This July, Boomerang will whet fan appetites for all things “smurfy” as the all-classics cartoon network heralds the worldwide premiere of the new 3D live-action/animated film, The Smurfs, opening Friday, July 29. The commercial-free network will clear its regular schedule across the month to devote morning, afternoon and evening air time each day–Monday-Friday 9-10 a.m., 3-4 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. (ET); Saturday-Sunday 9-10 a.m., 2-4 p.m., 8-9 p.m.–to present all-time favorite episodes of the Emmy Award-winning (Outstanding Children’s Entertainment Series) classic animated series, The Smurfs.
“Children who grew up watching The Smurfs in the ‘80s are now having children of their own,” said Stacy Isenhower, senior vice president of programming and scheduling for Boomerang and Cartoon Network. “And with the major motion picture coming out at the end of the month, we decided Boomerang’s July schedule would offer a great opportunity for the whole family to meet the characters and get to know the many special meanings of the word ‘smurfy’.”
In fall 1981, a decidedly new cartoon debuted on NBC’s Saturday morning lineup. Based on a 1957 Belgian comic strip, The Smurfs made television history following its premiere by becoming the highest-rated Saturday morning show in eight years, and the NBC’s highest-rated animated series since 1970. The Smurfs follows the lives of little blue people who live in mushrooms. Led by wise magician Papa Smurf, the eclectic crew includes such characters as Brainy, Vanity, Hefty, Clumsy and Smurfette (the only female Smurf), a happy bunch threatened only by the evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael. For nine years on broadcast television (1981-1990), the series chronicled various adventures in Smurf Village, including Gargamel’s multiple failed attempts to rid the world of the Smurfs altogether.