[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

I try not to go back to shows that ran for multiple seasons, preferring to focus only on the shows that premiered each year. But this... this deserves special mention. For this, the 985 season of The Smurfs, was the season that the Smurfs Jumped The Shark; the show started it's downward spiral here and never recovered.

The culprits, as is often the case with shows that Jump The Shark, was the inclusion of children and animals.

"The Smurflings" were a group of adult Smurfs who had been de-aged by Father Time's clock running backwards, and a little girl Smurf created the same way Smurfette had been made, only using less magical clay. Long story short - The Smurfs was now a show about dealing with these young Smurfs, rather than a show about the Smurfs themselves.

Also joining the cast this season was "Puppy", a thousand-year-old dog who remained young due to the magic locket he wears on his dog collar.
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

Sheesh! Are there ANY new cartoons of 1984 that DON'T have some crazy story behind them?

In 1984, NBC kicked off their official broadcast Saturday morning with a half-hour of The Snorks at 8:00. The most successful of all the Smurfs knock-offs, The Snorks are the product of underhanded business dealings, Dutch pop-star negotiations and an honest-to-gosh 3-minute LOST TREASURE OF THE 80'S!

You can blame Freddy Monnickendam.

Freddy was a Belgian businessman, plain and simple, who negotiated the rights for Father Abraham (real name: Pierre Kartner, a well known and respected Dutch performer) to sing "The Smurf Song":


This negotiation (which proved to be quite financially agreeable for all parties involved) lead to Freddy Monnickendam becoming THE GUY who negotiated all of the Smurfs merchandising beyond the comics. Freddy is the reason we have a Smurfs cartoon!

Freddy is also the reason we have a Trollkins cartoon :(

Remember back in the write-up of The Trollkins where I told the tale of Peyo seeing the finished committee-aproved version of The Smurfs (aka "Trollkins") and he reportedly said "That is a very nice cartoon, and I can hardly wait to see what you can do with a GOOD concept like my Smurfs"? FREDDY MONNICKENDAM WAS THE GUY ON PEYO'S SIDE OF THINGS WHO TOLD HANNAH-BARBERA THAT THE TROLLKINS VERSION WAS OKAY AND TO GO AHEAD WITH IT!!!

Freddy was the first executive producer of The Smurfs, but Peyo wanted the Smurf cartoons to be as faithful as possible to the world he had created in his comics, and Monnickendam preferred to make the cartoons more "mainstream" - (aka "Scrappy-Dooified"). This led to fast deterioration of relations between the two men, ending in court cases about the division of the rights and the money involved.

Freddy was pretty open about how he though Peyo was foolish to not allow these big, important American Marketing Executives to make The Smurfs in to something that would be a sure-fire hit (like "Trollkins"), and if HE owned The Smurfs, out-right, he could -

Hang on. A light bulb of villainous ingenuity appeared over Freddy's head, his eyes turned in to dollar signs, and he rubbed his hands together in sheer delight at the awesomeness of his evil plan...

He hired an artist/designer by the name of... crap. Can't remember his name. Freddy hired a guy who took the smurfs, replaced the heads and put them underwater. Freddy rushed this concept right along. Now that he had connections at Hannah-Barbera, he was able to push this concept through production and create a three-minute "Pilot" that, although it is on production schedules and notes and was paid for through billing and was well received by the test groups according to the reports, NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN IT OR KNOWS WHERE IT IS.

Little tiny bit of it (about 15 seconds total) showed up on the NBC Saturday Morning Preview Show that year, but that's it. It's a bonafide lost treasure of The 80's :)

Freddy maneuvered quickly, buying up all the rights to The Snorks and just waiting for the Smurfs-like money to come rolling in.

So now you know the secret behind The Snorks; created out of spite by a Belgian businessman to try and teach a nice cartoonist a lesson :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

CLICK HERE TO JOIN US LIVE RIGHT NOW!!! Remember, this is our first time using the LiveStream service, so be sure to give us plenty of feedback! You'll probably have to sign up for a LiveStream account, so be prepared. I did the "Log In Using Facebook" option and had no problems, so HOORAY there's a use for Facebook!

If you're having problems of any kind and can't get through to us on the LiveStream chat, feel free to leave a comment here or on any of today's watch-along posts, I'll be checking on a regular basis throughout the day.

See you there :)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

(Sorry for the poor sound quality, it was the only ORIGINAL 1981 OPENING with the voice-over that I could find)

Saturday morning at 8:30 in 1981, NBC and Hanna-Barbera made history with the debut of The Smurfs. What can I tell you that isn't already common knowledge (to people like us) about this show? Fred Silverman (President of NBC at the time) had bought a Smurf doll while on vacation in Colorado (the toys started hitting US shelves as early as 1976) and Fred thought "Hey, I'll bet that would make a good cartoon".

Anybody else know any good stories about The Smurfs?
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

By the time this season aired, The Smurfs had become somewhat of a joke. The kids who had grown up seeing the first episodes were now too old for such a "Baby Cartoon" and so most of us (like me) never gave this season a chance. Which of course is a crying SHAME, since it took a decidedly sci-fi turn and went in to the subject of TIME TRAVEL!


I have never actually watched an episode from this season of the Smurfs, but in my head it's already the best season ever :)

Agree or disagree? Leave some words in the comments below for the purpose of open discussion, and maybe even vote up this show in our Best Of 1989/1990 Poll!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com
Feel free to post your pictures from our last Saturday Morning Historical Reenactment here! Behind the cut are a few pictures of my family and I playing our vintage Smurfs game while watching The Smurfs... this game was much funner than I had ever thought a 1980's cartoon-based board game could be :)

Picture Heavy under the cut )
[identity profile] mizra.livejournal.com
I dunno about you guys, but I had such a great time this morning watching my childhood all over again. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] aurora77 and [livejournal.com profile] captain_slinky for putting this together and to all the people who came out and chatted on IRC and re-lived the memories of a great Saturday Morning growing up. Feel free to share around. Just don't hot-link, please.

[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

1985 saw the introduction of THE SMURFLINGS to the cast of The Smurfs because EVERYTHING in the 80's needed a kid or baby version of it in order to be popular. Lucky for us, The Smurflings didn't entirely suck and actually added a new layer to the show that helped it prosper for years to come!

Leave a few kind words about The Smurflings here, and if you're really inclined you could even go vote for their first season in our Best of 1985 Poll!
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

I'm putting up a special Fan Page for Season 3 of The Smurfs because this was the first season that I remember where they did something that was a HUGE "Game Changer" of a move; they introduced BABY SMURF.

I think my favorite part of the episode is when Brainy Smurf asks Smurfette if the baby is hers... *awk-waaaaaaaaard*! And when Grouchy says "I *hate* Babies!", I always expect there to be a knowingly tell-tale glance between Smurfette and Grouchy ;)
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

According to our polls so far, it seems that EVERYBODY loves The Smurfs (Your mileage may vary, no purchase necessary, see store for details). So in the name of SCIENCE and in the name of HISTORICAL ACCURACY, please vote for which season/plot development is your favorite. This will have an effect on our September 3rd Watch-along, so vote wisely!

[Poll #1766159]
[identity profile] captain-slinky.livejournal.com

This is The Smurfs opening credits as it was seen by bajillions of us when it premiered in the USA waaaaaaaaay back in 1981. Comment here with your favorite Smurf memories, and then if it's your favorite don't forget to go vote for it in our Best of 1981 Poll!


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1980's Saturday Morning Historical Preservation Society

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