This is a discursive analysis of the television programme The Smurfs, created by Peyo, and first aired during the greater part of the eighties. In other words, it is an analysis of some of the socio-political themes I have noticed in the show.?#060;/FONT>
The Smurfs is a unique programme. It is, first and foremost, a cartoon, and as such it is aimed at children. The discussion could end there, however, unlike many other cartoons, or indeed other television programmes, The Smurfs is about an entire society and its interactions with itself and with outsiders, rather than the adventures of just a few characters. Hence I believe it is, in short, a political fable, in much the same way that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a fable about Christianity. Rather than Christianity, however, The Smurfs is about Marxism.
I am not accusing The Smurfs of being some kind of subversive kiddie propaganda - although if it was, would it really be that much worse than the spate of 'toyetic' cartoons of the same decade that only existed to sell plastic toys? In any case, this essay should be seen as the highest kind of praise.
What other childrens' shows would address the issue of Marxism in such a way, and at such a pivotal point in the history of the Cold War? The Smurfs should be praised for using metaphor and the device of the fairy tale to introduce children to political themes. If Peyo was a socialist, however, he was obviously not the sort who had much time for the version of it practiced by the Soviet Union and other Eastern bloc police states. He was a utopian. There is a distinct lack of any kind of army or police in the Smurf Village. On...