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The Smurfs and the Magic Flute
SmurfsMagicFlute Poster.PNG
North American theatrical release poster
Directed by José Dutillieu
Produced by José Dutillieu
Screenplay by Peyo
Story by Peyo
Yvan Delporte
Starring See cast below
Music by
Editing by Nebiha Ben Milad
Michèle Neny
Studio Éditions Dupuis
Belvision Studios
Distributed by SEPP, Brussels
Release date(s) 7 October 1976 (1976-10-07) (Belgium)
19 April 1979 (1979-04-19) (U.K.)
25 November 1983 (1983-11-25) (U.S.)
Running time 74 minutes
Country Belgium
Language French
Money made $19 million

The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (French: La Flûte à six schtroumpfs, lit. The Flute of Six Smurfs) is a 1976 Belgian animated film starring the Smurfs, directed by their creator, Peyo. Although the film premiered in 1976 in Belgium, and 1979 in the United Kingdom, it was not released in the United States until 1983, in the wake of the characters' newfound popularity.

Although the Smurfs play a major part, they do not appear until 35 minutes into the film. It is set in the Middle Ages and mainly concerns Johan and Peewit, a young squire and his jester sidekick. Johan and Peewit were created by Peyo in 1952 and it was in their adventures that the Smurfs were first introduced in 1958.

The film was not produced by Hanna-Barbera, the creators of The Smurfs television series, but by Brussels' Belvision Studios and Éditions Dupuis. The voice talent from that show was not present in either English version. Instead, the work was handled by a non-union crew whose members had previously appeared in anime dubs for U.S. television for the American dub, while a non-union British crew was used for the UK English dub.

A presentation of independent film company Atlantic Releasing in the United States, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute grossed over US$19 million. The film's success led to the creation of Clubhouse Pictures, Atlantic's children's film division.

The English dub of the film was presented in Dolby Stereo sound.

Plot

The Smurfs and the Magic Flute was set at a castle during the Middle Ages. One day a merchant brings musical instruments to sell to Peewit, the court jester, but because Peewit is such a terrible musician, the King throws the merchant out before Peewit arrives. However, he has left behind a flute that has only six holes. The King throws it into the fireplace in his room, which starts to emit green smoke. When the fire is put out, Peewit retrieves the flute from the ashes unharmed. He cleans it and starts playing it for the whole castle, realizing that it causes everyone to dance when it is played.

That night a man named Matthew McCreep learns from the merchant that the same flute he had been looking for is at the castle. He heads over to the castle and steals the flute from Peewit. The king sends Peewit and the young knight Johan out to catch McCreep, who uses the flute to rob people of their money. However, McCreep uses the flute to stop them. Johan and Peewit then go to the house of Homnibus the wizard. Using a spell called Hypnokenesis, the wizard sends Johan and Peewit to Smurfland where the magic flute was built.

Upon arriving, they meet a Smurf who leads them to the village. Papa Smurf greets the two of them and tells them that they will make a new flute in order to counter McCreep's flute. The Smurfs head into the forest and chop down a huge tree to get wood from the tree trunk's very centre as only this kind of wood can be useful in crafting a magical flute. Afterwards, they celebrate with a party. However, just as Papa Smurf is about to give the flute to Johan and Peewit, the two are warped back to the wizard's house. Homnibus tries the spell again but passes out from a headache.

Meanwhile, McCreep, who has now stolen over 7,000 gold pieces, arrives at the castle of his secret partner, Earl Flatbroke. McCreep tells Flatbroke of his plan to go to an island to hire people for an army to raise war on the King's castle; two Smurfs had been listening to this. Back at the wizard's house, the Smurfs regroup with Johan and Peewit and give them the magic flute. Then they head to the port of Terminac where McCreep sets sail for the island. However, they are too late. Papa Smurf tells Johan and Peewit about Flatbroke's castle and Johan comes up with a plan.

Flatbroke receives a letter from McCreep (written by Johan) to come to the island. He heads over to Terminac to board a ship where Johan and Peewit are also on board in disguise as well as Papa Smurf and three others. They head to the island where Johan and Peewit tail Flatbroke. Suddenly, Peewit comes face to face with McCreep and they both start playing their flutes to each other. They both become exhausted soon after, but Peewit knocks out McCreep with a final note.

With McCreep and Flatbroke being brought back to the castle and all the stolen money recovered, Peewit now has two magic flutes. Johan tells him that the flutes are dangerous and must be brought back to the Smurfs, but Peewit begins to carve a phony flute to give to them instead. At the castle, Johan and Peewit give the flutes back to the Smurfs, and after they leave, Peewit starts playing the flute, only to realize (to his horror) that it has no effect on the townsfolk; it is rather the fake flute he had made, much to his frustration.

Voice cast

Character Original UK English US English
Senechal/Chancellor/Lord Miller Georges Atlas Unknown Unknown
Merchant Jacques Balutin
Visitor Jacques Ciron
Johan/John William Coryn Grant Gottschall
Homnibus Henri Crémieux Ted Lehman
Smurf #2 Roger Crouzet Michael Sorich
Mortaille/Mumford/Earl Flatbroke Jacques Dynam Ron Gans
Papa Smurf Michel Elias Bill Capizzi (1st version)
Michael Sorich (2nd version)
Dame Barde/Lady Gripe/Lady Prattle Ginette Garcin Unknown
Fisherman Henri Labussière Robert Axelrod
Torchesac/Matthew Oily-Creep/Matthew "Oily" McCreep Albert Médina Mike Reynolds
Pirlouit/William/Peewit Michel Modo Stuart Lock Cam Clarke
The King Georges Pradez Unknown Michael Sorich
Guard Serge Nadaud Unknown
Deaf Person Robert Axelrod
Oliver Unknown
Silvermonger
Smurf #1 Jacques Ruisseau Robert Axelrod
Brainy Smurf Unknown Bill Capizzi

Additional Voices

  • Original: Jacques Balutin, Angelo Bardi, Jacques Marin
  • UK: Ed Devereaux, Bill Owen, Harry Dickman, Richard Pescud, Vernon Morris, Stuart Lock, Yael O'Dwyer, Anna MacLeod, Richard Ashley, Paul Felber, Michael Fields, Kalman Glass
  • US: Patty Foley, Bill Capizzi, Star X. Phifer, Dudley Knight, John Rust, Richard Miller, David Page, Durga McBroom, Michael Sorich

Inspiration

The film is based on La Flûte à six trous ("The Flute with Six Holes"), which appeared in the Belgian weekly comic Spirou magazine in 1958/59. Subsequent book publications renamed it as La Flûte à six Schtroumpfs ("The Flute with Six Smurfs"), which was also the French title of the film.

In 2008, a prequel Les Schtroumpfeurs de flûte ("The Flute Smurfers") was published, marking the 50th anniversary of the original story to introduce the Smurfs. This story tells of how the Smurfs make the magic flute and how it ends up in the hands of a human merchant.

Sources

  • Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. ISBN: 1-55652-591-5. Chicago Reader Press. Retrieved 5 April 2007.es:La Flûte à six schtroumpfs
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