Things might have been a little smurfed up in Smurf Village. The friendly blue creatures were socialists and "the embodiment of a totalitarian utopia, steeped in Stalinism and Nazism," says one French sociologist in the new book, Le Petit Livre Bleu, or The Little Blue Book. The author claims the Smurfs—introduced in a Belgian newspaper in 1958—lived in a utopian society akin to Hitler's vision for Berlin, reports the Huffington Post.
The book author's arguments: The Smurfs are led by the authority figure, Papa Smurf; Smurfette was a perfect Aryan; Smurf Village is a collective economy where no one Smurf owned property; and the monster who plagues them—Gargamel—matches up with negative Jewish caricatures. In addition, the author says the first comic strip, "The Black Smurfs," was a thinly veiled commentary on a racial threat. "In that album, the Smurfs are sick," he says. "And when they're sick, they don't turn purple or red or anything like that, they become black. And when they become black, they lose all trace of intelligence." The son of the creator of the Smurfs says the claims are "between the grotesque and the not serious." (Click for more, including a video interview with the author and with fans who think he's off base.)