This week, prepare to Get Smurffed.
The movie opens on Friday, 7/29. But there are Smurf-related events in New York City all week, building excitement for kids of all ages!
About the plot of the movie:
“When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours — in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.”
In keeping with my Movie-Making-In-NYC theme of late, here are some details of shooting the new Smurf movie in Manhattan, thanks to this article in NYDailyNews.com:
“We’re thrilled that ‘The Smurfs’ filmed at some of New York City’s most iconic locations, taking advantage of our great locations and talented crews,” says Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
1. CENTRAL PARK SOUTH
The Smurfs have just arrived in New York. “They’re on a rock right near the edge of the lake, on the corner of Fifth Ave. and Central Park South,” says the film’s producer, Jordan Kerner. “That’s an actual rock. Clumsy Smurf climbs up first and turns to his friends, saying, ‘You guys better come up here and look at this.’ The incredibly beautiful views are stunning to them, and they’re amazed at what they see in that moment.”
While this image was shot in Central Park, other scenes set there were filmed in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
“Because both parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and built just years apart, Prospect Park has a very similar layout , including a lake and a boathouse and all those things,” says Kerner. “But Central Park didn’t have a waterfall and a waterfall plays heavily into our movie, so we shot that scene at Prospect Park.”
2. TIMES SQUARE
The Smurfs catch a ride atop a cab just after arriving in Central Park. “They’re riding through Times Square, which completely amazes them with seeing all these advertisements and lights, and all these people,” says Kerner. “They’ve never in their Smurfy little lives seen anything like that.”
3. ROCKEFELLER CENTER
Tim Gunn and Sofia Vergara shot this scene on the roof of 620 Fifth Ave. They’re at a launch party for a new line of cosmetics.
Making some storefront changes, filmmakers transformed a book store in SoHo into Wong’s Mystical Emporium.
5. EAST VILLAGE
“They just flew off the roof of the Winslows’ [the couple the Smurfs befriend],” Kerner says. “It was a beautiful street in the East Village and we had great access to the building.”
“We combined a lot of locations,” he says. “This is an East Village exterior. But the roof of the apartment is actually the ABC carpet store rooftop, looking uptown. Because the actual roof of their building was not strong enough to hold a movie crew. And it didn’t have nearly the view that you’ll see from the ABC building, which was fantastic.”
6. EAST VILLAGE
The Smurfs find comfort in the apartment of Patrick and Grace Winslow (Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays). The home is supposed to be in Manhattan, but this scene was filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios.
“The actual apartments inside the building were tiny,” Kerner explains. “When you shoot a film, you need to have a much larger space to move the cameras around and all of that. So we basically built our own interior onstage in Astoria.”
7. FAO SCHWARZ
Gargamel takes on the Smurfs at the beloved Fifth Ave. toy store.
“We shot in FAO all night long, from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. The store opened at 10, so we had to clear everything out in that hour and they had to get everything ready to open up. They closed at 8 p.m. and we would move all our equipment in. So it was a big challenge.”
8. BELVEDERE CASTLE
The Central Park castle, located around 79th St., serves as Gargamel’s home base in the city. “It’s not the only medieval building in New York, but the one truly medieval building that stands out as a castle in its own right,” Kerner says. “And Gargamel sees the pond in front of it as a moat. So for him, it’s the perfect place to gather the Smurfs and make his Smurfalator.”
This scene is the first time Gargamel sees Belvedere Castle at night. While this exterior is an actual shot of the castle, some others in the movie aren’t real.
“You have an amazing conservancy in New York protecting Central Park,” says Kerner. “And to keep it beautiful for thousands of years, that conservancy is very hard on film companies. So you can’t stick a camera in the grass. You can’t touch the grass. You can only put something that’s flat, once in a while, in a few places.
“Other than that, the entire third act of the movie – a huge battle among the Smurfs, Neil Patrick Harris and Gargamel – takes place on a two-thirds scale rebuilding of the entire castle onstage at Kaufman.”
Some of the city’s top tours, museums and attractions have teamed up to celebrate the the Smurfs on film.
More than a dozen events around the boroughs are planned as part of Smurfs Week NYC, kicking off tomorrow and ending Friday.
For a full list, visit nycgo.com/smurfsweeknyc. Here some highlights:
Merchant’s Gate, Columbus Circle
Stop by to marvel at 3-D mushroom houses and a 40-foot-tall inflatable Smurf. Enjoy free activities, including face painting, a photo station where visitors can take pictures next to their favorite Smurf, Smurfs merchandise giveaways and much more.
1395 Lexington Ave.
92nd Street Y is excited to celebrate Monday, July 25, as Smurfs Day. Students from the musical-theater program will perform at the Smurfs Village at Columbus Circle. As part of the day, Smurfs coloring books and activity sheets will be available at all 92Y children’s events.
Tour begins at Belvedere Castle at Central Park
Advance reservations required
On Location Tours will offer a Smurfs-themed edition of its weekly Central Park TV & Movie Sites Tour during Smurf Week NYC. Visit locations used in The Smurfs and other iconic films.
350 Fifth Ave.
The Empire State Building will shine blue to celebrate Smurfs Week NYC and help encourage Smurfs fan to donate to the US Fund for UNICEF by visiting unicefusa.org or texting “ZERO” to UNICEF to make a $10 donation.
767 Fifth Ave., Level One
Join us as we celebrate the release of The Smurfs with some smurf-tastic activities. See the real “Smurfalator” from the movie and snap a picture with a Smurfs-costumed character. Pick up some great Smurfs giveaways. (Giveaways available while supplies last. Costumed characters will not be available for all times during the event. This event is subject to change or cancellation.)
Head to the Great Hall to meet the Smurf characters from the movie.
145 Brooklyn Ave.
Admission, $7.50 per person
It’s Smurfs Week at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, where children of all ages will be able to pick up a Smurfs coloring book and activity sheet, available with museum admission. On Wednesday, July 27, at 2:30pm, the museum’s education department will present “Extraordinary Laboratory: Fungus Among Us,” which explores everything from bread mold to mushrooms (where the Smurfs live!) and everything in between.
594 Broadway, ste. 401
Admission, $5 for adults, free for children 12 and under
Visit MoCCA for an in-depth view of comics and cartoon art, from graphic novels to original cartoon strips. An animation cel of Smurfette will be on display during the week. Smurfs coloring books and activity sheets will be available with museum admission.
2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx
All-Garden Pass admission, $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students, $8 for children ages 2–12, free for members and children under 2
Experience a Smurfs Scavenger Hunt at the New York Botanical Garden, where you can see firsthand all the plants that Smurfs love, from mushrooms to plants with berries. Free with All-Garden Pass.
421 E. 61st St.
Admission, $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, free for children under 12
Experience “Blue Mood” at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, with blue books, blue crafts and a museum tour and story time focused on all things blue.
247 W. 42nd St.
Regal Cinemas E-Walk 13 is hosting a Smurfs celebration. Stop by to meet the Smurfs themselves and enjoy free family entertainment, games, activities and more.
Be sure to call the event to confirm details. Some of the above fun things are happening multiple days throughout the week.
It’s time to Get Smurffy!!
Don’t you just love New York??