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The reboot “Smurf: The Lost Village” topped China’s box office for animated films after the movie opened on April 21. The movie earned $11.1 million or 76.3 million yuan.

However, the real big winner in China’s box office is “The Fate of the Furious” which earned $319.1 million or 2.2 billion yuan over its 10-day run in China. The franchise accounted for two-thirds of the weekend box office, The Beijinger reported.

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Mysterious Town with Female Smurfs Only

The three-day earning of “Smurf: The Lost Village” was higher than the 62 million yuan box office of the “Smurf 2” movie. The record that “Smurf 3” would need to break is the “Smurf 1” which earned 252 million yuan when the movie was shown in 2011, making the second highest-grossing animation of the year after “Kung Fu Panda 2.”

The reboot by Song Pictures Animation focuses on Smurfette and three of her best friends, Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty. The four discover a mysterious town where there were only female Smurfs, China Daily reported.

According to Kelly Ashbury, the director of the film, it pays homage to Pierre Culliford, or Peyo, a Belgian cartoonist who created the Smurfs as a comic strip. He said the animators copied the style of Peyo such as inserting a scarecrow and a glass jar which die-hard Smurf fans would remember as appearing in the original comic strips.

Peyo’s Animation Style

Another detail that mimicked Peyo’s style is the animators joined the eyes of the Smurfs so that there is no gap. When the Smurf is surprised, the eyebrows move above the hat. Peyo originally drew the Smurfs in 1958 as support characters in “Johan and Peewit,” a comic series in Belgium. However, the blue-skinned characters gained a big following in Europe.

For “Smurfs 1,” Qu Zong, a songwriter from Sichuan, wrote a song which was set to music by Zheng Qiufeng. The song, which begins with “Beyond the mountains and rivers lives a group of Smurfs,” is part of the music syllabus in a lot of primary and junior high schools across China.