The Smurfs In: The Littlest Witch / All Hallows Eve

Everyone watched the Smurfs now and then when I was a kid - there was just no getting around it. I was never a huge fan, but
I probably saw juat about every episode. I'll refrain from making easy jokes about using "smurf" as a verb/swear word, though I WILL point out that these guys are commies - not the RED had on the leader, and consider the acronym "Socialist Minion Under Red Father."

Actually, the rumor that went around down South was that the smurfs were not socialists, but SATANISTS. "Smurf," so the legend went, was another word for "Demon" in some language or another. The evil Gargamel represented God, their enemy. His cat WAS named Azrael, the name of the Angel of Death. When I lived in Georgia, I actually knew people who weren't allowed to watch The Smurfs because of this. I, of course, managed to watch the show without coming a devil worshipper. It was Twisted Sister that converted me (just kidding - stop the emails, please).

Anyway, there were a couple of Halloween episodes, the most notable of which is certainly "All Hallows Eve," which first aired on November 5th, a few days AFTER Halloween, in 1983 (years before The Simpsons made November airings of Halloween specials a standard). "All Hallows Eve" was a full 22 minutes long.

Here, Mother Nature (voiced by June Foray, who was Hazel the Witch in the Donald Duck "Trick or Treat" short, as well as HUNDREDS of other cartoon voices) needs to turn all of the leaves red in order for Halloween to come. Halloween, as it happens, is also Gargamel's birthday, as well as the birthday of that smurf who always gives people bombs. Meanwhile, there's a witch on the loose, looking forward to frightening the children. "Maybe they'll cry! Sometimes it takes years for the little ones to get over it! Sometimes they NEVER get over it!....Let them hand out their garlic, let them say their prayers, but there is no warding off Hogatha, the witch!" Man, the villains on this show were hard-CORE.

Mother Nature goes around making leaves red and accidentally turns a smurf red (cough - commie!) in the process. She's awfully sorry, but not half as sorry as the smurf, who is mortified. But mother nature only has her red wand, and can't turn him back to blue with that. There's nothing to be done until later - next spring, at the latest. The Smurf is so sad that he decides he can't go home again, lest he be laughed at. You can kind of see the lesson coming.

In order to cause the smurfs pain, Gargamel makes it rain, which strikes several people as suspicious. After all, it's not supposed to rain on Halloween OR a Smurf's birthday, and the fact that one smurf (the red one) is missing the party doesn't go unnoticed, and they organize a search party. The witch crash-lands at Gargamel's feet, adn the two get into an argument over which of them gets to kill the red smurf. Gargamel is especially intrigued by all the interesting ways he could cook such an unusual smurf - he considers drying him and grinding him into chili powder, while the witch wants to simply saw him in half and split him up. Once again, the villains in this show were hard-CORE.

Of course, I always sort of wanted Gargamel to win. I always sort of feel bad for cartoon and comic book villains when their best laid plans go awry. He loses here, of course, and the red smurf is accepted by his brethren, who don't laugh at him at all. Mother Nature makes a deal with Father Time and turns him blue again. He doesn't really learn much of a lesson about how it's okay to be red, though.

The other Halloween episode is The Littlest Witch. Here, the worst student at a school for witches tries to prove herself. Sound familiar? I suppose I should point out that this pre-dates The Worst Witch by several years. So this is like that, only Tim Curry doesn't get a music video - not even a cameo - and the Smurfs ending up teaching the worst witch how to be good instead of evil. It could've used a Tim Curry cameo.

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