Credit: Credit: Pixar(Click for a larger version.)

Sony Pictures Animation[/caption]

You know Smurfette’s not a natural blonde, right?

Smurfs creator Peyo introduced her in his comic books as a dark-haired little imp, magically created by Gargamel, who was only transformed into her present state when Papa Smurf saw the good in her.

In Smurfs 2, coming July 31, 2013, the snaggle-toothed Gargamel (played by Hank Azaria) decides to fashion a few more of the little monsters — Vexy (voiced by Christina Ricci, and pictured above) and Hackus (performed by JB Smoove). Nicknamed “The Naughties,” they’re obviously trouble for our little blue friends.

“They’re not bad, they’re misguided,” says director Raja Gosnell. “They’re just products of their upbringing. And they haven’t had the best upbringing, let’s say.”

Although the term “Naughties” is new, the filmmakers took their cues from Peyo’s original lore. “Smurfette was a lump of clay that Gargamel put in his cauldron and he painted her blue as a disguise,” Gosnell says. “Using that as a jumping off point, our Naughties are basically clay gray.”

Sony Pictures Animation[/caption]

But as we all know, it’s what’s below the surface that determines whether you’re true blue or not. So who are these stormcloud-colored creatures?

“Vexy is smart, and mischievous and has lots of attitude. Attitude to spare,” Gosnell says. “And she really does want to please her father.” That would be Gargamel, who would surely cringe at the title.

“Hackus, he’s just very funny and very physical,” Gosnell adds. “He’s the Tasmanian Devil meets a lovable puppy dog.”

Those who saw the original Smurfs movie may remember Gargamel was left stranded back in our world after those pesky blue guys escaped through a portal back to their own mystical realm. Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays, the helpful human couple who protected the Smurfs, are also returning for the sequel — this time as new parents.

While they’ve been focusing on their new baby, Gargamel has been doing the same with his Naughties. He has also used his wizarding powers to become a hit entertainer in Paris, where he hopes to use the Eiffel Tower as an energy-generating antenna that will allow him to return home. All of that requires more Smurf “essence” to fuel his magic, and the Naughties are a key part of his plan to get it.

How do the Naughties feel about that?

“They want to please their father, like any child who just wants to do what’s expected of them,” Gosnell says. “They don’t really know the whole story.”

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