Happy 50th Smurfday

January 15, 2008 6:05:34 AM PST
You'd think being 50 years old, they would have faded from blue to maybe light blue.

Not the Smurfs. They stay blue -- and ageless.

The Smurfs marked their half-century of Smurfdom with sarsaparilla juice and Smurfberry cake. Humans, meanwhile, are planning a 3-D animation feature film, new comic book collections, and a remastered release of the popular 1980s animated TV series.

The late cartoonist Pierre Culliford, best known by his pen name, "Peyo," first introduced the tiny blue figures in a comic strip in October, 1958. But it was the TV series that began airing in 1981 that kicked the Smurfs into high gear. Their odd little world of white-capped mushroom homes, and a language that interchanged nouns and verbs, captivated a generation of children.

The son of the late creator Pierre Culliford thinks his father would be "very happy and very proud" of what the Smurfs have become.