UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has produced a short cartoon highlighting the horrors of the suffering of children in Third World war zones.
It features the Smurfs getting blown to bits.
The blue cartoon characters were created in Belgium in 1958, but crossed over to the U.S. via toys and cartoons in the early 1980s. The magical folk are three apples high, they live in mushrooms, and they were menaced by the burlap sack-wearing wizard Gargamel.
The fund intends to raise 70,000 pounds for former child soldiers in Burundi. Unicef Belgium said that traditional ad campaigns were no longer working on the jaded public. So they chose to tap into – according to a news story in the UK’s News Telegraph – the “earliest, happiest memories of Belgian television viewers.”
Yeah! That'll show 'em! Mental trauma always brings out the donor spirit.
Julie Lamoureux, the campaign’s director, said they wanted the commercial to show a Smurf getting beheaded – but they had to draw the line somewhere.
The 25-second film starts out as all Smurfy cartoons usually did, with the Smurfs going about their Smurfy business – until bombs shatter the village, leaving Smurfette dead, Baby Smurf wailing amid a destroyed village and smurfy corpses everywhere.
I cannot decide if it’s abso-smurfly hilarious, or just mind-smurfingly terrifying. Here is a link to the cartoon:
Don’t let the kids watch, please. It made me feel bad, and I’m, like, a grown-up. The film was approved, the story says, by the family of Peyo, the Smurfs’ creator.
"I think it will wake up some people,” said a spokesman from the official Smurf fan club. “It is so un-Smurf-like, it might get people to think."