Happy 60th birthday, Smurfs!

Today it's exactly sixty years ago that the first story involving the Smurfs appeared in print.  The Smurf first materialised in a comic strip about Johan and Peewit published in the Belgian comic Robbedoes.

The Smurfs (Smurfen in Dutch or Schtroumpfs in French) were the brainchild of Belgian comic strip artist Peyo.  They first appeared in an album, "The Flute with the Six Smurfs", two years later.

The Smurfs are a success and soon appear in stories of their own in comics.  "The Black Smurfs" is the first Smurf album.  The Smurfs have their own language, invented by Peyo, when he couldn't think of a word for something.  He just said: "Hand me that Smurf thing!"

The idea for the Smurfs had been in his mind for some considerable time: witness 40 year old drawings.

In the Eighties and Nineties the Smurfs conquer the wider world.  An animation film is also made.  In the teens of this century three Smurf movies were made in Hollywood.  VRT's children's TV channel Ketnet is working on a 3D animation film that will air in 2020, while next year a Smurf exhibition is planned at the Brussels Expo.