The Smurfs are coming to a mushroom village near you, in the form of a Smurfs-themed amusement park slated to open in Chengdu within the next few years.
From the Wall Street Journal China blog:
... [D]evelopment firm Chengdu Teda Sino-Europe Construction and Smurf-brand owner IMPS plan to open a Smurf theme park, according to a report from DTZ Asia Property Market Update.
With investment of 20 million yuan, or about $2.9 million, the theme park is set to open in three to five years, according to DTZ. It's part of a bigger plan to build tourism in Chengdu ...
While the Smurfs were popular worldwide among children born in the 1970s and '80s, they have faded from the spotlight over the past 20 years. But with Sony Pictures' Smurfs 3D-animation and live-action feature film due to debut next August, the Belgian franchiser of the Smurfs is waiting with baited breath to see if the small blue creatures, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2008, can make a comeback.
Particularly lucrative would be a successful Smurfization of the Chinese market. In China, the Smurfs marketing plan includes releasing Smurfs-themed books, music, clothing, and toys by early 2011. In addition, Hainan Airlines will create a Smurfs plane for its Brussels-Shanghai nonstop flight. The plane's interior and exterior, as well as the flight attendant uniforms, will all be decorated with images of the Smurfs.
In other amusement-park news, Asia's biggest water theme park is under construction in the Chengdu suburb of Wenjiang. The RMB4 billion park is expected to open next June adjacent to Floraland.
For fun, here's The Smurfs dubbed in Mandarin.
Or, to watch 45 episodes of "蓝精灵" in Chinese, click here.