The Smurfs have invaded Shanghai
A new theme park dedicated to the imaginary little characters created by Belgium's Peyo has just opened its doors in China.
This theme park that's entirely dedicated to the world of the Smurfs has finally opened its doors to the public in the green suburb of Sheshan, about forty kilometres from Shanghai, China's largest city.
This new enchanted resort covers more than 20,000 square metres and is divided into four areas: "Smurfs Village", "The Forest", "The Outdoors" and of course "Gargamel's House". Visitors wander through a mix of covered and outdoor areas, rubbing shoulders with human-sized blue characters that come out of their mushroom-shaped houses to entertain young and old alike with their endless mischievous antics.
Created by Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford, who worked under the pseudonym Peyo, the Smurfs have not stopped travelling the world since their appearance in the comic strip "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute." This was the sixteenth story in the Johan and Peewit series (1952) in which, until then, the Smurfs had only had a secondary role. In the end, about forty comic strips were devoted to these little blue-toned pranksters in white hats.
The Smurfs are extremely popular in China and have now taken up residence at the Shanghai Sheshan National Tourist Resort. In this district dedicated to tourism, they neighbour the heroes of two other big franchises, Toy Story and Peppa Pig, to form the triptych called "Dream City".