Recap / The Smurfs S 1 E 9 The Smurfs And The Howlibird

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An Animated Adaptation of The Smurfs comic book story of the same name (original French title Les Schtroumpfs et le Cracoucass).

In the story, Papa Smurf is working on a plant growth formula that he tries on a flower. At first it works, making the plant grow big, but then the plant mutates into a Smurf Eating Plant. Papa Smurf calls for help as the plant tangles him in its tendrils, and Hefty and Lazy both respond, breaking into Papa Smurf's laboratory so that Hefty could chop the plant at its root to make it wither and die. Seeing that his plant formula is too dangerous to use, Papa Smurf has Hefty and Lazy take it out into the desert to bury it. However, on their way out to the desert, Lazy sees a ravine that they could safely dump the plant formula into and so Hefty tosses the bottle into it. Unknown to them on their return to the village, the bottle spills open and a drop of the plant formula is swallowed by a baby bird in a nest below.

Later that night, Lazy couldn't sleep, so he goes out of his house to take a walk when the shadow of a giant bird, screeching "howlihowlihowl", flies overhead and scares him. The other Smurfs wake up to find that the village storehouse has been damaged. Papa Smurf has a group of his little Smurfs go out to the bridge over the River Smurf to check on its stability, which is where they meet the bird creature known as the Howlibird. The Smurfs barely escape the bird as it pounds the bridge until it collapses, then lets a pile of logs roll down the hill after they make their way out of the river.

Returning to the village, Papa Smurf learns that Hefty and Lazy disobeyed his orders with the disposal of the plant formula, but before he could do anything, the Howlibird flies around the village and damages Smurf houses here and there. The Smurfs flee into the forest for safety, with Papa Smurf and a few others retreating into an old tower from which they summon the other Smurfs with the help of Feathers the crane. Handy finds an old crossbow and refashions it into a catapult that they can use to hurl rocks at the Howlibird, but the bird easily evades their attempts to knock it down.

Realizing that the plant growth formula can be reversed, Papa Smurf has Lazy and Hefty take him to the ravine at night while the Howlibird is sleeping to gather as much of the formula as they could and return before the bird awakens. With that part done, Papa Smurf has Jokey launch one of his "surprises" at the Howlibird, which causes the bird to lose all its feathers and knocks it out of the sky. After the bird is safely tied down, Papa Smurf feeds it the reversed plant formula, and suddenly it shrinks down to less than Smurf size, no longer a threat to anyone.

This episode provides examples of

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Handy barricades the door of his house by using furniture, thinking that the Howlibird won't get in that way, but doesn't take into account that the bird could attack his house from above.
  • Adapted Out: The Smurf who constantly appears in a towel because his clothes were destroyed doesn't appear in the cartoon. For that matter, neither does Gargamel.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • Feathered Fiend: The Howlibird.
  • Smurf-Eating Plant: The mutated plant in Papa Smurf's laboratory in the early part of the story.