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Why Katy Perry Wasn't Allowed to Watch The Smurfs TV Show Growing Up

Catch Perry as Smurfette in The Smurfs and its 2013 sequel — now streaming on Peacock!

By Josh Weiss
Split image of Katy Perry and CGI smurf

It took close to 40 years for The Smurfs to return to the big screen, but when they did, Hollywood — which had yet to produce a blockbuster outing centered around the little blue icons — pulled out all the stops, recruiting an all-star voice cast that included Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf, Anton Yelchin as Clumsy Smurf, George Lopez as Grouchy Smurf, and Katy Perry as Smurfette.

Funnily enough, joining Sony Pictures' effort to reacquaint American audiences with the Belgian property was something of an act of rebellion for Perry, who was forbidden by her conservative parents to watch the animated Smurfs television show growing up.

RELATED: Katy Perry rocks out with Pikachu in 'Pokemon' music video in honor of franchise's 25th birthday

"My mom thought that Smurfette was a little bit slutty, being the only female in the village," the singer/actress explained to MTV in 2010. "And now I showed her. I called her up and was like, 'Guess what, Mom: I'm Smurfette!' ... It's just like another one of those days where it's like, 'Guess what, Mom: I kissed a girl! Guess what, Mom: I'm going to be naked in a music video!'"

What to know about The Smurfs films

A mixture of live-action and CG animated elements, The Smurfs — which is now streaming on Peacock alongside its 2013 sequel — tapped Raja Gosnell (known for helming the two live-action Scooby-Doo films) as director.

Released in late July of 2011, the film brought in over half a billion at the worldwide box office against a budget of $110 million, leading Sony to green-light a direct sequel that released in the summer of 2013. Perry reprised the role of Smurfette in the follow-up (also directed by Gosnell), which saw Gargamel (Hank Azaria) creating a bizarro version of the titular creatures known as the "Naughties."

Costing a slightly more modest $105 million, The Smurfs 2 only managed $347 million globally, which was enough for the studio to reboot the property by way of the completely-animated Smurfs: The Lost Village four years later. Featuring a brand-new voice cast (Demi Lovato, for example, took over the role of Smurfette), The Lost Village made just under $200 million against a budget of $60 million.

What does the future look like for The Smurfs?

Early last year, it was announced that Nickelodeon, Paramount, LAFIG Belgium, and IMPS had all partnered up to develop The Smurfs franchise into new projects for both film and television.

"Nickelodeon is the home to some of the world's most popular family franchises, and we're honored to add The Smurfs to that roster," Ramsey Naito, president of animation for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, said in a statement at the time. "We're excited to tell a story that stays true to its origins, but with a Smurftastic musical twist that excites new audiences and builds on the Smurfs franchise and universe of wonderful characters and stories."

"It is with great joy and pride that I welcome this new Smurfs film!" added Véronique Culliford, founder and president of LAFIG and IMPS. "I am truly excited with this wonderful partnership with the talented, creative, and dynamic teams at Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Animation, and IMPS. I am convinced that this great collaboration will allow families around the world to immerse themselves in this unique universe of humor and extraordinary adventures. I have no doubt that my father, creator of these marvelous world-famous characters, would also be delighted with this continuation of his work. I look so forward to seeing audiences gather together in the near future to enjoy this new adventure of our beloved Smurfs!"

Just last month at CinemaCon, news broke that Rihanna had been tapped to voice Smurfette in the upcoming big screen reboot from Paramount Animation (no other cast members are known as of this writing). In addition to voicing one of the main characters, the multi-Grammy winner will also write and perform original music, netting her a producer credit as well.

"On behalf of our studio and our creative partners at LAFIG, we couldn’t be more excited to have found our Smurfette in one of the most beloved stars in the world,” Naito remarked in a joint statement with Paramount and Nickelodeon President/CEO, Brian Robbins. "With Rihanna’s singular creative appeal and musical talents, there is an enormous opportunity to elevate the cultural touchstone of The Smurfs universe in a way that’s never been done before."

DreamWorks Animation veteran Chris Miller (Shrek the Third, Puss in Boots) is on board to co-direct the feature with Matt Landon (a member of the editorial department on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).

The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2 are now streaming on Peacock alongside The Smurfs and the Magic Flute.