CULVER CITY, Calif., June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, June 22, 2013, in celebration of the birthday of Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs (born June 25, 1928), Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation will once again coordinate events all over the world as part of Global Smurfs Day, a worldwide event in anticipation of the release of The Smurfs™ 2, in theaters July 31, it was announced today by Marc Weinstock, president, Worldwide Marketing for Sony Pictures.
This will be the second celebration of Global Smurfs Day in what is quickly becoming a tradition. In 2011, the round-the-world events included painting one of the famous White Towns of Andalusia blue and setting a new record for Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Smurfs within a 24-hour Period (Multiple Venues).
This year, the studio has lined up an equally impressive program of events, highlighted by a worldwide Smurf Ambassadors initiative, in which over 40 ambassadors from 28 countries will represent Smurfs fans from around the world with a special day of events celebrating Peyo's creation. The ambassadors – celebrities, prominent journalists, and contest winners among them – will dress as Smurfs as they begin their day in Brussels, where Peyo's daughter Veronique Culliford will officially appoint them as Smurf representatives of their countries. The fun-filled (if irreverent) ceremony will take place under the watchful eye of an important Brussels monument: a Smurf statue unveiled just a year before. Freshly charged with their ambassadorial duties, the group will board a Thalys train and shoot off to Paris, the locale of the adventures in Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation's The Smurfs 2. With a few surprises in store and a sightseeing tour of the French capital, the ambassadors will be tasked with a mission that is the stuff of high diplomacy: to leave a happy trail of blue smiles in their wake, and herald the arrival of the new film.
The Ambassadors will also be taking photos and posting them on Instagram with the hashtag #GlobalSmurfsDay. The Ambassadors' photos will stream to the official Global Smurfs Day microsite at www.GlobalSmurfsDay.net, where users can also virtually check in to Global Smurfs Day activities and find information about all worldwide events, official photos, and a sizzle reel.
Festivals and celebrations will be dedicated to the Smurfs in locations as far and away as the Buenos Aires Planetarium, Mumbai's Imagica theme park, and Rio de Janeiro's iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. Blue brushes will brighten Portugal's Cova da Moura neighborhood and paint daycare centers and orphanages in South Africa. In Australia, Surfers Paradise will officially become Smurfers Paradise for the day, with local signage to match. Moscow's famed Gorky Park and Dublin's Ha'Penny Bridge will be covered in smurf-blue flowers. Smurfs will visit children's hospitals and media centers; invade Warsaw's Old City Square; engage in sand sculpture marathons; run Smurfathons around the world; and kick off a massive sing-along with the group Right Said Fred in London. And in Los Angeles, families will enjoy the day with appearances by the Smurfs, play the Ubisoft video game, sample Menchie's Smurfberry frozen yogurt, and participate in other fun activities; in addition, the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council's Discover the Forest campaign will be on hand to distribute activity booklets and encourage children and their families to get outside and experience the many benefits of nature, and in the evening, families will be able to catch the first Smurfs film at an evening outdoor screening.
Commenting on the announcement, Weinstock said, "We're thrilled that we can continue the tradition we started on the first film with an all-new Global Smurfs Day celebration. This is a great way to honor Peyo's birthday and his legacy, by bringing the world together across generations for a day of fun and festivities."
In this sequel to Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation's hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster comedy The Smurfs™, the evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants, and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs, Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world's greatest sorcerer. It's up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our world, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexy and Hackus or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue? The film is directed by Raja Gosnell and produced by Jordan Kerner. The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Karey Kirkpatrick with a story by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss & Jay Scherick & David Ronn, Based on the Characters and Works of Peyo.
About the Smurfs
The story of the Smurfs – a property created by Peyo – started in 1958 with the creation of comic books which were later brought to both the big and small screen. Over the years, the little blue characters haven't just limited themselves to the page and the screen. They have inspired records and CDs that have sold millions of copies, entire collections of figurines and toys, and many more products. In all, more than 3,000 derived products have been produced and leading brands and companies have spread their messages worldwide with the help of the Smurfs. A multitude of new projects appear regularly, thus making the success of the Smurfs planetary!
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.
About Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits – the 2012 monster hit comedy Hotel Transylvania, the 2011 hybrid live action/animated blockbuster The Smurfs, and the 2009 mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – with The Smurfs 2 in July 2013, and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 in September 2013. Sony Pictures Animation, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. In 2007, Surf's Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise, turned 10 in 2012. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.
About Lafig Belgium S.A.
Lafig Belgium is the owner of the rights to produce audio-visual works based on the Smurf universe and of the Smurf worldwide licensing rights (together with IMPS). Lafig Belgium is controlled by the heirs of Pierre Culliford, better known under his pseudonym Peyo, the author/creator of the Smurfs. For 50 years, the Culliford family has controlled the Smurf characters and all licenses worldwide.
SOURCE Sony Pictures Entertainment; Sony Pictures Animation