Season 9, which aired from 1989 to 1990, was a different season from all the seasons that preceded it, in that instead of its episodes taking place primarily in the Smurf forest and/or the Smurf Village, they now took place in various points of time and around the world, thanks to the time crystals that Papa Smurf had to assemble together without the use of a magic key that appeared in the first episode "The Smurfs That Time Forgot".
Also, the cast of Smurfs characters that starred in the episodes were severely cut back to about seventeen, mostly with some primary characters that have been in the show since its beginning and with some that were introduced in the later seasons such as Season 3's Baby Smurf, Season 5's Sassette and Snappy, Season 6's Grandpa Smurf, Season 7's Wild, and also Season 8's Smoogle.
Due to Peyo's ill-health, he was unable to supervise the scripts and gave Hanna-Barbera more creative freedom (such as the presence of bubblegum, most prominent in "Gnoman Holiday"). However, the season also began to show that the creative well for new stories and characters was running dry, as the Smurfs now ran into time-period variations of existing villain characters such as Gargamel, Azrael, Scruple, and Hogatha (most likely their ancestors). Unfortunately, this shifting of the show's premise to time-travelling episodes signaled its doom, as this ended up becoming the final season for the cartoon show in general, and thus arguably was the season that made the show "jump the shark" in the eyes of certain viewers (who were displeased with the change of the premise). Allegedly, during production of this season, Paul Winchell (the voice of Gargamel) left the show in disgust after reading the scripts, thus explaining his sudden replacement with Michael Bell. As a result of lower ratings and a new live-action block replacing Saturday-morning cartoons on the NBC, the show was cancelled and the cliffhanger of the saga was sadly unresolved, leaving seventeen of the Smurfs wandering endlessly in time-travel.
Interestingly, part of this season's plot was used for the storyline of Infogrames' The Smurfs Travel The World videogame that was released in Europe on videogame systems of the 1990s. It was after this season's cancellation that the Smurfs made their last appearance in a cartoon special, the "non-canonical" cartoon crossover story "Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue".
Papa Smurf and some other Smurfs enter the chamber with the Time Scrolls, where Grandpa Smurf arranges them with the ruby key, and soon they get transported to the ancient Middle East, where they find themselves chased by a genie. They escape on a magic carpet, and then they get transported to the prehistoric past where they outrun a giant dinosaur and go into hiding just before his tail crashes down. After the tail goes away, the SMURFS title logo carved in stone appears at the intro's end.
The episodes that appeared in this season (in no particular order, except for the season premiere) and the locations they take place in include:
- The Smurfs That Time Forgot (Season Premiere) (Prehistoric Times)
- Cave Smurfs (Prehistoric Times)
- Hogapatra's Beauty Sleep (Ancient Egypt)
- Mummy Dearest (Ancient Egypt)
- Shamrock Smurfs (Ireland)
- Karate Clumsy (Feudal Japan)
- Like It Or Smurf It (Polynesia)
- Papa's Big Snooze (Feudal Japan)
- A Fish Called Snappy (Ancient Greece)
- The Smurf Odyssey (Ancient Greece)
- Trojan Smurfs (Ancient Greece)
- Fortune Cookie (Ancient China)
- Imperial Panda-Monium (Ancient China)
- Smurfette's Green Thumb (Babylon)
- Hefty Sees A Serpent (Scotland)
- Phantom Bagpiper (Scotland)
- Jungle Jitterbugs (South American Amazon)
- The Clumsy Genie (Arabia)
- Scary Smurfs (Transylvania)
- Sky High Surprise (Arabia)
- Gnoman Holiday (Ancient Rome)
- Greedy's Masterpizza (Ancient Rome)
- The Monumental Grouch (Ancient Rome)
- Curried Smurfs (Mughal India)
- G'Day Smoogle (Australia)
- Grandpa's Fountain Of Youth (Aztec Mexico)
- Big Shot Smurfs (Lilliputian-like Island)
- No Reflection On Vanity (Antarctica)
- Papa Loses His Patience (Spain)
- Swashbuckling Smurfs (Atlantic Ocean)
- Painter's Egg-Cellent Adventure (Russia)
- Small Minded Smurfs (South American Amazon)
- Bananas Over Hefty (Polynesian Island)
- The Smurfs Of The Round Table (Camelot, England)
- Wild Goes Cuckoo (Switzerland)
- Brainy's Beastly Boo-Boo (Africa)
- The Golden Rhino (Africa)
- Hearts 'N' Smurfs (The Netherlands)
Characters Present In Season 9
The main characters featured throughout this season's episodes include:
- Papa Smurf
- Grandpa Smurf
- Baby Smurf
- Brainy Smurf
- Clumsy Smurf
- Hefty Smurf
- Handy Smurf
- Greedy Smurf
- Grouchy Smurf
- Lazy Smurf
- Vanity Smurf
- Jokey Smurf
- Painter Smurf
- Wild Smurf
- Sassette Smurfling
- Snappy Smurfling
- Apple iTunes has made both volume sets of Season 9 episodes available for download.
- In 2008, Magna Video Entertainment (now known as Beyond Home Entertainment) of Australia has released Smurfs: Time Travelers, which features episodes from Season 9. Four and a half years later, the same company released the entire season on DVD set from August for Australia and New Zealand.
- In July 2013, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the entire season on DVD set for Germany, featuring all the ninth season episodes.
- In September 2014, Imavision released episodes of Season 9 on the Les Schtroumpfs Coffret 7 French-language DVD for Canada.
|Smurfs (TV series), 1981-1990|
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