|Voice Actor||Paul Winchell (cartoon)|
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol and The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow)
Andre Sogliuzzo (The Smurfs 2: The Video Game)
Rainn Wilson (Smurfs: The Lost Village)
|Actor||Hank Azaria (The Smurfs film series)|
|First Appearance||"The Smurfnapper" (The Black Smurfs comic book)|
1961 Cartoon Show
1981 Cartoon Show
|Name Translation of Gargamel|
|German||Gurgelhals (only in the old comic books!)|
- "I'll get you, I'll get all of you if that's the last thing I ever do!"
Gargamel (A.K.A. "Gargy") is one of the main characters of the Smurfs comic books and the Smurfs cartoon show. In the comic books, he has first appeared in "The Smurfnapper", one of the stories of The Black Smurfs comic book album. In the cartoon show, he has appeared up to Season 8, being the show's main villain, although several similar villains appear in Season 9. He is strongly hated by Grouchy Smurf.
He is the main antagonist who, along with his cat Azrael, and later with a young apprentice named Scruple, continued to plot against the Smurfs in order to capture and/or destroy them. He was responsible for the creation of Smurfette, who was changed into a real Smurf by Papa Smurf. Gargamel is a hateful individual who is willing to commit many sinister and cruel acts to achieve his goals and he can be downright ruthless on occasion, such as enjoying tormenting the Smurfs, threatening to burn Puppy alive, and even attempt to harm the defenseless Baby Smurf. He has even gone out of his way to simply make sure to ruin the happiness of others. However, despite his dark and evil heart, there have been a few occasions where Gargamel has shown a small amount of genuine emotion, most notably with Azrael, who Gargamel has shown real care for on rare occasions despite mistreating him and even goes against Lord Balthazar to defend his cat, claiming that Azrael is all he really has and is quite possibly his only real friend. Also, when he was once forced by Balthazar to behead Puppy with a guillotine, he pleaded with his godfather to find another way before submitting to Balthazar's intimidation.
Gargamel's cruelty and evil nature seem to stem from a harsh life and upbringing. One example being that Gargamel hates having his Birthday on Halloween because every year nobody wishes him a Happy Birthday or gives him a present, and all Gargamel really wants is for somebody to remember his Birthday. His mother often mistreats him and tries to make him more evil, while also resenting him for flunking Wizard's School. Deep down Gargamel is lonely and insecure due to being ugly and even admits that no one has ever genuinely said they loved him. In the cartoon show episode "They're Smurfing Our Song", Gargamel is revealed to indeed possess a small amount of goodness somewhere in his heart, as shown when he was moved to tears by Sassette's kind and loving words as even the force of evil within him could not withstand Sassette's love as she was the first person to ever say they loved him. When affected by Woody's magic pan flute, Gargamel's inner goodness was brought out due to finally feeling happiness after so long and he revealed to Papa Smurf that he had not been his true self in a long time due to his many years of hate and even apologized to him, and Papa Smurf accepted his apology, knowing full well that everyone had good in their hearts somewhere. The spell of happiness that brought out his goodness was only temporary, but according to Papa Smurf, the memory of the event would remain with Gargamel forever.
What Does He Need the Smurfs For?
Gargamel's motive for capturing all the Smurfs varies, depending on the episode or the media he is presented in. His motives are:
- To turn them into gold
- To eat them
- To destroy them
However, the cartoon show clearly indicates in some episodes that he wishes to do all three, as noted in his song:
- Oh, I'll fry a few and pickle a few and serve a few real cold,
- Then I'll toast a few and roast a few and use the rest for gold.
But regardless of his intentions, Gargamel just plain hates the Smurfs. In the original comic book stories, Gargamel kidnapped one of the Smurfs during their first initial encounter with him and intended to use the Smurf for making gold when the other Smurfs ambushed the wizard in his castle and rescued the abducted Smurf. When trying to use one of his formulas on himself to go find and capture the other Smurfs, it ended up shrinking him to Smurf size. As he found out that the Smurfs had switched his giant-growth formula with his shrinking formula, he swore he would get his revenge on them and has been terrorizing them ever since.
In the cartoon show, Gargamel's hatred for the Smurfs is explained in the episode "Gargamel's Time Trip", where a younger Gargamel, while still in wizard's school, came across some Smurfs in the forest. He walked past the oak tree when his kitten Azrael sniffed and spotted something hiding behind the bushes. The "something" in question turned out to be a Smurf, and soon Azrael tackled the Smurf to the ground, allowing Gargamel to get a better look at his catch. After searching through his wizard's book, he found out what it was and realized it was a Smurf, a necessary ingredient in the formula for turning base metals into gold. With this, he realized he would be a shoe-in at the school's science fair. He decided to go home with his prize catch but Papa Smurf tripped him, rescuing Brainy and apologizing to the wizard for hurting him while standing on a tree stump. Gargamel then tried to catch him and the other Smurfs as they stood on the tree stump, but as the Smurfs jumped away from the stump, a large boulder fell on Gargamel, crushing him and hunching his back. He then furiously promised that he would find the Smurfs no matter what and have his revenge. Unbeknownst to Gargamel though, the boulder was actually dropped by his future self who had traveled back in time to crush the Smurfs, hence making Gargamel's hatred for the Smurfs his own fault.
While Gargamel isn't the strongest villain, he is a highly competent wizard. He has many books of spells and knows how to do them right. His Great Book Of Spells can be used when there is a full moon for things beyond his normal repertoire. In contrast to his skills in the mystic arts, Gargamel at times is clumsy, foolish or gullible.
While he is generally regarded as a wizard, his methods seem to imply he is more of an alchemist. Two of the most renowned "holy grail" objectives historically sought in alchemy folklore are:
- transmuting elements into gold (a process known as Alchemy, though the word is never used) (Gargamel seeks Smurfs to create gold)
- creating artificial lifeforms called golems or homunculi via chemical means (Gargamel created Smurfette and has transmuted himself into a baby Smurf).
Gargamel's mother has appeared in several episodes. Gargamel and Azrael are afraid of her and her cooking because it's so disgusting. She wants her son to be a very great wizard but has shown to be very disappointed in him at times.
Gargamel has a fiancee that his mother and Madame Lavinia has scheduled him to wed named Andria in "Wedding Bells For Gargamel" However, he was only interested in an item the Smurfs had put into her hope chest, which turned out to be a map to the Smurf Village. As he caused havoc trying to get his hands on the map, which the Smurfs were trying to get back, the wedding was canceled.
Gargamel had a cousin named Argus who appeared in the Smurfs cartoon special, "The Smurfic Games". His cousin only appeared in that special, and it seemed like he was good friends with Papa Smurf. He dies, though, and he claims that he's not fond of Gargamel.
A common relative shown throughout the show is Gargamel's godfather, Lord Balthazar - a more evil wizard who looks down on him. Lord Balthazar is easily angered by Gargamel and his stupidity. He also didn't believe in Smurfs until he saw them in his castle at one point. Gargamel is sometimes asked to take care of Lord Balthazar's castle, but this mostly ends up with Gargamel getting in deep trouble.
In Season 8, Gargamel is shown to have a god niece named Denisa in Season 8, who only appeared in 3 episodes. She is the niece of Balthazar and comes to Gargamel's hovel to play. Both Gargamel and Scruple find her annoying. Her only role was to probably be a human friend for Sassette and to be another headache for Gargamel.
In the comic books, Gargamel has two cousins, Sagratamabarb and Barbapapa, a twin brother named Gourmelin, and three lookalike nephews. A crossover comic with Sophie Karamazout also featured a modern-day descendant, Edgar Gamel, who continues his ancestor's pursuit of the Smurfs. A father is mentioned in the Sony Pictures' live-action film series.
As far as his own offspring, Smurfette, Sassette, Vexy, Hackus, and Dufus the giant are considered this, either by Gargamel or by the characters themselves, depending on the media.
In the movies
Gargamel appears as the main antagonist in the 2011 Smurfs movie. His sole purpose of going after them is to extract Smurf essence from them so he could become the most powerful wizard. He finds the Smurf Village completely by accident, discovering that there is a magic field that renders it invisible to outsiders, and proceeds to go through the field to chase after them. Gargamel pursues them into the Forbidden Falls where a magic portal opens up to transport the Smurfs years into the future to exit in New York City. Gargamel and his cat Azrael follow them through the portal but end up losing them as the Smurfs follow Patrick Winslow to his apartment in order to rescue Clumsy. However, Azrael coughs up a bit of Smurfette's hair, which Gargamel then uses by creating a Smurf essence extractor from machines in the Belvedere Castle's basement to make a drop of that essence which he puts into a ring so he could find the Smurfs. During his first attempt to find the Smurfs, Gargamel comes across Patrick's boss Odile, who is willing to offer the wizard anything in exchange for the power of Smurf essence which she sees used to restore her mother's beauty and youth. However, as Gargamel pursues the Smurfs in FAO Schwarz with a stolen leaf blower, he gets captured and taken to Rikers Island. The wizard escapes by having a moth accidentally summon a swarm of flies that lift him up in a cloud over the barbed-wire fence and take him back to Belvedere Castle, where he makes another drop of Smurf essence. This time he tracks the Smurfs down to Mr. Wong's Mystical Emporium, where he finds a dragon wand and, after powering it with Smurf essence, uses it to capture Papa Smurf and hold him prisoner, transforming the Smurf essence extractor into a Smurf exfoliator with the intention of using it to extract Smurf essence from every Smurf. Gargamel uses the wand in his battle with the Smurfs, but the wand is snagged out of his hands and winds up in Clumsy's, who uses it to blast the evil wizard far away, causing him to land in a pile of garbage bags. By the end of the movie, Gargamel is stuck in the present with his cat Azrael. In the novel based on the movie, Papa Smurf sees in a vision in the following year's Blue Moon Festival that Gargamel is in Las Vegas!
The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol
In the animated feature The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, Gargamel appears during Grouchy's visit by the three Smurfs of Christmas, apparently having returned from his trip to the present-day world (or the story could have taken place before the movie), to capture the Smurfs on Christmas Day when they went out looking for a new tree in order to lift up Grouchy's spirits after the old tree was burned to a crisp because of Clumsy's ineptitude. Gargamel and his cat Azrael then give chase to Grouchy when he shows up in the evil wizard's laboratory, with Gargamel continually being tripped over in his pursuit. However, it turns out that this was only the future that Grouchy was seeing to show that he has a chance of changing how he feels toward helping his fellow Smurfs on Christmas.
The Smurfs 2
Gargamel returns as the main antagonist in The Smurfs 2, this time as a world-famous magician entertaining crowds with his magic, which is powered by Smurf essence. He creates the Naughties in order to capture Smurfette so that she would reveal the formula Papa Smurf used to change her into a real Smurf, with the intention that once he changes the Naughties into Smurfs, he would extract Smurf essence from them and thus be able to create a hundred more Smurfs for the same purpose. However, even though the Naughties were changed into Smurfs, Gargamel's plans for Smurf essence extraction was foiled with the help of Patrick Winslow and Victor Doyle, and the large magic wand that he tried to use against them became too powerful for him to fully control, thus sending him and Azrael back to the time period that they came from -- going back to being broke and poor and back to his old hovel.
The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow
In the animated feature The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow, Gargamel appears as the main antagonist who shows up in Smurfy Hollow to collect the Smurfs that his traps have captured -- namely Brainy, Gutsy, and Smurfette -- only to find Smurfette being the only Smurf still left in the trap when he gets there. He and the Smurfs soon get chased by the Headless Horseman, who pursue them until they reach the old covered bridge. Gargamel, believing himself to be safe inside the bridge, antagonizes the Headless Horseman, who responds by throwing a flaming pumpkin into the bridge, causing Gargamel and his cat to fall into the river and be carried downstream where they go over a waterfall together.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
In Smurfs: The Lost Village, Gargamel seeks after the Smurfs in order to extract their Smurf essence to become the most powerful sorcerer. While here he is still the creator of Smurfette, he doesn't regard her as a true Smurf and thus finds her worth only as the one who will help him find and capture Smurfs. Also besides Azrael, he has a pet vulture named Monty.
When Smurfette discovers a Smurf hat dropped by a Smurf-like figure from the other side of the wall, Gargamel takes a strand from it and uses his magical cauldron to ascertain the hat's origin, to discover that it comes from a group of Smurfs located somewhere in the Forbidden Forest. Eager to find those Smurfs, Gargamel ventures into the Forbidden Forest with Azrael and Monty, hoping to reach and find those other Smurfs before Smurfette, Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty do. Although delayed by ending up in the part of the forest where he was attacked by carnivorous "bottom-feeder" fish, Gargamel soon discovers the village of Smurfettes and uses his Freeze Balls to capture them all, including Smurfette's friends from her own village.
With the captured Smurfs, Gargamel extracts enough essence to enhance his magical powers and to give himself more head hair in the process. Smurfette arrives to pledge her allegiance to her true master so that he could capture the remaining Smurfs from Smurfette's village. Gargamel tries to use his power to restore Smurfette back to her previous evil self, but Smurfette ends up absorbing Gargamel's power instead, forcing him to extract more Smurf essence to balance out the effect. Eventually, there is an explosion which catapults Gargamel far away from his castle, saving the Smurfs and Smurfettes, though at the cost of Smurfette reverting back to a pile of lifeless blue clay.
- He is most recognizable for sounding like Dick Dastardly from the Hanna-Barbera shows Wacky Races and Dastardly & Muttley In Their Flying Machines, since they're both voiced by the late Paul Winchell.
- In the movie, Gargamel has an overbite and a fuller set of teeth compared to his normal depiction of having a single tooth in his mouth, a trait also shared by his comic book twin brother Gourmelin. In The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, Gargamel also has a single lower tooth, and in The Smurfs: The Legend Of Smurfy Hollow, he has some back teeth shown in the close-up of his face as he laughs at Smurfette.
- His character in the 2011 Smurfs movie is played by The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria.
- Smurfette was the first to call Gargamel the diminutive "Gargy". The second and most frequent user is Scruple.
- He and Jokey share the same birthday -- Halloween! (As stated by the episode "All Hallows' Eve")
- Two other evil wizards (who have only appeared once, though, in season 2) - Count Gregorian and Mordain - are allegedly voiced by the late Paul Winchell (though they are not relatives of Gargamel).
- Gargamel has several Schleich figures. He is only a bit larger than the Smurfs in these figures.
- Several companies also sell a Gargamel costume.
- In the 2011 movie, Gargamel seems to understand what Azrael is saying.
- In most of his animated appearances as well as in the comic books, Gargamel has five-fingered hands. In The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, he has four-fingered hands.
- In the European book, The Strange Smurf, Gargamel transforms into a Smurf to infiltrate Smurf village, but is without a tail and must make a fake one. The ruse is discovered when his fake tail comes undone and is discovered by Papa Smurf. Gargamel hijacks Papa Smurf's lab to counteract the formula, only he becomes a little Gargamel instead of a big Gargamel, and leaves Smurf Village in embarrassment.
- Gargamel has once fell in love with a woman in the comic book "The Smurfs and The Sorcerer's Love"
- Season 8 was the last season that the Smurfs would ever face Gargamel, before 17 of them face off with his various ancestors.