It’s no secret that I despise the old Saturday morning cartoon series The Smurfs, a fact that several friends take advantage of whenever they feel like annoying the hell out of me (one bought me a small Smurf figurine for me to keep on my desk at work). It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong about the Smurfs other than I can’t stand the little blue bastards. So when the folks at UNICEF decided to create an anti-war TV ad using the Smurfs quite a few SEB regulars wrote in to tell me about it. I have to admit that I love this ad, but probably not for the right reasons. During the course of the ad the Smurfs get carpet bombed:
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.”
Julie Lamoureux, account director at Publicis for the campaign, said the agency’s original plans were toned down.
“We wanted something that was real war – Smurfs losing arms, or a Smurf losing a head -but they said no.”
Now that’s an episode I could watch over and over again. You can watch a news report on the video clip by clicking here. It’s about half-way through, though on my screen the video played back in a jerky slide-show sort of manner so I don’t know how good it is. Thanks to everyone who sent this to me. It made my day.