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Smurfs Celebrate 50th Birthday

Today is positively Smurfy as the world marks the 50th Smurfday of the Smurfs, the blue heroes that first appeared in the comic books by Belgian cartoonist Peyo (aka Pierre Culliford) October 23, 1958.

In honor of their Smurfday, the Smurfs will be celebrating as they make their first-ever appearance in the 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As they make the journey from the Smurf village to Broadway this Thanksgiving, the Smurfs will take to the streets and the sky of the Big Apple with a new Smurf giant character helium balloon and float. When the balloon flies down Broadway, followed closely by a smurfariffic float, the Smurfs -- one of only three new giant helium character balloons in the legendary parade -- are sure to delight over 3.5 million spectators and over 50 million viewers nationwide.

From three apples tall to 47 feet high, the new Smurf balloon will be sure to put the blue in the sky on Thanksgiving Day. Waving hello to all his friends as he flies through the streets of Manhattan, the Smurf will measure approximately 57.6 feet long, 38.7 feet wide and 47 feet tall, when he is filled with 15,050 cubic feet of helium on parade day.

Along for the ride down Broadway and taking a leave from the Smurf village, Papa Smurf and Smurfette will follow the Smurf balloon on a float featuring a replica of one of the Smurfs legendary mushroom shaped homes. Not to be left out of the balloon fun, the entire Smurf mushroom home will be an inflatable balloon too.

The Smurfs were born on October 23, 1958, in the pages of the Belgian magazine SPIROU. Johan and Peewit, the heroes of a cartoon taking place in the middle ages, suddenly hear a small voice: "Can't you look where you smurf? You nearly smurfed me!" -- and a small, blue gnome emerges from behind a rock.

Since then, the Smurfs have moved into legend. The stars of comic books, the big screen, and the long-running NBC television series, the Smurfs also inspired record albums, video games, toys, and a steadily increasing collection of figurines. The Smurfs, known by many names in countless languages, are beloved all over the world.

Sony Pictures Ent. previously announced that a live-action/animated hybrid SMURFS motion picture is in development, to be produced by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation with producer Jordan Kerner (CHARLOTTE'S WEB) and writers David Stem and David Weiss (SHREK 2 and 3).

The 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off on Thursday, November 27, 2008 and is broadcast nationally on NBC-TV, from 9 a.m. to Noon in all time zones.