Toon Time

It's the 50th anniversary of the Smurfs! Did you know that the woodland cartoon characters are blue because of creator Pierre Culliford's wife? "They couldn't be green — they would have vanished in the vegetation. Red would have been too flashy and yellow a bit unfortunate. Only blue was left!" As for Smurf Village, a place notorious for having only one female resident, Smurfette, changes are in store. The Smurfs are set to star in feature film later this year, marking not only their big anniversary, but the arrival of girl power. Says Hendrik Coysman, head of Smurf rights holder IMPS, "There have been dramatic changes in socio-cultural values in the past 20 to 25 years. One of these is girl empowerment. So, there will be a greater female presence in the Smurf village and this will, of course, be a basis for new stories and this will probably turn upside down certain traditional situations within the village." Hmm, relying on one chick to lay a whole town is traditional? [Time; Reuters]