60 years? That's worth a smurf!
The Smurfs are sixty years old. Since their first appearance in 1958, their popularity has by far eclipsed their little Smurf village.
Readers were first introduced to the little blue creatures in October 1958. As side-figures in the comic strip series Johan and Peewit, they first turned up in the story ‘The Smurfs and the Magic Flute’.
Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs, quickly noticed that the strange little creatures were very popular with the readers of the Spirou comic. Not long after their debut, they received their own comic strip and the Smurf empire gradually began to grow. Animated films were made in the eighties by the American film studio Hanna-Barbera, which lifted the Smurfs to worldwide acclaim.
They are still full of life even after sixty years. The innumerable translations, recent feature-length films, merchandising and theme parks in Dubai, Malaysia, Russia and the US are proof of this. And Ketnet, the Flemish public service broadcaster's children's channel, is currently working on a new 3D animation film series that will air on TV in 2020.
The Smurfs have blossomed into international icons and universally loved ambassadors of Belgium. For those who feel like celebrating that in this anniversary year, the Brussels Expo is putting on an exhibition called ‘The Smurf Experience’, running until early 2019.