|Voice Actor||Paul Winchell (cartoon)|
|Actor||Hank Azaria (2011 film)|
|First Appearance||"The Smurfnapper" (The Black Smurfs comic book)|
|Name Translation of Gargamel|
|German||Gurgelhals (only in the old comic books!)|
- "I'll get you, I'll get all of you if that's the last thing I ever do!"
Gargamel (A.K.A. "Gargy") is one of the main characters of the Smurfs comic books and the Smurfs cartoon show. In the comic books, he has first appeared in "The Smurfnapper", one of the stories of The Black Smurfs comic book album. In the cartoon show, he has appeared up to Season 8, being the show's main villain, although several similar villains appear in Season 9. He is strongly hated by Grouchy Smurf.
He was the main antagonist who, along with his cat Azrael, and later with a young apprentice named Scruple, continued to plot against the Smurfs in order to capture and/or destroy them. He was responsible for the creation of Smurfette, who was changed into a real Smurf by Papa Smurf. Gargamel hates having his Birthday on Halloween because every year nobody wishes him a Happy Birthday or gives him a present. Deep down Gargamel is lonely. All Gargamel really wants is for somebody to remember his Birthday. Gargamel is insecure due to being ugly and uncomfortable with corns on his feet.
What Does He Need the Smurfs For?
Gargamel's motive for capturing all the Smurfs varies, depending on the episode. His motives are:
- To turn them into gold
- To eat them
- To destroy them
Whatever the reason, Gargamel just plain hates the Smurfs. In the original comic book stories, Gargamel kidnapped one of the Smurfs during their first initial encounter with him, and intended to use the Smurf for making gold when the other Smurfs ambushed the wizard in his castle and rescued the abducted Smurf. When trying to use one of his formulas on himself to go find and capture the other Smurfs, it ended up shrinking him to Smurf size. As he found out that the Smurfs had sabotaged the formula to do this, he swore he would get his revenge on them.
In the cartoon show, Gargamel's hatred for the Smurfs is explained in the episode "Gargamel's Time Trip", where a younger Gargamel still in wizard's school came across some Smurfs in the forest. He walked past the oak tree when his kitten Azrael sniffed and spotted something hiding behind some grass. It is a Smurf, and soon Azrael tackled Brainy to the ground, allowing Gargamel to get a better look at his catch and to figure out what it is and then realizing it was a Smurf, a necessary ingredient for the formula for turning base metals into gold. He decided to go home with his prize catch when Papa Smurf tripped him, rescuing Brainy and apologizing to the wizard for hurting him. Gargamel then chased the Smurfs away, promising that he will find them no matter where.
While Gargamel isn't the strongest villain, he is a highly competent wizard. He has many books of spells and knows how to do them right. His Great Book Of Spells can be used when there is a full moon for things beyond his normal repertoire. Contrast to his skills in the mystic arts, Gargamel at times is clumsy, foolish or gullible.
While he is generally regarded as a wizard, his methods seem to imply he is more of an alchemist. Two of the most renowned "holy grail" objectives historically sought in alchemy folklore are:
- transmuting elements into gold (a process known as Alchemy, though the word is never used) (Gargamel seeks Smurfs to create gold)
- creating artificial lifeforms called golems or homunculi via chemical means (Gargamel created Smurfette and has transmuted himself into a baby Smurf).
Gargamel's mother has appeared in several episodes. Gargamel and Azreal are afraid of her and her cooking (It's disgusting). She wants her son to be a very great wizard, but has shown to be very disappointed in him at times.
Gargamel has a fiancee that his mother and Madame Lavinia has scheduled him to wed named Andria in "Wedding Bells For Gargamel" However, he was only interested in an item the Smurfs had put into her hope chest, which turned out to be a map to the Smurf Village. As he caused havoc trying to get his hands on the map, which the Smurfs were trying to get back, the wedding was canceled.
Gargamel also had a cousin who appeared in the Smurf Special, "The Smurfic Games". His cousin only appeared in that special, and it seemed like he was good friends with Papa Smurf. He dies, though, and he claims that he's not fond of Gargamel.
A common relative shown throughout the show is Gargmael's God-Father, Lord Balthazar - a more evil wizard who looks down on him. Lord Balthazar is easily angered by Gargamel and his stupidity. He also didn't believe in Smurfs until he saw them in his castle at one point. Gargamel is sometimes asked to take care of Lord Balthazar's castle, but this mostly ends up with Gargamel getting in deep trouble.
In Season 6, Gargamel's nephew Scruple makes his debut as a wizard-in-training who got kicked out of school. He is placed as ward under his uncle's guardianship, as his new apprentice. Scruple frequently mocks Gargamel, and has proven to be smarter than him at times. Scruple also calls Gargamel "Gargy" just to annoy him.
Also, Gargamel is shown to have a god niece named Denisa in Season 8, who only appeared in 3 episodes. She is the niece of Balthazar and comes to Gargemel's hovel to play. Both Gargamel and Scruple find her annoying. Her only role was to probably be a human friend for Sassette and to be another headache for Gargamel.
In Season 9, ancestral relatives of Gargamel and Scruple have been encountered by the Smurfs in different time periods, ranging from a pharoah's servant, a Roman chef, to even a Dutch man.
In the movie series
Gargamel appears in the 2011 Smurfs movie as their main adversary, whose sole purpose of going after them is to extract Smurf essence from them so he could become the most powerful wizard. He finds the Smurf Village completely by accident, discovering that there is a magic field that renders it invisible to outsiders, and proceeds to go through the field to chase after them. Gargamel pursues them into the Forbidden Falls where a magic portal opens up to transport the Smurfs years into the future to exit in New York City. Gargamel and his cat Azrael follow them through the portal, but end up losing them as the Smurfs follow Patrick Winslow to his apartment in order to rescue Clumsy. However, Azrael coughs up a bit of Smurfette's hair, which Gargamel then uses by creating a Smurf essence extractor from machines in the Belvedere Castle's basement to make a drop of that essence which he puts into a ring so he could find the Smurfs. During his first attempt to find the Smurfs, Gargamel comes across Patrick's boss Odile, who is willing to offer the wizard anything in exchange for the power of Smurf essence which she sees used to restore her mother's beauty and youth. However, as Gargamel pursues the Smurfs in FAO Schwarz with a stolen leaf blower, he gets captured and taken to Rikers Island. The wizard escapes by having a moth accidentally summon a swarm of flies that lift him up in a cloud over the barbed-wire fence and take him back to Belvedere Castle, where he makes another drop of Smurf essence. This time he tracks the Smurfs down to Mr. Wong's Mystical Emporium, where he finds a dragon wand and, after powering it with Smurf essence, uses it to capture Papa Smurf and hold him prisoner, transforming the Smurf essence extractor into a Smurf exfoliator with the intention of using it to extract Smurf essence from every Smurf. Gargamel uses the wand in his battle with the Smurfs, but the wand is snagged out of his hands and winds up in Clumsy's, who uses it to blast the evil wizard far away, causing him to land in a pile of garbage bags. By the end of the movie, Gargamel is stuck in the present with his cat Azrael. In the novel based on the movie, Papa Smurf sees in a vision in the following year's Blue Moon Festival that Gargamel is in Las Vegas!
In the animated feature The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, Gargamel appears during Grouchy's visit by the three Smurfs of Christmas, apparently having returned from his trip to the present-day world (or the story could have taken place before the movie), to capture the Smurfs on Christmas Day when they went out looking for a new tree in order to lift up Grouchy's spirits after the old tree was burned to a crisp because of Clumsy's ineptitude. Gargamel and his cat Azrael then give chase to Grouchy when he shows up in the evil wizard's laboratory, with Gargamel continually being tripped over in his pursuit. However, it turns out that this was only the future that Grouchy was seeing to show that he has a chance of changing how he feels toward helping his fellow Smurfs on Christmas.
The Smurfs 2
- He is most recognizable for sounding like Dick Dastardly from the Hanna-Barbera shows Wacky Races and Dastardly & Muttley In Their Flying Machines, since they're both voiced by the late Paul Winchell.
- In the movie Gargamel has an over bite and a fuller set of teeth compared to his normal depiction of having a single tooth in his mouth. In The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, Gargamel also has a single lower tooth.
- His character in the 2011 Smurfs movie is played by The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria.
- Smurfette was the first to call Gargamel the diminutive "Gargy". The second and most frequent user is Scruple.
- He and Jokey share the same birthday -- Halloween! (As stated by the episode "All Hallows' Eve")
- Two other evil wizards (who have only appeared once, though, in season 2) - Count Gregorian and Mordain - are allegedly voiced by the late Paul Winchell (though they are not relatives of Gargamel).
- Gargamel has several Schleich figures. He is only a bit larger than the Smurfs in these figures.
- Several companies also sell a Gargamel costume.
- In the 2011 movie, Gargamel seems to understand what Azrael is saying.
- In most of his animated appearances as well as in the comic books, Gargamel has five-fingered hands. In The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol, he has four-fingered hands.