Photo by Ramon Ojeda via Flickr
For hundreds of years the Spanish settlement of Juzcar had been one of the White Towns of Andalusia (Pueblos Blancos) renowned for their buildings traditionally whitewashed. In the spring of 2011, however, the village was painted entirely in blue. The reason? Sony Pictures chose the small village of 220 souls to mark the opening of The Smurfs movie.
The film features the diminutive, blue-hued animated characters attempting to return to their village after finding themselves in New York’s Central Park. As the adorable creatures couldn’t have felt at home in other place than one resembling their look, Juzcar became a Smurf Village with the help of a dozen painters and over 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of blue paint.
After the premier party, Sony offered to restore the town’s buildings to their brilliant white as they promised before the project development. But what was intended to be a temporary publicity stunt, it became a lifestyle. The idea caught on so well that Juzcar even started to organize a series of events and trade fairs related to the Smurf theme. Moreover, in the six months that Juzcar played the Smurf Village role it had seen an increase in tourists visiting it. Consequently, the majority of the citizens voted with a great deal of excitement to leave the buildings painted blue – which remained so until today.