CULVER CITY, Calif., June 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, in honor of Global Smurfs Day, Smurfs fans around the world once again joined together to celebrate the birthday of Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs (born June 25, 1928), with a series of family fun and special events, it was announced today by Marc Weinstock, president, Worldwide Marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment. The worldwide events were organized by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Pictures Animation in anticipation of the release of The Smurfs™ 2, which will be released in the US on July 31, 2013.
The day was highlighted by a worldwide Smurf Ambassadors initiative, which began in Brussels as Veronique Culliford, Peyo's daughter, appointed Smurf Ambassadors from 28 different countries and dispatched them to Paris, where much of The Smurfs 2 takes place. The ambassadors dressed as Smurfs and then boarded their Smurfs-themed Thalys train for Paris.
In Paris, a huge flash mob greeted the ambassadors by dancing to Britney Spears' song "Ooh La La" from the film's soundtrack – with a little help from Silvia Notargiacomo, choreographer of the French version of "Dancing with the Stars." The ambassadors also got to take a goodwill tour of Paris.
Ambassadors included a wide range of Smurf fans, including television personalities, voice talent, actors, choreographers, contest winners, and journalists -- and not least, the mayor of Júzcar, the Spanish town that Smurfed itself blue in 2011 in celebration of the first Smurfs film.But the Ambassadors' tour was just the beginning, as people in countries around the world celebrated this special day. Iconic locations visited by the Smurfs include the beaches of Athens; Dublin's Ha'Penny Bridge and Moscow's Gorky Park, which were covered in Smurf-blue flowers to celebrate; Australia's Surfers Paradise, where city signage was actually changed to Smurfers Paradise for the day; the busy tramways of Hong Kong; Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome; and the Leaning Tower of Pisa; and in China, Smurf figurines took over the world-famous Great Wall and other iconic locations around the country. Elsewhere, Smurfs signed a giant birthday card for Peyo in Mexico City; visited children's hospitals in Finland; painted Portuguese neighborhoods and South African orphanages blue; and joined the group Right Said Fred in a sing-along in London. In India, the top rated serial "Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah" is integrating the Global Smurfs Day celebration into its storyline, ensuring that even fictional characters -- very popular at that -- pay homage to the Smurfs. Finally, in Los Angeles, Neil Patrick Harris, star of The Smurfs 2, was on hand at the Grove as families enjoyed the day with appearances by the Smurfs, played the Ubisoft video game, sampled Menchie's Smurfberry frozen yogurt, checked out the environmentally friendly, 100% electric Smurf-ified DASH cars, and participated in other fun activities. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council's Discover the Forest campaign was on hand to distribute activity booklets and encourage children and their families to get outside and experience the many benefits of nature. In the evening, families caught the first Smurfs film at an evening outdoor screening. Commenting on the announcement, Weinstock said, "It's a real testament to the worldwide and multi-generational appeal of the characters that Smurfs fans and families around the world were able to come together and celebrate Global Smurfs Day. We're thrilled to see this unique event come together in such a big way for the second time."