COVID-19 worries have worsened recently, with the disease now spreading in Europe. Fears have grown significantly in Italy, for example, where the Prime Minister made the decision to quarantine the entire country. But despite concerns, a group of 3,500 people still turned up in France in order to break a Guinness World Record for the largest-ever gathering of IRL Smurfs. Because… blue is a color that doesn’t run?
CNET picked up news of the Guinness World Record attempt, which took place in Landerneau, France. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Guinness World Records doesn’t have any kind of post on their social media pages or website mentioning the attempt (that we could find, anyway), so it’s difficult to say definitively whether or not this attempt is indeed worthy of a Guinness World Record.
VIDEO: Thousands gathered in France at the weekend to break the world record for the largest-ever gathering of Smurfs.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 9, 2020
Around 3500 people set aside fears of the #coronavirus to dress up as the characters, which come from a Belgian comic franchise pic.twitter.com/G3tMFoTE6A
UPI reports that “Organizers of a carnival in [the] French city announced they broke a Guinness World Record when 3,549 people came out dressed like Smurfs.” UPI says that the people in attendance were counted, but it’s unclear by whom.
The previous Guinness World Record holders were a group of 2,762 people who gathered in Lauchringen, Germany in 2019 dressed as IRL Smurfs.
A look at the Smurf gathering that recently took place in Landerneau, France. AFP
For those unfamiliar, Smurfs are small, blue, human-like creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest. A Smurfs comic, created by the Belgian comics artist, Pierre Culliford (or Peyo), ran in the ’50s, and since then, the little blue characters have spawned a global media franchise. They were even a part of one of the most ambitious cartoon crossovers ever.
It’s unclear how this—very particular—Guinness World Record came into existence, or why there’s any competition here at all, but the 3,549 people who Smurfed it up in France seemed ecstatic about their victory. And just as excited to proclaim their courage in the face of COVID-19—a disease that, while worsening in Europe, seems to be becoming less deleterious in other places, like mainland China.
“We figured we wouldn’t worry and that as French people, we wouldn’t give up on our attempt to break the record, and now we’re champions of the world,” one IRL Smurf says in an AFP video (above). “It was more important, the coronavirus is no big deal, it’s nothing,” the IRL Smurfette standing next to him says. As she speaks, she’s holding her Smurf cap (or “liberty cap”), which was not only popular in the show, but also a symbol of freedom and the pursuit of liberty during the French Revolution.
Smurfette from the 2017 film, Smurfs: The Lost Village. Sony Pictures
What do you think about this attempt at setting a new Guinness World Record for most people gathered dressed as Smurfs? Is this one of the more entertaining Guinness World Record attempts you’ve seen, or do you prefer world records of the LEGO variety? And what are your thoughts about participants showing up during this outbreak of COVID-19? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Feature image: Jean-Luc Vincent via AFP News