed by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation. Chris Miller is directing (The Lego Movie) with South Park’s Pam Brady on writing duties.
A release date of 20th December 2024 was first slated but not that’s been pushed back to 14th February 2025. No details regarding the plot have been revealed at present.
With The Smurfs now in Paramount’s hands plans on releasing a wave of projects, so keep an eye out for more blue gnomes running around your screens in the future.
Which is your favourite The Smurfs movie? Let us know in the comments below.