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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Is Papa Smurf really a small, blue, racist, sexist Nazi?

    Sacre bleu!

    The Smurfs may not be as innocent as they look.

    The tribe of little blue creatures who live peacefully among the mushrooms are “steeped in Stalinism and Nazism,” according to a French sociologist.

    “Collective work always focuses on self-sufficiency for food and energy,” Antoine Buéno states in “Le Petit Livre Bleu” (The Little Blue Book). “The Smurfs do not have private property; their leader is Papa Smurf who shows very authoritarian and paternalistic characteristics.”

    Buéno also makes the connection that the little blue men’s biggest enemy, the magician Gargamel, seems to have a Jewish background—citing similarities to the anti-Semitic images of the World War II era.

    The French writer also claims that the Smurfs do not just resemble Nazis, but sexist Nazis to boot! Smurfette—traditionally the only woman living in the Smurf’s village—allegedly meets the Aryan ideal of beauty with her blonde hair and refined features.

    Buéno also accuses the hapless Smurfs of racism.

    “The first comic strip, ‘The Black Smurfs,’ was intimately concerned with what you might classify as a racial threat,” Buéno told the Wall Street Journal. “Because in that album, the Smurfs are sick. And when they’re sick, they don’t turn purple or red or anything like that, they become black. And when they become black, they lose all trace of intelligence. They become completely moronic. And further more, they can no longer speak, they just go ‘nyap nyap nyap.’”

    American publishers may have seen something in that theory, as they refused to publish that first book. Later, the sickly Smurfs color was changed to purple.

    The Smurfs were first created by Belgian artist Peyo in 1958. Their adventures will be chronicled in “The Smurfs,” a 3D movie starring Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris and George Lopez that opens on July 29.

    Meanwhile, Thierry Culliford, the son of Smurfs creator Peyon, is not thrilled with Buéno’s analysis of his father’s work.

    “I disagree with his interpretation,” he told Flemish paper Der Morgen. “It is between the grotesque and the not serious.”

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