Gargamel the Generous (The Smurfs, 1981)
Gargamel the Generous is a Season 1 episode of The Smurfs (1981).
Gargamel pretends to be a nice man and gets the Smurfs to give him the diamonds. Unfortunately, his bag of Smurfs was switched with his bag of diamonds and proceeds to catch them in the river.
Why It's Not Generous
- This episode is infamous for its typical episode formula: The Smurfs mind their own business, Gargamel plots a scheme to capture them, Papa Smurf saves the day, Brainy recites a long speech and gets thrown out of the village by the end of the episode. Not all the episodes follow this formula entirely, as there are some exceptions.
- In this episode, Papa Smurf sees Gargamel as evil and doesn't trust him at all (ignoring the plot of their team up from Romeo and Smurfette). From Season 2 onwards, he is more caring of Gargamel's well-being than ever before and is willing to help him out (or else the Smurfs are no better than he is).
- The episode suffers from predictable jokes and one-liners, as well as most of the animation being stiff, robotic and some errors.
- It's nowhere near as dark and/or interesting as its contemporaries, such as "The Smurfette" and "The Astro Smurf". Even if it isn't the post-Smurflings era yet, this episode and "Smurf Me No Flowers" are examples of light-hearted stories that would set the tone for later on.
- Brainy Smurf serves no purpose to the story, as usual.
- A good plot of manipulating people for their kindness, this suffered from strictly formulaic writing. In later episodes of the series, the plot was reworked.
- A role reversal of this episode did it better in "Heavenly Smurfs". This time, The Smurfs pretend to be angels and devils in order for Gargamel to be nice to the others.
- Some of the scenes were staged incorrectly due to lower budgets. After the Smurfs thwarted Gargamel's plans, they remain in the forest instead of going back to the village like they do in a few episodes.
- Despite being clever, the part where the Smurfs switch places with the diamonds through magic is pretty anticlimactic.
- The Smurfs are still likeable characters.
- Some funny moments, such as Clumsy knocking some Smurfs over and asking why everyone is laying down.
- Some good animators working on this episode, such as Kenneth Muse.