Star Trek Guide

The Smurfs' TERRIFYING Christmas Special Was a Fight With... the Devil Himself?!

The Smurfsfranchise is known for its upbeat and kid-friendly tone, emphasizing the importance of friendship and community. While the 1982 Christmas special from The Smurfs second season doesn't deviate from these points, it does feature a genuinely terrifying villain in the "Christmas Stranger," a supernatural, purple-cloaked man who mirrors none other than the Devil himself.

The supposed animated counterpart of Lucifer appears only a few minutes into the episode. The plot follows the Smurfs as they prepare for their Christmas celebration --setting up the tree, wrapping presents, singing Christmas carols and annoying their friends with horn solos. Nearby in the forest, an older man and his two grandchildren -- Guinevere and William -- are happily singing hymns in their sleigh when the sinister Christmas Stranger sends a pack of wolves that attacks the trio and flips their sleigh upside down, trapping the grandfather and severely injuring him. The children escape, but the Christmas Stranger relentlessly pursues them.

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When the children meet Gargamel, a wizard who despises the Smurfs and constantly plots to destroy them, they beg him for help, but he turns them away, only to be confronted later by the Christmas Stranger. He reveals that the children's uncle always interferes with his wicked plans and hopes to kidnap the children in retaliation. The Christmas Stranger ropes Gargamel into his schemes, pulling a move for the Devil by promising to give the hapless wizard a scroll that will destroy the Smurfs once and for all if he helps.

Gargamel obliges and brings Guinevere and William to the Christmas Stranger, who, true to his word, presents the wizard with the scroll, which he uses to destroy the Smurfs' village and their Christmas tree. Hoping to get the reward of ten gold coins from the children's uncle, Gargamel points the man and his followers in the direction of the Christmas Stranger, prompting the fiend to suddenly appear behind Gargamel and accuse him of violating their contract.

Meanwhile, the Smurfs come to the two children's aide after hearing them sadly singing in the forest as the Christmas Stranger and a pack of wolves advances upon them. Realizing the Christmas Stranger is nothing but pure evil, Papa Smurf instructs his fellow blue folk to sing as they've never sung before, and they raise their voices against the fiend, insisting that "goodness makes the badness go away." They even get Gargamel to join in the singing, which makes the Christmas Stranger weaker until he vanishes into thin air. Presumably, he's banished back to the Underworld, and the Smurfs happily celebrate their victory while the children reunite with their uncle.

While the episode ended on a happy note, there can be no denying the surprisingly bleak addition of a Devil-like figure, who proudly boasts about his network of evil informants, summons massive rings of fire at the drop of a hat, makes deals to ensure the suffering of others and conjures swarms of slithering snakes. Even the Smurfs -- who tend to see the goodness in everyone, including Gargamel -- view him as entirely evil. Voiced by Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), the Christmas Stranger oozes menace as he chases the children through the forest and uses dark magic against his enemies.

The Smurfs Christmas Special doesn't explicitly label the Christmas Stranger as the Devil, but his abilities to summon fire and snakes, create finding scrolls and his eagerness to make deals with the easily influenced paints a clear picture of who the Christmas Stranger is and the evil he represents. Sure, he was defeated by a song, but it's the goodness within the Smurfs and the children that drive him away.

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