The Courier-Mail June 23, 2011 12:01AM
EVERY dog supposedly has his day. And so do Smurfs. To correspond with the birthday of its creator, Peyo, this Saturday will mark Global Smurf Day.
Fans in costumes will attend events in cities such as Mexico, Athens, London and New York, painting their skin blue and putting on the white hat and shoes.
Organisers are hoping for a Guinness World Record to truly celebrate the occasion.
Also in Smurf news is the success Apple has had since releasing its Smurf Village app.
The free app enables users to create their very own village full of those quirky-blue characters.
There is also a Smurf 3D movie, which will premiere on July 29.
It is likely to breed a new generation of Smurf fans, ensuring the classic animation never dies.
Sadly, Australian fans will need to be patient because the movie won’t be shown here until September.
To prepare yourself for Global Smurf Day, here are 10 facts you might want to drop into a conversation. Or not.
ALL THE GEN ABOUT AN IDEA THAT SPAWNED 300 MILLION LITTLE GUYS:
1. The word Smurf was created in what is known as the salt-shaker story. Peyo, the creator, was on vacation with the Franquin family enjoying a meal. Peyo asked across the table, “please pass me the, the, the, the smurf there”. The rest is history.
2. Kellogg’s released the first Smurf merchandise as a promotional item in 1960. When the promotion finished, Peyo decided to continue production of the figurines. Today, more than 300 million have been sold.
3. Papa Smurf is the leader of the brigade, full of magic and wisdom. He is the Smurf to see when in need.
4. A black and white animation titled The Smurfs and the Magic Flute was released in 1975 to cinemas in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
5. Peyo was born in 1928. He studied illustration in Brussels, developing the show when he was 30 years old.
6. Smurfette was originally brought to the village to wreak havoc but Papa Smurf used magic, making her part of the group. She was also the only female member of the cast for much of its duration.
7. Unicef used the Smurfs in an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging Belgians to donate to charity. During the ad they were bombed, Smurfette was left for dead and Babysmurf was seen crying.
8. Hanna-Barbera produced 272 episodes over eight continuous seasons.
9. NBC played a role in making the show a worldwide success. A chairman’s granddaughter was so taken with a toy Smurf she had, it eventually led to the network broadcasting the show. It went on to claim 42 per cent of Saturday morning television audiences in the US.
10. Gargamel is the evil sorcerer who is the Smurfs’ prime nemesis. He is always plotting and scheming with the help of his trustee sidekick Scruple and his cat Azrael.