As Seen on TV: the Smurfs

Belgian freedom fighters in 1950s comic book form are just as good of inspiration as any old Grimm’s tale. The Smurfs as a Saturday morning cartoon, however, are johnny-come-latelies to the smurf-capades.

Their execrable 1983 album Merry Christmas with the Smurfs offends with such morsels as the alphabet song inspired “Santa Claus is Coming Tonight,” the oddly downbeat “Smurfing Bells,” and the aptly old world oompah of “Christmas Presents.” But later (1996’s Christmas with the Smurfs) the dance party “Christmas Party” opens their isolationist utopia to more friendly possibilities.

Time Machine alert! If we were to go back to a time before the TV series, we might find the suddenly more valuable Father Abraham ’78 single featuring “Christmas in Smurfland.” Country twaddle with some Continental panache.