Unicef bombs the Smurfs in fund-raising campaign for ex-child soldiers By David Rennie in Brussels (Filed: 08/10/2005)
The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.
The short but chilling film is the work of Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, and is to be broadcast on national television next week as a campaign advertisement.
The short film pulls no punches. It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom- shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky.
Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs.
The final frame bears the message: "Don't let war affect the lives of children."
I want to meet the Ad wizard who thought this up, GOT IT APPROVED, and shake their hand. It's genius. The disturbed and twisted kind of genius, but genius just the same.
warning: first half of video has maimed child soldiers (I assume) in a hospital...
I found what (badly synched) clip there was of the smurf bombing to be way more disturbing than I thought I would. It kinda felt that someone was trying to attack MY childhood by adding something completely wrong to something I have only fluffy sedate memories of. I suppose that's the point.
Call my a sick individual, but I'm not feeling the way I SHOULD be feeling, after watching that.
I thought it was kinda funny, in a disturbing way.
Probably because I now have a love/hate relationship about the Smurfs. I wonder what episodes would be like if characters from other shows appeared in them, like what would a Smurfs episode be like if it was crossed over with G.I.Joe.
The radio show I was listening to (I guess it was on NPR) had an interview with the Unicef guy who approved the ad, and they played the commercial-- albeit obviously in audio format only.
And... yeah. The audio track plus the still picture at the top of the thread gives me all the information I need to know I don't really wanna see the ad. Pretty much for the same reason I have no interest in seeing movies like Saw or High Tension (though maybe I'm exaggerating slightly).
Pretty potent way of getting one's point across, though. Though when was the last time Belgium invaded another country, anyway? Now, show the ad in America, and I guarantee you'll cause controversy. In fact, I wouldn't even be opposed to them airing the commercial here, and maybe getting a few Bush supporters to wake up and go, "Wait a second, there are innocent children in Iraq, too, and no doubt they're being killed."
But I'd probably change the channel if I caught a glimpse of it. Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself/I am large, I contain multitudes.
"I am here to use my frabjulitulity to mictifarcate your giltooney! Lo! My junurtiquity is most biollorky! Bask in the power of my meckalecka-hi, meckahiney-ho!" --Elan, The Order of the Stick
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