"The Smurfs And The Howlibird" is a Season 1 episode from the Smurfs cartoon show.
As Brainy oversees work being done on the Smurf river bridge, Papa Smurf is busy in his laboratory working on a plant growth formula, which he tries out on a small daisy. At first he succeeds, causing the flower to grow big, but soon it mutates the flower into a dangerous carnivorous plant that wraps Papa Smurf up in its tendrils, ready to eat him alive. Hearing Papa Smurf's cry for help, Hefty and Lazy enter the laboratory to deal with the mutated plant, with Lazy falling victim to it, and Hefty chopping down the plant by its root, causing it to immediately wither and die. Papa Smurf, realizing how dangerous the failed plant formula is, instructs Hefty and Lazy to take it out to the desert and bury it. En route to the desert, however, Lazy discovers a nearby ravine that they could dump the formula into, since it would save them a long trip to the desert and that it was also underground. Hefty agrees and so drops the vial into the ravine before heading back to the village, feeling certain it won't cause anymore problems. But back in the ravine, the vial opens on a ledge and drips the formula into a bird's nest below, where a baby bird swallows the drops, instantly mutating him.
Later on that night, Lazy takes a walk through the village, unable to get to sleep, when he hears the screeching sound of a bird. Soon he sees a giant shadow of one passing by overhead, and it was heading straight for him. Scared, Lazy dives into a barrel, while the other Smurfs wake up to the screeching bird sound, and Lazy explains to Papa Smurf what he saw and heard. Other Smurfs start noticing other things: the storage house for their food was wrecked, and there were large bird tracks on the ground. Fearing that the worst has happened to the Smurf river bridge, Papa Smurf leads some Smurfs down to the river to check on it when they see with their own eyes the creature responsible for the wrecked storage house -- the Howlibird -- coming straight toward them. The bird pounds furiously on the bridge until it is destroyed, sending the Smurfs falling into the river. Making it back safely on dry ground, Papa Smurf and the several Smurfs that were with him barely escape rolling logs that the Howlibird has released down a hill. Hiding themselves in the hollow of a log, the Smurfs sneak their way back to the village to warn the others about the dangerous bird they saw.
|The Howlibird comes in for the attack.|
It was then when Papa Smurf discovers that Hefty and Lazy didn't bury the formula in the desert like he asked them to, but dropped it into a ravine. But before he could do anything more about the issue, the Howlibird attacks the village, destroying houses that the Smurfs duck into for cover. Papa Smurf leads them out of the village and into the forest, where he discovers a watchtower in which he and his little Smurfs would be safe. With the help of Feathers the crane and a banner that he has their friend carry, he directs the remaining Smurfs lost in the forest to the watchtower. As they head there, the Howlibird swoops down to attack, but Feathers bravely comes to their rescue, attacking the predator and flying some of the remaining Smurfs into the watchtower.
As Papa Smurf watches the Howlibird circle around the watchtower, waiting to attack them, Handy finds an old crossbow which he converts for use in launching rocks at the Howlibird for their defense. Though they are able to fend off the Howlibird, they aren't able to knock it down, so Papa Smurf comes up with a new plan: going to the ravine where Hefty and Lazy dropped the vial at night and collect as much of the formula left as possible to reverse its properties. Hefty and Lazy accompanies Papa Smurf as they sneak off at night while the Howlibird is sleep to collect enough of the formula for Papa Smurf to work with, then race back to the watchtower at sunset before the Howlibird gets them.
With the remaining formula on hand, Papa Smurf then has Jokey hit the Howlibird with one of his "surprise" gift boxes, which strips the bird of its feathers and knocks it down. Then, after the bird is roped and gagged, Papa Smurf has its beak opened and its rear end kicked so he could pour the reversed formula into the bird's mouth. The Howlibird then shrinks to less than Smurf-size so it will be unable to harm any Smurf when it regrows its feathers.
Soon, as the Smurfs work on rebuilding the village, the Howlibird returns with its feathers regrown, but because it wasn't able to cause much harm to any Smurf except for dropping a pebble on Brainy's head, it goes off into the forest and scares away a spider.
- This episode is based on the original comic book story of the same name, in which Smurfette does not appear, though Gargamel does.
- The nameless Smurf who lost his clothes to the Howlibird and spends the majority of the story appearing in a towel does not appear in this adaptation.
- To see a transcript of this episode, click here.
Time Song List
1:03 Smurfs Credits
3:50 Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata (3rd Movement)
6:08 Mikhail Pletnev - Grieg: March of the Dwarfs
9:45 Star Wars - Oh, My!