The Smurfs are coming to Nickelodeon. The ViacomCBS-owned network has partnered with LAFIG Belgium and IMPS, the worldwide licensors for The Smurfs, on a new original CG-animated series based on the iconic property, along with a consumer products line. Under the deal, Nickelodeon has licensed the global rights to The Smurfs, which follows the beloved characters–Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, Clumsy and others on “all-new adventures packed with humor, heart and high-stakes action,” Nick says. The series is slated to debut in 2021 in the U.S., followed by Nickelodeon channels internationally.
In addition to the content partnership, ViacomCBS Consumer Products will manage consumer products licensing for The Smurfs property across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia. VCP will seek new merchandising and promotional partners for The Smurfs classic brand, in addition to a new product line for the new animated series, including toys, stationery, apparel and accessories, home, consumer packaged goods and more, for a retail launch in 2022.
“The Smurfs is an iconic global franchise that has resonated with audiences for decades,” said Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products. “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 have entertained generations of kids and families globally, and we are thrilled to bring these identifiable characters, their stories and universal themes of cooperation, sharing and caring for their community to Nickelodeon,” said Layla Lewis, Senior Vice President, Global Acquisitions and Content Partnerships.”
Created by Peyo, The Smurfs is a Belgian comic franchise that centers on a fictional colony of small, blue, human-like creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest. The property spawned a popular animated children’s series in the U.S. that aired on NBC from 1981 to 1989. The Smurfs also appeared in three feature films and two shorts. The 2011 feature film of the same name and its 2013 sequel were produced by Sony Pictures Animation and released by Columbia Pictures. Hank Azaria and Neil Patrick Harris starred in live-action roles, with voiceovers by Anton Yelchin, Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, and George Lopez. A fully animated reboot, Smurfs: The Lost Village, was released through Sony in April 2017.
The Smurfs is produced by Peyo Productions and Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel. It is directed by William Renaud (Calimero, Casper’s Scare School, A Kind of Magic) and written by Peter Saisselin (Sonic Boom, Alvin!!! And the Chipmunks) and Amy Serafin (Sonic Boom, Alvin!!! And the Chipmunks).
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.
“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,” said Véronique Culliford, Founder & President of IMPS/LAFIG.
The Smurfs partnership expands Nickelodeon’s portfolio of influential properties that includes SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Blue’s Clues & You!, SpongeBob spinoff, Kamp Koral, and a new animated Star Trek series.