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Celebrating 60 years of the iconic blue characters

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(9 Jun 2018) LEADIN Smurf fans are being given the opportunity to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the cartoon characters with an interactive show opening in Belgium.   "The Smurfs Experience" in Brussels takes people on a journey into the lives of the unique blue characters and their enchanted world. STORYLINE The magical world of Smurfs. They were first introduced in 1958 as comic book characters, created by the Belgian artist Peyo. On 9 June the Smurfs will mark their birthday in Brussels with the opening of "The Smurf Experience" village exhibit. The interactive show spreads over 1,500 square meters (,1600 square feet). The exhibit boasts nine oversize rooms including the Smurfs' village, a cage where evil sorcerer Gargamel wants to imprison them, as well as an array of sound and video presentations. Vistors are welcomed into a fairytale life of illuminating flowers, shows and other special effects portraying the magical world of the little blue elves. The true attraction, however, is the chance to get to the Smurfs' eye level. "The Smurf Experience" is a creation of Spanish set designer and story-teller, Marcos Vinals Bassols. He explains what inspired him to conceive a village where children would feel like Smurfs. "The idea was to become (as) small as a Smurf and to live an adventure in the size of a Smurf. So our concept is that Smurfs are 1.2 meters high (47 inches) as an average kid, I would say, and all the scenical (stage) elements and props and sets are designed in that size," says Vinals Bassols. The Smurfs notoriously dwell in mushroom-like homes and are said to stand only 3 apples high. Their stories centre around their adventures against the evil wizard Gargamel who obsesses over capturing them and destroying their village. Chloé Beaufays, "The Smurf Experience" Communication Manager and spokesperson, calls the show "a full immersion into the universe of the Smurfs." "We enter a forest and we're immediately immersed into the Smurfs' magic universe. At the beginning the forest is a real size, with real size decorations; but little by little, as we move forward, we shrink to the size of a Smurf; that means as tall as three apples," Beaufays explains. As visitors walk through the exhibit, the Smurfs' village and its characters increase in size making people feel smaller and smaller. Video animations, loud sound effects, audio guides and a virtual reality tour all help visitors plunge into the Smurfs' universe. "We discover the Smurfs, we discover their customs, their village, their way of life, how they communicate," Beaufays says. IN 2017 the Smurfs became UN ambassadors for people and the environment. Organizers say the show doubles as an educational tool; raising awareness about climate issues by enrolling kids to save the Smurfs' village from environmental destruction. "And then, most importantly, we're tasked with a mission, that is destroying the infernal machine that's being built by Gargamel and that would cause great damage to the climate," Beaufays adds. Going from room to room of the "The Smurf Experience" proves a real whirlwind journey, according to Vinals Bassols who has his own pick among the nine exhibit areas.   "I think the main room is the village because it is the biggest expectation of the kids and of the audiences. And it was very important for us that when audiences enter the village they're just there, there." Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Archive Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/APArchives Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/102011028589719587178/+APArchive​ Tumblr: https://aparchives.tumblr.com/​​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/APNews/ You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/d16a66ac8ed8d4c17662628f0dd99c6f
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