Most of the Smurfs are male. They are short, with blue skin and white clothing (trousers and a hat), and some of them carry characteristic items, such as a pencil and brimmed hat for Handy Smurf.
There were originally 99 smurfs, mostly 100 years old, apart from Papa Smurf, Baby Smurf and some others. New characters have appeared over the years.
The Smurfs (in French: Les Schtroumpfs) made their debut in October 1958 in the Franco-Belgian comic magazine “Le Journal de Spirou”. They were invented by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo (real name: Pierre Culliford) and got their own comic series in 1959.
In 1965 the Smurfs made it to be big screen, further films followed, and in 1981 the American tv series was launched on NBC. The series, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., ran for 256 episodes, with a total of 421 stories. It finished in 1989 but is still shown in about 30 countries.
Music played a big part in the Smurfs’ success: the first film included music by Michel Legrand, later the Dutch singer Vader Abraham released several successful albums.