Six years ago, Júzcar, a small village in Andalucia became known as the “Smurf Village” (pueblo pitufo) when Sony Pictures painted the town blue as part of a campaign to promote the Smurfs film released that year.
But now, the Belgian estate of the creator of the characters, Peyo, is demanding royalties amounting to 12% of all profits from sale and activities derived from using the “Smurf’s” name. All references to the characters will now have to be removed by 15 August 2017 after the local town hall was unable to reach an agreement with the estate.
The houses in the sleepy village of Serrania de Ronda, however, will remain painted blue. The village has 240 registered inhabitants and its main source of income is the revenue it receives from around 50.000 tourists who visit the area each year thanks to the association it has enjoyed with the Smurfs.