|Title Translation of|
The Box Of Dirty Tricks
|French||La boîte mystérieuse|
|Spanish||La caja de los trucos traicioneros|
|German||Tricks aus der Schachtel|
|Italian||La scatola dagli sporchi trucchi|
"The Box Of Dirty Tricks" was an episode that appeared in Season 2 of the Smurfs cartoon show.
In a cave along a narrow mountain path, a recluse is having trouble with a magic box that doesn't want to stay put in a safe place, often laughing at the owner's failed attempts to keep it contained. Even trying to throw it away doesn't work, as the recluse ends up hitting the head of a buzzard who kindly returns the box back to its owner. He realizes that the only way he can get rid of the box is to have some poor unsuspecting fool take it off his hands, but as the recluse wonders where he will find someone that gullible, he hears the voice of somebody approaching his cave. It is Gargamel, who along with his cat Azrael is seeking the recluse on the mountain, wanting to gain his help in getting rid of the Smurfs. After the evil wizard explains what he wants, saying that he has used every trick in the book, the recluse offers the magic box to Gargamel, saying that it is the legendary Box Of Dirty Tricks. Gargamel is just itching to get his hands on the box, but the recluse says that such a box commands a high price. However, when Gargamel shows that all he has on him is a penny, the recluse gratefully takes the penny in exchange for the box and sends the wizard on his way.
Gargamel is so happy to have the magic box for a penny, he races home eager to use it on the Smurfs. Soon, though, the evil wizard smells smoke and then feels the box becoming too hot to touch. He drops the box and watches it bounce down the hill, chasing after it and grabbing it the moment before he realizes he has ran off the precipice, dropping it this time into the river at the bottom of a ravine. Gargamel clings onto a tree branch along the cliff for safety and says that he must get that box.
As the box floats downstream and goes over the waterfalls, the Smurfs are busy working at the watermill when the box gets pulled by the mill's water wheel and hits Brainy in the head. The other Smurfs gather to see the box that has now appeared, noticing how pretty it is and wondering what is in it. Hefty tries to open it, but it is apparently stuck. Smurfette suggests that Papa Smurf may be able to open it, and so they bring it on a wagon back to the village, with the box laughing.
Inside the village, Papa Smurf examines the box and knocks on it to see what could be in the box. The other Smurfs are asking if he could open the box, and Papa Smurf says that it could be another one of Gargamel's traps. He plans on using a transparency formula that would allow him to see the box's contents without opening it, but first he must gather up the ingredients to make up the formula. With his bag, Papa Smurf heads toward the forest, telling his little Smurfs he will be back in the morning, but in the meantime, he warns them that they are not to touch the box, for it could be very dangerous.
The Smurfs promise that they won't touch the box, but after Papa Smurf is gone, they still wonder what's in it. Brainy reminds them that they're not to touch the box, and if anyone does touch it, he's going to tell. Nevertheless, thoughts of what's in the box continue to haunt the Smurfs even as they try to settle down in their beds and sleep, with Greedy counting cakes, Smurfette counting dresses, Vanity counting mirrors, and Brainy counting books. Eventually the temptation becomes impossible to resist, and the Smurfs all sneak off toward the box, hoping to be the one that will open it without anybody else noticing. But as they realize that they're all desiring to know what's in the box, the Smurfs argue over who's going to be the first to open it when Jokey suggests that they should try opening it together.
At first the Smurfs try banging on the box with hammers, but the box is too tough even for hammers, so Hefty gets a lever to wedge into the box's lid and has his fellow Smurfs give more weight so they could pry the box open. Soon the lid opens, and the Smurfs are happy that they got the box to open, but as they look inside, they see that there's nothing in it, which makes them disappointed. Brainy then says he knew all along that the box was empty and now relishes in the thought that he's going to tell Papa Smurf on the others for disobeying his orders, but as the Smurfs walk off, a pink cloud emerges from inside the box.
Inside her house, Smurfette is still pining over the disappointment of finding nothing in the box when the pink cloud slips underneath her bed sheets and arises in the form of a ghost to scare Smurfette. Jokey hears her cry of help and runs to the door of her house, but then the pink cloud covers Jokey in Smurfette's bedspread and tickles him until the cloud disappears and Smurfette appears at her door, assuming that it was Jokey playing a trick on her. As Smurfette chases after Jokey with a broom, the pink cloud sneaks behind Hefty and kicks him in the butt, making him think it was Handy who did it. The pink cloud also starts a food fight in the village by knocking on Greedy's door and then pelting him with smurfberries when he opens it.
But soon the Smurfs have a bigger problem to deal with, as Gargamel who is still looking for the box hears the Smurfs and even sees one as Brainy gets catapulted out of the village. He chases Brainy into the village, who goes to warn the other Smurfs that the evil wizard is coming. He scoops up Smurfs in a net when he notices that the box he was looking for is open, but as he looks inside he wonders where the dirty tricks are. As if to answer that question, the pink cloud appears behind Gargamel in the form of a boot and kicks Gargamel in the butt. He sees the pink cloud go back into the box and then closes it, saying that he now has both the box and the Smurfs.
By morning Papa Smurf returns to the village to find it not only a mess, but also without a single Smurf left in it. He sees that the box is gone as well, and from the very big footprints that are left behind, Papa Smurf reasons that it's Gargamel behind all this. He then goes off into the forest to rescue his little Smurfs before it's too late.
In Gargamel's hovel, the evil wizard is preparing to have "stew a la Smurf", trying to keep his cat from playing with his food. While Gargamel is distracted with getting the stove nice and hot, Papa Smurf sneaks in and uses the ingredients he has gathered to turn Gargamel's stew into a transparency solution, whispering to his little Smurfs that they should get ready to move when he gives the signal. When Gargamel returns to check up on the main course, he sees that the Smurfs are gone and wonders how they could have escaped. As he looks into the stewpot, Papa Smurf tells his little Smurfs to run as he drops a box onto Gargamel's head, causing his nose to be dunked into the transparency solution to make it look like his nose is gone.
Gargamel rants that though he can't see the Smurfs, he knows that they are nearby and he won't let them get away. But then his fist knocks over the magic box and opens it, letting loose the pink cloud that now takes the form of a spirit, ready to let Gargamel have it for stuffing it back inside the box. Far outside the hovel, the Smurfs reappear with Papa Smurf saying that he hopes his little Smurfs have learned a good lesson and that Gargamel may have learned a lesson as well, as they now watch Gargamel crying for mercy as the pink cloud chases him out into the forest.