The Smurfs (French: Les - Schtroumpfs) is a comic and television franchise centered on a group of small blue fictional creatures called Smurfs, created and first introduced as a series of comic strips by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) on October 23, 1958. The original term and the accompanying language came during a meal Peyo was having with his colleague and friend André Franquin in which, having momentarily forgotten the word "salt", Peyo asked him (in French) to pass the schtroumpf. Franquin replied: "Here's the Schtroumpf — when you are done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back" and the two spent the rest of that weekend speaking in schtroumpf language. The name was later translated into Dutch as Smurf, which was adopted in English.
Though I could not get a look at this article, I did find in Soundscapes—Journal on Media Culture, the article "Queertoons: The Dynamics of Same-Sex Desire in the Animated Cartoon" by Jeffrey P. Dennis, which seems to be remarkably similar, if not the same article under a different name and publication In this article he discusses same-sex relationships in cartoons, though the article is in need of being updated in regards to present-day Fox Network adult-oriented cartoons, such as The Simpsons, American Dad, and Family Guy. The article was quite interesting, but I think he is extrapolating ideas that aren't intentional by the cartoonists. I want to end by quoting what he has to say about the Smurfs:
[J. Marc] Schmidt finds a "homotopia" in The Smurfs (1969-1986), a group of small blue humanoids named after their primary personality characteristics ("Hefty", "Brainy", "Clumsy"), because all but one was male, and because the Smurf named Vanity was a self-absorbed dandy who might be read as a homophobic stereotype. However, male Smurfs never developed exclusive or even close relationships with each other, whereas they often developed goofy crushes on Smurfette. The back story reveals that an evil wizard created Smurfette to introduce discord into the all-male village; more likely the character was introduced specifically to provide an object for the Smurfs' heterosexual desire and defuse conjectures that they might be "really" gay.Some of these arguments, I find to be quite humorous. People will read so much in a simple cartoon. I remember with G.I. Joe, and a few other cartoons of the same time, having a moral at the end of the show. "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." I just thought that this was interesting and wanted to share. So what do you think? Were the Smurfs a homosexual/communist utopia? Was Smurfette merely a cover-up, i.e. the smurf's beard?