When you hear, Smurf Village, you probably think of strangly chunky mushroom-like structures that are the home of our favorite blue gnomes (and which, incidentally, must be quite sizable themselves, as they provide two-story accommodation for these gnomes, who themselves are typically “three apples in height”). You are right, in a way. I’m referring to the Andalusean town of Júzcar, the official Smurf Village ever since it was awarded the title in 2011.
Back then, Sony Pictures had organized a competition for the best promotion for its Smurfs picture (of which we shall not speak again, agreed?). Anyway, the Júzcar residents painted their whole town blue and won. And while they themselves only count two hundred inhabitants, now they are a veritable tourist attraction with some 80,000 people visiting every year, gawking at the blue houses and taking selfies with the many huge Smurf statues. Júzcar council is even planning to invest 300,000 Euros in a new parking lot to accommodate that many people.
However, Spanish law decrees that 12% of the gains related to the Smurfs should be repaid as royalties to the owners of the rights to the creatures, the estate of their creator, Peyo. And since the village has never paid a cent, the estate has demanded that, as of last week, all Smurf references must be removed from the town. The houses will remain blue, but all statues and mushrooms will be gone. And so it goes when smurfs start smurfing with smurf.