Smurf Village or Hitler's Berlin? Same thing, posits one new book.
French sociologist and author Antoine Buéno asserts in "Le Petit Livre Bleu," or, "The Little Blue Book," that the seemingly friendly little blue creatures living a mostly idyllic existence are actually packed with racial propaganda and are, "the embodiment of a totalitarian utopia, steeped in Stalinism and Nazism".
The comics, created by Belgian artist Peyo, were first introduced in a Belgian newspaper in 1958; by 1960, they had their own comic strip, and it was off to the races. The animated series, produced by Hanna Barbera, was launched in 1981.
As relayed by Todaysxm.com, Buéno says that Papa Smurf, the leader of the village, is an authoritarian figure, and that their lack of private property and collective-style economy is a clear nod to socialism. Meanwhile, their enemy seems Jewish: Gargamel, the monster that haunts the village, matches negative Jewish caricatures and his cat's name is Azrael, the French author writes, while Smurfette, for a long time the only female in the village, is a vision of aryan perfection.
Buéno, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, touched on what he perceives as their blue racism.
"The first comic strip, 'The Black Smurfs,' was intimately concerned with what you might classify as a racial threat," he said. "Because in that album, the smurfs are sick. And when they're sick, they don't turn purple or red or anything like that, they become black. And when they become black, they lose all trace of intelligence. THey become completely moronic. And further more, they can no longer speak, they just go 'nyap nyap nyap.'"
The black part is indeed true; US publishers refused to publish the first Smurfs book for that reason, and years later, the sick Smurfs were recolored to purple.
Responding to Flemish paper Der Morgen, Thierry Culliford, son of Peyo and current head of Studio Peyo, said (via Forbidden Planet) the accusations were, "between the grotesque and the not serious."