"The Smurfs and the Magic Flute" was an animated feature film developed by Belvision Studios that was first released in Europe in 1976 and later in America in 1983, when it was dubbed into English. Because it was developed by a production company other than Hanna-Barbera and it does not tie in with any of the stories featured in the Smurfs cartoon show, it is considered a "non-canonical" Smurf story.
The story starts with a jousting tournament that The King is holding, which includes his champion, Sir Johan, besting himself against Lord Spottlebottom the Black Knight. Though the Black Knight is fearsome, Sir Johan easily dismounts him, giving his friend the court jester and would-be minstrel Peewit something to celebrate. As he finds the mandolin that The King hid in the place that he hopes Peewit would not find, he begins his song of friendship, which slowly drives people away, and which somehow causes a storm to break out over the castle. Sir Johan bravely sees Peewit safely back home and says goodnight as the two of them go to sleep.
The next morning, a traveling merchant pays The King a visit, hoping to sell something to his intended customer Peewit. As The King and Sir Johan find out, the merchant is selling various and strange musical instruments, which he demonstrates much to the chagrin of The King and Sir Johan. Although they both couldn't permit the merchant to sell any of his wares (basically to keep Peewit from acquiring any instrument due to his rather off-key playing) and eventually send him off, the merchant accidentally leaves behind a small flute, which The King and Sir Johan keep out of Peewit's sight when they find it before Peewit did. The King attempts to burn the flute in the fireplace, but it ends up producing deadly green smoke that fills his bedchamber that requires many hands to put out the fire.
Peewit finds the flute The King tried to destroy, discovering that it has six holes in it. After cleaning it out, he tries playing it to a passerby. While he was somehow able to play a beautiful tune from the flute, it also causes the passerby to uncontrollably dance. Peewit at first thinks it was a joke, but when he tries the flute on Lady Prattle, she also dances uncontrollably. He then realizes that the flute is truly magic. Soon he starts playing the flute all throughout the castle, and anyone who was in earshot of its tune began to dance uncontrollably -- even a troop of soldiers who meticulously march around the castle. He eventually shows The King and Sir Johan the flute's power when Peewit tries it out on them. However, when Peewit again plays it before a group of soldiers that he had used it on before, the soldiers end up passing out from the extended playing. Sir Johan begins to realize that the flute could be rather dangerous and tries to get it out of Peewit's hands, but he refuses to give it up.
Meanwhile, a passing thief named Matthew McCreep, who overhears what the flute could do from the passing merchant who lost it, decides to track it down to where it was lost. Befriending the young court jester during a dinner in the king's court with the minstrels playing a song, Matthew McCreep pretends to show interest in hearing Peewit play the magic flute. Immediately after hearing it, he tricks Peewit into letting him play a tune from the magic flute, leaving Peewit unconscious and tied up while he flees and begins using the magic flute to rob the townsfolk. An enraged Peewit runs throughout the castle with an ax, hoping to get his hands on Matthew, when he runs into The King and Sir Johan, telling them what happened. Realizing how dangerous the flute is, The King sends Sir Johan and Peewit to go after Matthew McCreep. For days they go searching after Matthew, asking various people they run into if they have seen a man with a flute, but they all haven't seen him -- until they come across a man in the road who had just seen him and had been robbed. The two ride off until they find him with his cart full of stolen property, ready to get their hands on him, until Matthew uses the flute on them, rendering them unconscious while he escapes.
Realizing that the flute is indeed magic, Sir Johan and Peewit seek after their friend Homnibus to see if there is any way to remove its power. Homnibus says the only ones who know about the flute are the Smurfs, and there is no known way to find their village except through a technique called "hypnokinesis", which would enable people to travel without actually leaving where they were. Sir Johan and Peewit allow Homnibus to put them to sleep and to use "hypno-kinesis" to transport them as close to the Smurf Village as he could. Soon, waking up in the Smurf forest, they encounter a single Smurf who leads them straight to their village where they meet its leader Papa Smurf, who then introduces the two humans to the rest of the Smurfs, explaining how each of them are like their names.
While Papa Smurf tells them there is no way they could remove the magic from the flute, he does offer them the solution of making another flute -- a task that requires cutting down a giant oak tree to get to the heart of the tree for the wood needed to make another flute. While this takes two days, with Sir Johan and Peewit patiently waiting and enduring the antics of the various Smurfs, plus Peewit's failed attempt to speak in Smurf, they succeed in getting the second flute completed. As the Smurfs celebrate their accomplishment with a party, Papa Smurf is about to give the two humans the second flute when Homnibus pulls them back too soon and is unable to send them back to the village, suffering a headache that puts him to sleep. Meanwhile, Matthew meets his old friend Earl Flatbroke and offers him part of the stolen valuables in exchange for help in gathering up an army to start a war and to take over The King's kingdom.
Fortunately, the Smurfs find Homnibus' hovel and deliver the second flute straight to Sir Johan and Peewit, who then ride off to the port city of Terminac. However, by this time, Matthew McCreep has gone over to the island off the port of Terminac in order to raise up an army for his friend Earl Flatbroke. Sir Johan tricks Earl Flatbroke into going over to that island by writing a letter that supposedly came from Matthew McCreep's hand, following him on board a ship with he and Peewit disguised as sailors and some of the Smurfs secretly stowing away. Upon reaching the island, Earl Flatbroke meets up with Matthew and shows him the letter that he supposedly wrote, which raises up their suspicions. As they head back to the dock, Sir Johan and Peewit meet up with both Matthew McCreep and Earl Flatbroke. Peewit and Matthew break out with their flutes and started playing tunes toward each other, hoping that either of them would get exhausted, causing whoever listened to their tunes to dance uncontrollably. Eventually, the both of them became deadlocked in a musical duel, and getting exhausted, Peewit and Matthew stop playing in order to catch their breaths, giving Peewit the opportunity to knock Matthew unconscious with a short burst from his flute.
With both flutes now in his possession, as well as Matthew McCreep and Earl Flatbroke bound and ready to be turned over to the law, Peewit was thinking of keeping both flutes when Sir Johan tells him that they should both be returned to the Smurfs so that they won't cause anymore trouble. This inspires Peewit to carve out a fake flute which he intends to hand over to the Smurfs as one of the real flutes. Upon returning to the kingdom, Sir Johan and Peewit hand over the two flutes to the Smurfs, who then take them back to their village. But then, behind everyone's back, Peewit begins to play a flute which he thought was a real flute...only to realize to his dismay (and everyone else's curiosity and relief) that it was the fake one that he carved out.
|Character||Original||UK English||US English|
|Johan||William Coryn||Grant Gottschall|
|Homnibus||Henri Crémieux||Ted Lehman|
|Smurf #2/Hefty Smurf||Roger Crouzet||Michael Sorich|
|Earl Flatbroke||Jacques Dynam||Ron Gans|
|Papa Smurf||Michel Elias||Bill Capizzi (1st version)|
Michael Sorich (2nd version)
|Dame Barde||Ginette Garcin||Unknown|
|Fisherman||Henri Labussière||Robert Axelrod|
|Torchesac/Matthew Oily-Creep/Matthew McCreep||Albert Médina||Mike Reynolds|
|Pirlouit/William/Peewit||Michel Modo||Stuart Lock||Cameron Clarke|
|Deaf Person||Robert Axelrod|
|Smurf #1/Grouchy Smurf||Jacques Ruisseau||Robert Axelrod|
|Brainy Smurf||Unknown||Bill Capizzi|
- Original: Jacques Balutin, Angelo Bardi, Jacques Marin
- UK: Ed Devereaux, Bill Owen, Harry Dickman, Richard Pescud, Vernon Morris, Yael O'Dwyer, Anna MacLeod, Richard Ashley, Paul Felber, Michael Fields, Kalman Glass
- US: Patty Foley, Star X. Phifer, Dudly Knight, John Rust, Richard Miller, David Page, Durga McBroom, Michael Sorich
- This animated movie is based on the original comic book story by the same name, which at the time of its creation had a very primitive appearance of the Smurfs, since this would be their first introduction. Like all Smurf stories Peyo had created up until "The Smurfette" and "Romeo And Smurfette" and eventually up into the 1980s, this story and the movie it was based on did not feature Smurfette.
- The movie has been dubbed into English twice, once for the British audiences and another time for the American audiences. Some notable differences between the two dubs are:
- The music number performed in the minstrels in the king's court is "Life Is A Voyage" in the United States English dub and "Gentle Lady" in the United Kingdom English dub.
- When the King sends off the merchant in the United Kingdom English dub, he threatens to have him hanged if he ever returns. In the United States English dub, the King threatens to have the merchant locked in a dungeon and forced to listen to Peewit's singing (which he claims to be the worst torture in the world).
- The original French and United Kingdom English dubs contain several moments of missing dialogue. This is especially noticeable during two scenes with Brainy Smurf, Johan, and Peewit: first at the end of the working song and again during the Smurfs' party sequence. This was corrected in the United States English dub, which, along with the German and Dutch dubs, elaborate on the dialogue. However, the problem persists with the other foreign versions, though the Czech, Greek, Catalan, and 2011 European Spanish dubs fixed at least one of the two scenes mentioned above.
- The characters are given different names.
- Peewit is called William in the United Kingdom English dub.
- Sir Johan is occasionally called Sir John in both English dubs.
- Matthew McCreep is called Matthew Oilycreep in the United Kingdom English dub.
- Greedy Smurf is called Sweety Smurf in the United States English dub.
- Handy Smurf is called Handyman Smurf in both English dubs.
- Grouchy Smurf is called Grumpy Smurf in the United Kingdom English dub.
- Actor Smurf is called Festive Smurf in the United Kingdom English dub. (It's most likely that he's supposed to be Reveler Smurf according to the original French vocal track. In a few foreign dubs, he's misidentified as Jokey Smurf.)
- Hefty Smurf is called the Smurf Strongman in the United Kingdom English dub.
- Lady Prattle is called Lady Gripe in the United Kingdom English dub.
- Oliver is called Tricky in the United States English dub.
- Biquette is called Kid in the United Kingdom English dub and Annie in the United States English dub.
- Homnibus' name is never mentioned in the United States English dub; he is simply referred to as "the wizard".
- Lord Spottlebottom is simply referred to as the Black Knight in the United Kingdom English dub.
- Though none of the voice actors from the cartoon show did any of the voices for this movie in the United States English dub, sound-alike versions of Frank Welker's Hefty and Bill Callaway's Clumsy do appear on other Smurf characters featured in it. These two particular Smurfs are known as Schemer and Southy in the United States English dub.
- There have actually been two different versions of the United States English dub. While they are nearly the same, both versions use different voice actors for Papa Smurf, and in the 2nd version, Johan (pronounced as "Yohan" in the 1st version) is called John. The original VHS release uses the 2nd version (with "John").
- In syndicated televised versions of the United States English dub (using the 1st version above), the Smurfs' party sequence, which originally took place after the completion of the flute and just before Sir Johan and Peewit return back to Homnibus, was shifted to the beginning of the movie, right after the jousting tournament and Peewit's song of friendship, with some narration added.
- There have been three different English versions of the opening titles: the original United Kingdom and United States releases use red text on a blue background (blue-black for the original United Kingdom edition). For the 2010 DVD, the opening titles are slightly shortened and take place on a brown background with completely different text, the addition of the URL to the official Smurfs website, and without the mention of the film being "A Brussels' Belvision Production".
- Also, the original credits for the United States English dub run longer compared to the other foreign versions. For the 2010 DVD, the UK and French credit sequence remains un-restored.
- Jokey Smurf does not appear anywhere in the movie, despite promotional literature and advertisements that say otherwise. (However, a brief shot of a random Smurf laughing can be seen at the end of "Just Like Their Names", possibly hinting that it could be him. ) Also, the Greedy Smurf that appears in the movie is based on the original comic book version instead of the cartoon show version that wears a chef's hat (which is actually an analog of the original comic book's Cook/Baker Smurf character), and, despite what is illustrated in the movie poster, all the young Smurfs are rather identical in appearance with each other.
- Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs, oversaw the production of this movie in its original non-English version at Brussels' Belvision Studios in 1975.
- It was not until the success of Hanna-Barbera's Smurfs cartoon that The Smurfs And The Magic Flute began to gain widespread attention: in the early 1980s, Stuart R. Ross, head of First Performance Pictures Corporation, acquired the American rights to the film for US $1,000,000. In doing so, he sold those rights to Tribune Entertainment (television), Vestron Video (VHS), and Atlantic Releasing (theatrical).
- The music score was written by Michel Legrand, then an Oscar winner for Summer of '42 and the original Thomas Crown Affair.
- This movie grossed over US $11 million out of a maximum 432 venues, the highest on record for a non-Disney production until The Care Bears Movie in 1985.
- This was originally billed as "the Smurfs' one and only full-length motion picture...ever!" It is now followed by the release of the 2011 Smurfs movie by Sony Pictures Animation.
- Dutch singer Vader Abraham (Father Abraham) was asked to make a promotional song for the movie in 1977.
- The production of the film was a result of the collaboration between the two giants and competitors of Belgian comic publishing: Dupuis and Le Lombard. Before the film was produced, Dupuis (represented by TVA Dupuis) and Le Lombard (represented by Belvision Studios) wanted to the produce the film. Though Belvision was better on making films, Peyo found it difficult to decide as if he chose Belvision Studios, Dupuis, the publisher of most of the Peyo's works, would not be satisfied. Later, Peyo had a meeting with the representatives of Belvision Studios and they convinced Peyo to choose them to produce the film. A meeting was also held between the bosses of Dupuis and Le Lombard and they finally agreed to collaborate with each other to produce the film. Belvision Studios (Le Lombard) would be the producer while Dupuis would provide the fund for producing.
- Before the film was produced, Peyo hesitated to choose the story that would be adapted. Finally, he decided to choose "The Smurfs And The Magic Flute" rather than creating another new story because of the popularity of the Smurfs. When the film was producing, both the producers and Peyo worried that the audiences did not know about Johan and Peewit and therefore they lengthened the opening of the film compared to the original comic version.
- Alpha Video and Intervision Video released the film on VHS in the United Kingdom in 1981.
- The Video Collection released the film on VHS in the United Kingdom in 1985.
- Vestron Video released the 1st version of the United States English dub on VHS in the United States in the 1980s, while Goodtimes Entertainment re-released it in the 1990s.
- It was also released on laserdisc format.
- In 1987, Children's Video Library released the film in a 43-minute cut, excising over half an hour of material, reissued later in the decade by the discount Video Treasures and Avid Home Entertainment labels.
- The film was originally planned to be released on DVD by Morningstar Entertainment in 2008, but ended up getting cancelled.
- Televista did a limited unofficial release of the 2nd version of the United States English dub on DVD in 2008. A collector's edition was released on DVD the same year.
- On October 11, 2010, Fabulous Films released the film on both DVD and Blu-Ray Disc in the United Kingdom for Region 2 players, using the United Kingdom English dub. The same DVD was also released in North America through Shout! Factory on August 14, 2012.
- Canadian video distributor Imavision released a dual English/French DVD of the film, using the United Kingdom English dub.
- Apple iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and Google Play has the movie available for download, also using the United Kingdom English dub.
- Netflix also has the United Kingdom English dub available for streaming.
- Beyond Home Entertainment released the movie as a Region 4 DVD in Australia.
- The Smurfs And The Magic Flute at Wikipedia.com