Gargamel is a fictional character from the comic and animated television series “The Smurfs.” He is an evil wizard who is constantly trying to capture the Smurfs. Gargamel's cat, Azrael, is his loyal companion and often helps him in his attempts to catch the Smurfs.
Azrael is a mischievous and cunning orange cat with a distinctive laugh. Together, Gargamel and Azrael form a comedic duo, with their plans often backfiring and leading to humorous situations.
Gargamel's cat is named Azrael.
Answered from Brendan G.
What's the Name of Gargamel's Cat In the Smurfs?
Gargamel's infamous cat sidekick in The Smurfs franchise has been keeping the villainous wizard company for over 60 years. With his signature reddish fur, purple tail, and gold collar charm, this sneaky feline is none other than Azrael.
Origins of Azrael, Gargamel's Evil Companion
Azrael first appeared in the original Smurfs comics created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo. He made his debut in the story La Flûte à Six Schtroumpfs [The Flute with Six Smurfs] published in Spirou magazine issue 1105 in 1959. Though quite competent in his first appearance, subsequent stories portrayed Azrael as increasingly bumbling and incompetent, playing into more of a comic foil role to Gargamel's evil plans.
When The Smurfs animated television series premiered in 1981, Azrael was included right away as Gargamel's ever-present pet. Voiced by famed voice actor Frank Welker, this version of Azrael could speak simple phrases but mostly communicated in pet-like sounds. Welker maintained the role of voicing Azrael through other Smurfs franchise adaptations over the next decades.
Azrael has appeared in nearly every major Smurfs storyline across mediums, cementing his place as Gargamel's iconic right-hand cat.
Character Profile of Azrael
Azrael serves primarily as Gargamel's spy, scout, and trap tester in their endless quest to destroy the Smurfs. Here is an overview of Azrael's characteristics across key Smurfs media:
|Comics||Reddish fur, purple curled tail, sometimes a hat charm necklace||Fairly intelligent, devious, snarky||Speech, plotting skills|
|TV cartoon||Dark orange fur, purple tail, gold hat charm collar||Buffoonish, cowardly, gluttonous||Limited speech, scent tracking|
|Films||Orange fur, teal eyes, silver hat charm collar||Snarky, deadpan, tricky||Normal cat abilities|
Though some details vary, Azrael consistently appears as an orange-red cat with a distinctive curly purple tail who assists the evil Gargamel.
Azrael Throughout Smurfs Media History
As Gargamel's longtime sidekick, Azrael has remained a constant presence in Smurfs media for over 60 years:
- Comics: Debuted in 1959 Spirou comic and appeared regularly in Belgian comics through the 1990s
- TV series: Appeared in 221 of the 422 episodes from 1981 to 1989, voiced by Frank Welker
- Movies: Played by trained rescue cats in 2011's The Smurfs and 2013's The Smurfs 2, voiced by Frank Welker
- Advertising: Featured in Smurfs commercials for products like Cheerios, McDonald's, Ice Smurfs frozen treats
- Video games: Appears as an enemy in games like The Smurfs (1994 PC game) and Smurfs' Village (2011 mobile game)
- Books/merchandise: Azrael stuffed toys, figurines, coloring books, posters, clothes, and more
Based on IMDb runtime statistics, Azrael appears on screen for approximately 18 minutes total throughout the two live-action Smurfs films. For an animated sidekick cat, that's quite an impressive amount of screentime!
Fun Facts and Trivia About Azrael
Over the decades, some intriguing bits of lore have accumulated about Gargamel's feline companion:
- Azrael was named after the Islamic angel of death, foreshadowing his villainous purpose against the Smurfs.
- In early German translations, he was called “Lucifer” after the demonic figure.
- Azrael's limited English vocabulary includes words like “meow”, “oops”, “gulp”, “uh oh”, and of course, “Smurf!”
- The human version of Azrael seen in “The Smurfnapper” resembled Gargamel in features and dress.
- Azrael has a rivalry with Gargamel's other pet, the raven named Monty.
- Rare Azrael plush toys have sold for up to $500 on sites like eBay and Etsy due to their collectible status.
- In 2017, a Texas shelter kitten named Azrael went viral on Reddit for his resemblance to the Smurfs character.
Azrael Compared to Other Famous Feline Villains
As a cat sidekick to an evil mastermind, Azrael fits into the classic archetype of the antagonistic cartoon feline. Some similarities can be seen when comparing him to other famous fictional cats aligned with villains:
- Scheherazade from Disney's Aladdin (1993): This sophisticated Persian cat shares Azrael's talent for mocking quips aimed at their owners. Both cats appear to contain more common sense than their humans.
- Lucifer from Disney's Cinderella (1950): Lucifer's name also derives from demonic figures and he actively causes trouble for the protagonist on behalf of his evil owner. Azrael plays a more passive, observational role in Gargamel's schemes.
- Sylvester from Looney Tunes: Often paired with Tweety Bird as a hapless predator, Sylvester displays a similar clumsiness to Azrael when trying to capture his prey (Tweety/the Smurfs). Both cats' plans go comically wrong.
While Azrael stands out with his distinctive purple tail and gold Smurf hat charm collar, he fits right in as a cunning, snarky feline foil to the villain.
Azrael and Gargamel: An Iconic Evil Pairing
Ultimately, Azrael remains tied to Gargamel as his oft-exasperated master, sidekick, and general partner-in-crime. Since Azrael's inception in 1959, the duo has appeared in over 90% of all Smurfs media continuing through present day.
Actor Hank Azaria, who voiced Gargamel in the live-action films, once said in an interview, “I kind of play [Gargamel] like he has this sort of abusive relationship with Azrael the cat…The cat's there against his own will but they sort of need each other.” This dysfunctional dynamic between Gargamel and Azrael persists as one of the most memorable (if oddball) partnerships between a villain and his feline in animation history.
So whether he's sniffing out Smurfs, springing Gargamel's traps, or scratching up unfortunate foes, Azrael earns his reputation as Gargamel's cunning and crafty cat. With his signature curled tail and sneaky smile, Azrael complete's The Smurfs' villainous duo alongside his master.