This double bill brings together a pair of prime-time episodes from the animated Hanna-Barbera series, which ran on NBC from 1981 to 1989. In the first, "The Smurfs' Christmas Special" (1982), the blue creatures with the white hats prepare for the holiday by decorating the tallest tree and making a great pudding, which looks like a cauldron full of lumpy cotton candy. At the same time, two children, William and Guinevere, and their grandfather travel through the snowy woods to their uncle's house. The unbridled enthusiasm of all these merrymakers grates on the nerves of curmudgeonly wizard Gargamel and his cat, Azrael, who join forces with a dastardly bandit to spoil their fun (Gargamel is looking for gold, the bandit for revenge). In the process of setting things right, the Smurfs sing "Goodness Makes the Badness Go Away," which offers a hopeful message, though two performances seems like one too many. In the second special, "'Tis the Season to Be Smurfy" (1987), the toadstool dwellers introduce Wild Smurf to his first Christmas, while Grandpa Smurf (voiced by Jonathan Winters) and Sassette foil a pickpocket and help out doll maker Gustav and his sick wife Elise (though listed first on the cover, this episode actually plays second). The lessons of the set include forgiveness, sharing with the less fortunate, and looking after the elderly, especially those without a support system. Tiny viewers may find the ravenous snakes, rats, and wolves frightening, but this brief, if enjoyable release is otherwise appropriate for all ages. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Includes the episodes The Smurfs' Christmas Special and 'Tis The Season To Be Smurfy.