In comic books and films, the Smurf village is a land of magic and cooperation, in which tiny blue creatures live in mushroom-capped houses and work together to solve problems. Its only true threat is Gargamel, an evil wizard who will stop at nothing to destroy the Smurfs.
In the real world, the closest thing we’ve got to a Smurf village is Júzcar, Spain—a bright blue cluster of buildings high in the Andalusian mountains. And its Gargamel, it turns out, is the Smurfs’ original creator.
First, some backstory. Back in 2011, when the CGI extravaganza The Smurfs was about to come out, Sony Pictures marketers approached the people of Júzcar with an idea. At the time, the village sported the color scheme more…
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