Smurfs, Na'vi, Cookie Monster & More Blue Characters (Photos)

As ‘The Smurfs’ hits theaters, see more true-blue favorites— from Cookie Monster to Captain Planet.

Columbia Pictures

Smurfs

Since the Belgian comic strip debuted in 1958, the Smurfs have launched their own cult '80s cartoon, released several albums, and spawned videogames, figurines, and theme-park attractions. There was even a Smurfs on Ice show. But this weekend they hope to blue away the box-office competition when a live-action 3-D movie is released, featuring Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, and the voices of Katy Perry, Jonathan Winters, and George Lopez. Not that the franchise isn't without controversy. There are some critics who view the adorable Smurf village as a metaphor for a "Marxist utopia," with Brainy Smurf representing Leon Trotsky and the bearded Papa Smurf as a stand-in for Karl Marx himself.

Which is just smurfing ridiculous.

20th Century Fox

Na'vi

If the producers of The Smurfs need a good omen at the box office, they should look no further than James Cameron's Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time. The fictional universe of Pandora features blue-skinned humanoids, the Na'vi, who also have their own language—and a really bizarre mating ritual involving hair.

DreamWorks

Megamind

Not all blue creatures start out as good guys. In 2010's Megamind, Will Ferrell provided the voice of the title character, who has long been the evil would-be genius of Metro City. But when his archnemesis (voiced by Brad Pitt) is unavailable to defeat a new villain, he saves the day and becomes a true-blue hero.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Doctor Manhattan

When a nuclear experiment goes horribly wrong in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' landmark comic Watchmen, Jon Osterman is transformed into a godlike blue superhero known as Doctor Manhattan. Possessing the ability to read minds, teleport, and manipulate subatomic particles, Doctor Manhattan also gives himself the perfect human physique—think Blue Man Group with an eight-pack. For the 2009 movie version of Watchmen, Osterman's always-nude chiseled body was created with CGI and based on model Greg Pitt, though the character was played by Billy Crudup.

Raymond Hagans / Corbis

Captain Planet

Who better to save this big blue marble we live on from environmental destruction than a big blue cartoon superhero? Created in 1990 (from an idea by Ted Turner), Captain Planet and his team of Planeteers defended Earth from countless eco-disasters and villains with their powerful rings. But at the end of every mission, he always reminded the audience that "the power is yours." This month, producers announced that Captain Planet (along with Earth, fire, wind, and water) will fly again in a live-action movie.

Kathy Willens / AP Photo

Cookie Monster

There are many lovable blue Muppets, including Grover and Gonzo, but for pure chocolate-chip-devouring id, there's none better than Cookie Monster. Despite his ragged blue fur and googly eyes, he also appreciates highbrow culture. His alter ego, Alistair Cookie, frequently hosts "Monsterpiece Theater," which features Sesame Street interpretations of Hamlet, Truffaut's 400 Blows, and, of course, "Me, Claudius."

Genie

In 1992, Robin Williams took his comedy to a whole new world when he voiced the blue Genie in Disney's animated film Aladdin. But the role caused a major rift with the studio. Williams agreed to work for scale ($75,000) if Disney agreed not to use his name and likeness in promotion and marketing so as not to compete with another film he had coming out at the same time. When the studio went back on its promise, Williams pulled out of the Aladdin sequel, causing Genie to be voiced by the man behind Homer Simpson, Dan Castellaneta.

Blue Meanies

The Beatles may have lived in a Yellow Submarine in their trippy 1968 animated film, but if the villainous Blue Meanies had had their way, the Fab Four's music would never have been heard. The Meanies ultimately failed in their mission, but with the exception of the songs in the movie, John, Paul, George, and Ringo did not voice their own characters.

Mystique

One of the great comic supervillains of all time, Mystique (a.k.a. Raven Darkholme) is a shape-shifting mutant whose natural appearance is blue skin, yellow eyes, and a shock of red hair. Played in the X-Men movies by Rebecca Romijn (and later by Jennifer Lawrence in the prequel), the character required Romijn to be in makeup for eight hours every day as blue paint was applied to her nude body.

Paramount Pictures

Violet Beauregarde

While her name suggests she is actually in the purple family, Violet Beauregarde famously blows up into a giant blueberry in Roald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory upon trying some forbidden gum. The scene in the 1971 film adaptation was so iconic that it was parodied decades later on That '70s Show when a young Mila Kunis is transformed into a blueberry.

Nickelodeon

Blue

Thanks to hints left by a lovable dog named Blue, an entire generation of children learned language skills and problem solving. With its groundbreaking use of repetition and narrative television for preschoolers, Blue's Clues is now seen in more than 60 countries.