This second Smurfs book jumps over more than half a dozen episodes to offer the 11th and 12th Smurfs tales. Why this giant leap? Who knows. Perhaps it was a marketing decision, seeing as they were the most recent adventures. That would make sense, I suppose; strike when the iron’s hot.
But why would they publish them back-@$$wards, with number 12 first followed by number 11? Peculiar. Was it so that they could name the album after the better of the two tales? That would also make sense. But it’s confusing as all get out for those who want to read them in their natural order.
On that note, here are my thoughts on the shorts in this book:
1. Le Schtroumpfissime (Smurfs episode #12)
I thoroughly enjoyed this more elaborate story because of all the political stuff involved. It was fun to watch the way politics affected the Smurfs, both in positive and negative ways – it echoed a lot of what we’ve seen around the world throughout time, but simplified for children. It was neat to see how naïve the Smurfs can be because they’re pure at heart, but also how the flip side is that they are influenceable. And yet, ultimately, they remain true to their nature.
2. Schtroumpfonie en ut (Smurfs episode #11)
This is a fluff piece, but an enjoyable one, about a Smurf who wants to be part of the big symphony that Papa Smurf is conducting, but can’t because he plays out of tune no matter what he does. His desire to be included leads him to Gargamel, who immediately tricks him into unknowingly betraying the village. As one can imagine, this Smurf will find a way to redeem himself in the face of utter disaster.
Anchored by the strength of the first piece, and floating by pleasantly on the gentle waves of the second story, this book makes for an excellent read. By this point, the Smurfs are very much as we’ve come to know them, so even though we skip a number of episodes it reads well. And it actually holds up many years later, and at an age when one should stop enjoying “funny books”. It’s good fun for young and old.