Stereotypes Exposed In The Smurfs
Characters in The Smurfs are use to symbolize groups of people that do not fit into society. Women characters specifically tend to be stereotyped. Women are constantly portrayed as housewives, protective of others, and they are always in need of male support. Although this is sometimes true, women are given more authority over men and are able to handle many situations on their own. For example, Grace, a pregnant woman, who convinces her husband to let the Smurfs stay in their house, has to call Patrick, her husband, to provide her with help when she can no longer fight off Gargamel.
Not only women are stereotyped but also people with different personalities. Clumsy, a destructive Smurf, is the outcast of his family, while everyone else relies on Smarty, an intelligent Smurf, to figure out what they have to do to return home. In these ways, the Smurf writers tend to portray stereotypes of personalities and gender throughout their movies. In Smurfs, each character was named based on their personalities. Throughout the movie, we are able to see that Clumsy is categorized as the center of disaster. In the plot, Clumsy does not listen to Papa, leading the wizard to finding their village and destroying it.
If we analyze this deeply, we can see that Clumsy causes trouble constantly due to his personality. Clumsy is denied the option to travel along with his family on their search to find the blue moon. Therefore, he feels lonely and useless because his family does not want him to be involved because they are afraid he will get them into more trouble. Gargamel, too, is a personality stereotyped. He is looked down because he is not dressed as a New Yorker. He is seen as a manic because he goes around asking people for blue little creatures.
People do not take the time to interact with him. Gender stereotyping is also a concern in Smurfs. We can still see the same stereotypical views about women that were incorporated in the 1950’s in movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In Smurfs, we see that Smurfette and Grace are excluded from events that are seen as dangerous to the male characters because they do not want the women to risk their well-being. Moreover, we can see that the women do not care because the well-being of their family is more important to them than their equality.
For example, Grace is willing to risk her pregnancy to help the Smurfs find the telescope to search for the blue moon. In this scene of the movie, Grace has to fight off Gargamel at the toy store. Grace expresses motherly instinct by her actions. She feels that it is her job to protect the Smurfs from Gargamel. Grace ends up calling Patrick to help her.
Her actions also demonstrate that although women have some power, they still need the support of men. Patrick arrives at the toy store in seconds and he saves the day. Furthermore, Smurfette is willing to risk her life to save Papa from Gargamel because she knows that Gargamel is after her family. Gargamel had formed Smurfette to help him destroy the Smurfs village but she ends up betraying him. If we were to analyze this deeply, we would see that women are still portrayed as needing the help of men to rescue them from danger, and that they have motherly instincts that lead them to care for others by providing them with protection.
Even though we see all of this happening, there is a twist to it. Odile is shown to be a woman of power because she is the boss of a cosmetics company. Although not all women are portrayed this way, it shows that women and men can handle the same jobs, and that women can control men. Patrick has to listen to the orders Odile gives him or else he is out of a job and will not be able to support his new family. Beauty plays a major role in The Smurfs.
Patrick has to make advertisements that will help rise the company’s income and women use beauty to get what they want. Odile uses beauty products to get the attention of women and men to help her company. She represents one of the major stereotypes of women: caring too much about beauty. When Gargamel follows the Smurfs into this company, he uses his wand to make one of the women there beautiful and young. Therefore, Odile and the rest of the women are amazed and are interested in knowing his secret knowing that it will benefit the company and themselves.
Despite these stereotypes, represents themes that are important in creating a society or family. Smurfs promotes the idea that parents play a major role in the development of their children based on the way Papa speaks to them about valuing family and never giving up. Papa teaches his children that family should be the most important thing to them. Most importantly, The Smurfs stick together and save Papa by defeating Gargamel. After defeating Gargamel, the Smurfs return to their village, reconstructing their homes.
Although they have been through a lot, they are able to overcome those obstacles and grow closer as a family or society. In these ways, they are teaching their audience that anyone can have a new beginning and they can fix their mistakes. Parents need to be aware of what their children are watching because every movie has its good and bad messages. As parents, they need to focus on the good ones and push away the negative ones to impact their children in a beneficial way.