|Title Translation of|
The Dark Ness Monster
|French||Le Monstre du Schtroumpfness|
|Spanish||El monstruo de las cavernas|
|German||Schlaubis neue Brille|
|Italian||Il Mostro Di Cioccolines|
|Dutch||Het Monster van Smurf-Ness|
|Polish||Potwór z Mrok-Ness|
|Hungarian||A csoknesszi szörny|
|Catalan||El monstre del bosc-ness|
"The Dark Ness Monster" is a Season 5 episode from the Smurfs cartoon show.
With the sounding of Harmony's trumpet, Papa Smurf announces the four finalist teams in the Annual Smurfball Playoffs, which makes the Smurfs gathered around the smurfball playing field cheer, with an additional cheer following Harmony stopping his horn playing. The four finalist teams are Smurfette with Handy and Greedy, Tailor with Grouchy and an unnamed Smurf, Hefty with Painter and Vanity, and Brainy with Clumsy and Farmer. All the Smurfs cheer for all the teams except for Brainy's, for whom its leader provides the cheering. Brainy is so excited to make the playoffs, and so also is Clumsy, who says he will beside his friend every step of the way -- to which Brainy amends by saying "every trip of the way" as Clumsy accidentally knocks Brainy off his feet.
By nightfall, Brainy is thinking about the playoffs as he goes to sleep, thinking that he is going to win the event. In his dream, he sees himself on the field getting ready to make the winning move when Clumsy rushes over to where Brainy is, despite the crowd telling him not to do it, and bumps into his friend, causing him to miss the shot and to make the crowd groan in despair. Brainy wakes up from his dream, realizing that it is a foreboding message that Clumsy is going to mess up his game the following day, and is now starting to wonder how he can keep his friend from showing up at the playoffs. He decides that he will paint spots on Clumsy's face while he is sleeping to make him think that he has gotten sick so that he wouldn't be able to show up. By morning, Clumsy sees the spots on his face while Brainy pays him a visit to suggest that he should stay in bed so that he wouldn't cause a polka-dot epidemic in the village.
At the Annual Smurfball Playoffs, with Brainy's team competing against Smurfette's, Papa Smurf asks Brainy where Clumsy is, and Brainy explains that his friend is home sick. This makes Papa Smurf wonder, and as he goes to visit Clumsy in his home, he notices a trail of red spots of paint leading right into his house. With only Farmer as his teammate, Brainy thinks that he is winning, but then soon Clumsy comes onto the field, saying that Papa Smurf has cured him of his polka dots. Brainy sees that his dream is coming true as he tries to block Smurfette's shot when Clumsy collides into him and the ball bounces off Brainy's head and toward the goal. In fact, throughout the playoffs, Clumsy proves to be more of a hindrance than a help as he causes Brainy's team to lose to their opponents, making Brainy so upset that he doesn't want Clumsy being around him every step of the way.
At the end of first day of the playoffs, Papa Smurf awards medals to Smurfette and Hefty, saying that their teams will now compete in the final playoffs, and then tells the losing them that they can still have fun being on the preparation committee. Brainy detests the fact that he is always on the preparation committee every year, just as he is now detesting Clumsy trying to sit close to him while trying to keep himself at arms-length, only to fall off the bleachers into a bucket. Papa Smurf appoints Brainy and Clumsy to gather two buckets of chocolate sauce from Dark Ness Cavern for Greedy's celebration cakes, but he warns them not to go near the biggest bubbliest pool where in the sweetest chocolate there lives the legendary Dark Ness Monster. Clumsy comments that the monster sounds scary, but Brainy says going anywhere with him is what he calls scary.
As Brainy and Clumsy go off on their journey to Dark Ness Cavern, Clumsy tries to keep up with Brainy, who is purposely walking so fast in order to keep himself away from Clumsy, saying that things wouldn't have to be this way if Clumsy wasn't so clumsy all the time. Clumsy tries to defend himself by simply saying that's how he is, but Brainy is too busy walking ahead to even listen. Soon they enter the cavern, and Brainy is wondering just how sweet the Dark Ness Monster's pool of chocolate really is. He attempts to go down into the pool very carefully when he slips and falls into the pool, immediately awakening the monster who arises from the pool to scare away any intruders. Brainy also arises from the pool, though now he is without his glasses. Clumsy goes down to the pool to pull Brainy out, but the monster picks up Brainy and throws him out of the cavern, leaving him feeling around and wondering where he is. Clumsy finds Brainy outside and tells him that he must have dropped his glasses into the pool. Brainy sends Clumsy back into the cavern to get his glasses, but the monster scares Clumsy away, sending them both back to the village without Brainy's glasses.
Upon their return, Papa Smurf puts Brainy through an eye examination to observe what Brainy could see without his glasses, and then realizes from his little Smurf's failure to identify each Smurf that was shown correctly that he needs to make Brainy a new pair of glasses that require special sand that only comes from the Land of Nod, where the Sandman lives. The Smurflings are eager to go with Papa Smurf to the land in order to see the Sandman, and so Papa Smurf takes them along with him as he travels with Feathers to this mystical land. He tells his other little Smurfs to take care of Brainy while he is gone. However, after Papa Smurf's departure, Brainy is rather resistant to the help that his fellow Smurfs are willing to offer him, including Clumsy, whom he says is the last person that he wants around to help him around.
Throughout the day, as Brainy tries to lead the preparation committee, he finds himself decorating Grouchy with streamers, whom he thinks is a tree, and then he stumbles over Lazy as he is carrying balloons, accidentally letting them loose before he picks himself up and walks into a tree, thinking that it is Lazy again. He goes walking around through Farmer's fields, stomping on smurfberry seedlings that he couldn't see and kicking a hole in one of his fellow Smurf's melons, thinking that it was a smurfball. He accidentally enters Papa Smurf's laboratory, thinking it is Greedy's kitchen, and tries to prepare what he thinks are cooking ingredients so that he could bake a cake, but instead he ends up causing a fire in the laboratory that requires the Smurf Village Fire Brigade to come and put out. Brainy realizes from his mishaps that he is better off staying off at home where he won't cause his fellow Smurfs any more problems.
Meanwhile, Papa Smurf and the Smurflings arrive at the Land Of Nod, where they see sheep jumping over fences in a world that is always nighttime. There they can hear the very person they are seeking -- the Sandman, whom Papa Smurf says only arises at dusk to put the world to sleep with his special sand. Papa Smurf moves the hands of the Sandman's clock so that he could awaken him early, but as he awakens from his sleep, Papa Smurf could see that the jolly old man is now a cranky old man who doesn't like being disturbed from his sleep. Snappy jumps on the Sandman's belly and demands that he helps the Smurfs by giving them some of his sleeping sands, but the Sandman only responds to this by sending his flock of sheep to attack the intruders. Nat talks the sheep down from attacking by saying that it's way past their bedtime, and so they head onto the clouds and fall asleep. The Sandman says that it's very clever of them, but they're still not getting a grain of his sleeping sand.
At night, Clumsy is awakened to a loud sound that he thinks only he could make, but it turns out to be Brainy, who is still stumbling his way through the village just so he could visit Clumsy in his house. He comes to tell Clumsy that he feels so stupid and clumsy, and that he is now sorry for how he treated his friend, asking if he would be his eyes to guide him through the village. Clumsy feels honored to be Brainy's seeing eye Smurf, and so on the following day he takes Brainy into the dining hall for breakfast, which he ends up dumping part of onto Brainy's lap, though in the end all Brainy can say is thank you. After breakfast Clumsy takes Brainy around the village to meet with the other Smurfs, whom Brainy can recognize only by touch, and to share smurfberries with each other when they stumble into a bush of them. Brainy says that being clumsy isn't so bad when he is with Clumsy. In Brainy's home, as Clumsy tries to read all of Brainy's quotations with the help of Brainy himself, Brainy hands Clumsy a new quotation that he himself has written: "It is easier to pretend we are strong; it is much harder to admit we are weak; a true friend, by loving every part of us, teaches us to love our weaknesses". Clumsy likes that quotation so much that Brainy allows him to keep that copy for himself.
Then comes the day of the Smurfball Playoff Championship, the final game which will decide which smurfball team will be the winner. Clumsy arrives at Brainy's door so he could take him to the game. Brainy refuses to go, saying that he wouldn't be able to see the game, but Clumsy offers to tell him everything that's going on in the game, and so in the bleachers Clumsy gives his friend a play-by-play commentary of the action on the field, which eventually leads to Smurfette's team winning the championship by a point. Brainy goes down to congratulate Smurfette for her victory at the end of the game, but at the same time a smurfberry bird comes with a message from Papa Smurf, saying that he may be gone a long time because the Sandman refuses to give him any of his sleeping sand, telling his little Smurfs to keep their fingers crossed.
Brainy's patience waiting for Papa Smurf to return wears thin, and so he asks Clumsy if he would take him back to Dark Ness Cavern so he could find his glasses. Clumsy tells Brainy about the Dark Ness Monster, but Brainy says the only "darkness monster" he knows of is the one right in front of him, and after some earnest begging he goes with Clumsy guiding his way back up the mountains to the cavern. Along the way Clumsy almost falls off the bridge into the raging river below, but Brainy without being able to see pulls his friend up to safety. Inside the cavern, Clumsy begins to cast his fishing line into the pool so that he can fish out Brainy's glasses, but he ends up binding himself in his own line.
Meanwhile, in the Land Of Nod, Papa Smurf and the Smurflings are singing songs in order to keep the Sandman from sleeping. He responds by tossing some of his sleeping sands onto the Smurfs, which cause the Smurflings to go to sleep, but Papa Smurf fights to keep himself away by playing his harmonica. Soon the persistent music playing becomes too much for the Sandman to stand, and says that he will give the Smurfs his sleeping sand, but since it is so precious, he demands something equally precious in return for it. Papa Smurf offers to give the Sandman his harmonica as well as some of Greedy's midnight snacks, but the Sandman comes up with his own demand: a sample of chocolate from the pool of the Dark Ness Monster in exchange for the sleeping sand. Papa Smurf agrees to do this.
Back in the cavern, Clumsy makes yet another attempt to cast his fishing line into the pool to get the glasses. He hooks onto something in the pool, but it turns out to be the Dark Ness Monster, who is now wearing Brainy's glasses. He grabs Clumsy with no certainty as to what he's going to do with the blue creature he is now able to see, while Brainy pounds away at a stalactite, thinking it's the monster. Papa Smurf and the Smurflings arrive outside the cavern to hear the monster with Clumsy and rush inside to discover that the monster wasn't able to see anything before he wore Brainy's glasses. Seeing how important the glasses are now to the monster, Papa Smurf then asks the monster if he could have a bucket of his chocolate in exchange for the glasses, to which the monster says in his own way yes. Brainy asks Papa Smurf if it would be more important to get his glasses back, and Papa Smurf simply quotes one of Brainy's quotations, "trust me, trust me".
Soon with the bucket of chocolate from the Dark Ness Monster's pool, Papa Smurf gives it to the Sandman, who then gives the village leader his bag of sleeping sand. Upon Papa Smurf's return, the sleeping sand is poured into a cookie tray, then baked until it becomes a pair of lenses that Handy welds a pair of frames onto. With Brainy's new pair of glasses complete, Clumsy is given the honors of putting them on his friend, and though he stumbles with them a bit, he keeps them from breaking and gently puts them on Brainy's face. Brainy opens his eyes to see Clumsy's face very clearly and then hugs his friend, saying that he is the Smurf he very much wanted to see.
- The voices in this episode are noticeably in a slightly deeper pitch.
- In the comic book story "The Smurfs And The Mole", Brainy loses his pair of glasses to a mole who was unable to see his way through the tunnels he was digging. In another similar story, Brainy willingly gives his glasses over to the mole so that he would be able to see.
- Some selection of footages from this episode were featured on one of the television monitors at the Cafe 80's from the movie Back to the Future: Part II.
- There is a goof that exists on foreign editions of the episode: when Brainy apologizes to Clumsy, his eyes are open at a few points and his mouth doesn't move. In the US edition, his eyes are closed the entire time and a few tears come out. Since this goof was noticed in the German, Italian and Dutch versions, Brainy's speech mostly consists of whimpers while his mouth is closed. Fortunately, in the following close-up shot of Clumsy, Brainy starts talking again, so foreign viewers can understand what he wants.
- For some reason, the iTunes edition of this episode not only uses the Season 3 intro sequence and credits, but only contains the second half of the episode, beginning after the commercial break, with Nat telling the sheep to go to bed.
- Comparing the foreign editions to the iTunes edition, certain shots in the latter such as Brainy and Clumsy walking on the bridge are noticeably re-animated. Presumably, this could mean the foreign versions are copies of the episode's first airing (or perhaps an earlier cut) and much like "The Magnifying Mixture", the goofs (and otherwise awkward animation) were corrected for later airings.