Nickelodeon is bringing The Smurfs back with a brand-new animated series. They're partnering with LAFIG Belgium and IMPS, the worldwide licensors of the franchise, to bring a brand-new original CG-animated series based on the iconic property. Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, Clumsy, and all the others will go on all-new adventures, packed with humor, heart and high-stakes action. The series is slated to debut in 2021 in the U.S., followed by Nickelodeon channels internationally. No official premiere date has been announced yet.
In addition The Smurfs new series, ViacomCBS Consumer Products will manage consumer products licensing for property across the world. VCP will seek new merchandising and promotional partners in select categories and territories for The Smurfs classic brand, in addition to a new product line for the new animated series The Smurfs, which will see the characters placed on just about anything imaginable. Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products, had this to say about the new partnership.
"The Smurfs is an iconic global franchise that has resonated with audiences for decades. By partnering with LAFIG, we are able to join our creative forces to bring an all-new line of consumer products across multiple categories to consumers, along with a fresh and original animated series."
The Smurfs originally hit North American airwaves back in 1981 after starting out as a Dutch comic strip in the late 1950s. Before the iconic cartoon, the characters were shown in short animated films in the mid-1960s. However, it wasn't until the little blue characters invaded North America that they became a worldwide phenomenon, going on to big screen adventures in 2011. Véronique Culliford, Founder & President of IMPS/LAFIG, also released a statement about the new series, which you can read below.
"I am extremely proud and happy to have Nickelodeon and its fantastic team to represent our Smurf brand both for the broadcast of our beautiful New TV series and as an agent. We are making history again more than 40 years after the global success of the first TV series of the Smurfs, which is broadcast in more than 100 countries still today! I am convinced that we could not have found a better partner to Smurf our beautiful blue planet."
The Smurfs is produced by Peyo Productions and Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel. It is directed by William Renaud (Casper's Scare School) and written by Peter Saisselin (Alvin!!! And the Chipmunks), and Amy Serafin (Alvin!!! And the Chipmunks). It's unclear if they'll be going back to the original comic strips and the 80s cartoons for inspiration, or if they'll look to the movies.
The Smurfs will be overseen by Layla Lewis, Senior Vice President, Global Acquisitions and Content Partnerships and Dana Cluverius, Senior Vice President, Current Series Animation.The Smurfs partnership is part of Nickelodeon's strategy to be the home for the biggest franchises kids and families love, and it expands Nickelodeon's growing portfolio of influential properties that already includes SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Blue's Clues & You!, the first-ever SpongeBob spinoff, Kamp Koral, and an all-new animated Star Trek series. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the new series and merchandising line.