Expanding the magic - Press release

Expanding the magic - Press release

New name and projects announced for The Smurfs and friends

Peyo Company is set to expand the magic and revive Peyo’s original creations!

Annecy, June 11, 2024 - IMPS, The Smurfs’ global license holder, announced at MIFA (the International Animation Film Market) the launch of a new animation production program and the company’s new strategy of expanding The Smurfs franchise and reviving other original creations from creator and storyteller Peyo. Alongside the world-famous Smurfs, early Peyo characters will be revived using modern animation with new stories inspired by the original Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron comic books. This makes it the perfect time for the company to announce its new name and brand identity: Peyo Company!

An unexpected success

Before The Smurfs became a worldwide hit, Peyo (Pierre Culliford) had already created an entire fantasy world and other fascinating titles, such as Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron. Few people know that Peyo first introduced the Smurfs as a supporting act in a Johan & Peewit story called The Smurfs & the Magic Flute (original title in French “la Flute à Six Schtroumpfs”) in 1958. Readers from the weekly magazine in which Johan & Peewit was published, were so enthusiastic about how much they loved these blue characters that they returned and, eventually, Peyo created a spin-off fully dedicated to their adventures. This was the start of an incredible blue journey for one of the most iconic and beloved properties worldwide: The Smurfs!


 Peyo Company

To promote and perpetuate the work and the legacy of Peyo, Véronique Culliford, Peyo’s daughter, founded IMPS in 1984. Under her guidance, The Smurfs has become an immensely popular brand across the globe, reaching an incredible 95% global brand awareness. Today, as a tribute to Peyo, Véronique and IMPS have created Peyo Company to regroup all of Peyo’s fascinating universes under one single new banner. This will enable Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron to receive the attention they deserve.

Véronique Culliford: “It’s been an honor to be able to build such a success out of the blue characters my father created. And now I hope we will do the same for some of his other creations, Johan & Peewit and Benny Breakiron. To underline our engagement to expand his legacy beyond the Smurfs, we are renaming IMPS as The Peyo Company. It’s a well-deserved tribute to my father, and features his signature, with which he signed thousands of drawings, as our new logo.”

New projects

Peyo was a storyteller, and so is Peyo Company. The renamed company will tell new stories inspired by Peyo’s creations with a touch of modernity that will resonate with new generations.

This begins with the launch of two new TV series projects: The Tales of Johan & Peewit, and Benny Breakiron. Peyo Company is currently looking for talents to make these exciting projects happen.

More Smurfs: coming soon

There are also new projects coming from the Smurfs’ Village: Season 2 is coming to Netflix on June 30, and Season 3 will launch on Nickelodeon this summer, while Season 4 is in pre-development. The cherry on the cake is a new Paramount movie.

Nele De Wilde, CCO Audiovisual and Music at Peyo Company: “We are delighted to be working with Paramount Animation on an all-new theatrical production, The Smurfs Movie. Paramount pulled together a dream team of filmmakers led by the smurftastic director, Chris Miller, co-director Matt Landon, and producers Ryan Harris, Rihanna, Laurence “jay” Brown, and Tyran “ty-ty” Smith. This fresh take on the beloved Smurfs will see them go on an interdimensional adventure to discover the power within and answer the universal question: “What is a Smurf?”. We’re thrilled that Rihanna is on board to voice Smurfette and write, produce, and perform original songs for the film.”

Paramount and the filmmakers are working side by side with the Peyo Company to help carry out the vision of the legendary artist and creator of The Smurfs, and to celebrate the charm of Peyo’s world and the beauty of his artwork, while translating that look for today’s audiences. The film is scheduled for a worldwide theatrical release in February 2025.


About Peyo Company:


Peyo Company is an entertainment entity that proudly promotes and perpetuates Peyo’s work and legacy of creating fascinating stories and art and building success through a wide range of consumer products and experience for kids and adults alike.

The company was founded in Belgium by Peyo’s daughter, Véronique Culliford, and regroups all business and creative activities linked to Peyo’s creations: Johan & Peewit, Benny Breakiron, and the global blue phenomenon, The Smurfs.

Peyo Licensing is the worldwide licensor for consumer products, family entertainment & experiences, and book publishing.

Peyo Distribution manages the distribution of the audiovisual catalogue.

Peyo Productions oversees the production of audiovisual content.

Peyo Creations regroups the studio activities, producing new artwork and stories.

In the 1950’s, Pierre Culliford (aka Peyo) started creating everlasting worlds and timeless stories filled with adventure, humor, magic, and good universal values, that have reached the heart of multiple generations of fans all around the world. Today, Peyo Company, its members, and partners are continuing to spread this heritage.


About The Smurfs

Blue and cute, standing only three apples high, the Smurfs value team spirit, loyalty, optimism, fun, and respect for nature. They might be hard to tell apart at first, however, each Smurf has his or her own particularity. They live in a village full of mushroom-shaped houses, hidden in the heart of a magic forest where few people venture to go. Born in a comic book in 1958, Peyo’s little blue characters have been spreading happiness and entertaining kids and families for generations. The Smurfs animated series (2021) is airing worldwide on Nickelodeon and is available on Netflix.