The Smurfs are little blue creatures that live in mushroom houses in a forest inhabited mainly by their own kind. The smurfs average daily routine is attempting to avoid Gargomel, an evil man who wants to kill our little blue friends.
Philipe Dumat (1925-2006) was a French voice actor who dubbed Ernie and Count von Count on 1, Rue Sésame, ...
When Gargamel first appeared in Le Voleur de schtroumpf ("The Smurfnapper"), published in 1959, he captured a smurf which he needed as an ingredient for a potion to make gold in accordance with the famed alchemic legend of the Philosopher's Stone. The other smurfs rallied against him, freed the kidnapped smurf and the sorcerer was defeated and humiliated. Gargamel swore revenge: from now on the conflict would be personal.
Sometimes, he wants to eat the Smurfs, while other times, he wants to use them to make gold, and still other times, he has even more bizarre uses for them (in one instance, he is so enraged by his loss that he yells "I don't want to eat them, I don't want to turn them into gold, all I want now is to DESTROY THEM!"). Though he often catches Smurfs who wander by his home or which he happens across in the forest, he does not know the location of the hidden Smurf village, a fact which continually frustrates him.
On some occasions, he has discovered the location of the village, but sooner or later, gets led away from it due to either a magic spell put on him by Papa Smurf or because of some other bizarre factor. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of his being led away from the village while chasing the Smurfs, losing them and then being unable to find his way back.
On one occasion, his obsessive search led him to explore the deepest caves, the muddiest marshlands and even going far out to sea. He was just about to give up and go home when, quite by chance, he did finally find the village but, as always, circumstances were against him. There were a few times in the series that Gargamel was on the same side as the Smurfs. Papa Smurf becomes a smurfling and the only way the Smurfs can get him back to normal is with Gargamel's assistance.
To try and cause trouble to the Smurfs, Gargamel has created other Smurfs, most notably Smurfette. Smurfette was adopted by the Smurfs, but Sassette the smurfling, who the other smurflings created, was made from the same clay that Gargamel used for Smurfette. Sassette refers to Gargamel as "Pappy Gargamel" and she is the only one in Smurf village who wishes to see some good in him. Despite his never-ending hatred and frustration for the Smurfs, more than once has he had to rely on Papa Smurf to help save him from a more wicked enemy's plans (such as Balthazar) or to rescue him from a potion gone horribly wrong. Other times, they have had to team up to fight a common enemy.
In later episodes, he acquired an apprentice named Scruple, who was frequently rejected from a boarding school for young wizards and only Gargamel was willing to teach him magic. Scruple seems moderately brighter and more savvy than his master, though still inexperienced in the ways of magic. Although Scruple aids Gargamel in capturing the Smurfs, his main problem is with the students of the wizard academy who berate him for failing to qualify for admission. However, in the scheme of things, the smugness of the students proves to be a weakness for them, as Scruple has some success using Gargamel's magic to cause them problems.
In 1989, the final season of the series, where the Smurfs are constantly traveling through time, different incarnations of Gargamel would appear, such as showing him as an Indian fakir, a Russian peasant, or a Spanish bullfighter. In one of the earlier episodes of the final seasons, where Gargamel is shown as an Egyptian pharaoh, Papa Smurf believes that all these similar-looking men (and their cats) seen must be ancestors of the infamous Gargamel and Azrael of their present time.
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