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Smurfs Rights Holder Announces Rebrand to Peyo Company

Plans for two new TV series inspired by the original comic books by Peyo, ‘The Tales of Johan & Peewit’ and ‘Benny Breakiron,’ were revealed at Annecy.

IMPS, global license holder for The Smurfs IP, has rebranded as Peyo Company. The announcement was made at the Annecy Festival’s MIFA International Animation Film Market, and includes plans for the launch of a new animation production program that will see the expansion of The Smurfs franchise and revive other original creations from creator and storyteller Peyo.

The renamed company will tell new stories inspired by Peyo’s creations with what it calls “a touch of modernity that will resonate with new generations.” This begins with the launch of two new TV series projects inspired by the original comic books, The Tales of Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron.

There are also plans for a feature film with Paramount Animation directed by Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse) and set for global release in February 2025:

“Paramount and the filmmakers are working side by side with the Peyo Company to help carry out the vision of the legendary artist and creator of The Smurfs, and to celebrate the charm of Peyo’s world and the beauty of his artwork, while translating that look for today’s audiences.”

“We are delighted to be working with Paramount Animation on an all-new theatrical production, The Smurfs Movie,” commented Nele De Wilde, CCO Audiovisual and Music at Peyo Company. “Paramount pulled together a dream team of filmmakers led by the smurftastic director, Chris Miller, co-director Matt Landon, and producers Ryan Harris, Rihanna, Laurence ‘jay’ Brown, and Tyran ‘ty-ty’ Smith. This fresh take on the beloved Smurfs will see them go on an interdimensional adventure to discover the power within and answer the universal question: ‘What is a Smurf?’ We’re thrilled that Rihanna is on board to voice Smurfette and write, produce and perform original songs for the film.”

Before The Smurfs became a worldwide hit, Peyo (Pierre Culliford) had already created an entire fantasy world and other fascinating titles, such as Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron. Few people know that Peyo first introduced the Smurfs as a supporting act in a Johan & Peewit story called The Smurfs & the Magic Flute (“la Flute à Six Schtroumpfs”) in 1958. Readers from the weekly magazine in which Johan & Peewit was published were so enthusiastic about how much they loved these blue characters that they returned and, eventually, Peyo created a spin-off fully dedicated to their adventures.

To promote and perpetuate the work and the legacy of Peyo, Véronique Culliford, Peyo’s daughter, founded IMPS in 1984. Under her guidance, The Smurfs has become an immensely popular brand across the globe, reaching an incredible 95% global brand awareness.

“It’s been an honor to be able to build such a success out of the blue characters my father created. And now I hope we will do the same for some of his other creations, Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron,” Culliford commented. “To underline our engagement to expand his legacy beyond the Smurfs, we are renaming IMPS as the Peyo Company. It’s a well-deserved tribute to my father, and features his signature, with which he signed thousands of drawings, as our new logo.”

Season 2 of The Smurfs animated series arrives on Netflix on June 30, and Season 3 will launch on Nickelodeon this summer, while Season 4 is currently in pre-development.