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T O P I C     R E V I E W
<PARTY SMURF>  - posted 10-08-2005 09:38 PM
This is from the The Daily Telegraph,

Saturday, October 08, 2005

BRUSSELS - The people of Belgium have been left reeling by a public service commercial featuring the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.

The 25-second commercial is the work of UNICEF, and is to be broadcast on TV across Belgium next week as a public fundraiser. It is intended as the keystone of a drive, by UNICEF's Belgian arm, to raise about $145,000 for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi.

The animation was approved by the family of the Smurfs' late creator, "Peyo."

Belgian television viewers were given a preview of the commercial earlier this week, when it was shown on the main evening news. Reactions ranged from approval to shock and, in the case of small children who saw the episode by accident, wailing terror.

UNICEF and IMPS, the family company that controls all rights to the Smurfs, have stipulated that it is not to be broadcast before 9 p.m.

The ad 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.''

Philippe Henon, a spokesman for UNICEF Belgium, said his agency had set out to shock, after concluding that traditional images of suffering in Third World war zones had lost their power to move television viewers.

"It's controversial,'' he said. "We have never done something like this before, but we've learned over the years that the reaction to the more normal type of campaign is very limited.''

Belgium prides itself on being the home of some of the world's most famous cartoon characters -- from Tintin to Lucky Luke and the Smurfs, known to the Dutch-speaking half of the country as "Smurfen'' and as "Schtroumpfs'' to Belgium's French-speakers.

The advertising agency behind the campaign, Publicis, decided the best way to convey the impact of war on children was to tap into the earliest, happiest memories of Belgian television viewers. They chose the Smurfs, who first appeared in a Belgian comic in 1958.

Julie Lamoureux, Publicis' account director 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.''

The film has won tentative approval from the official Smurf fan club. A spokesman said, "I think it will wake up some people. It is so un-Smurf-like, it might get people to think.''

Hendrik Coysman, managing director of IMPS, agreed. "That crying baby really goes to your bones.''
Member # 2
 - posted 10-09-2005 08:04 AM
Here is the picture from the TV commercial...

The Smurf Village is Bombed

Raven Child
Member # 795
 - posted 10-09-2005 09:29 AM
Wow, that's deep.
Member # 718
 - posted 10-12-2005 04:57 PM
I Just saw the commercial on tv, its great I really think that we over look how bad war is and the fact that it is still taking place every single day all over the world. Im lucky enough to live in Canada where there is no war but it is still around im glad the smurfs are in on this it rules
Raven Child
Member # 795
 - posted 10-12-2005 09:46 PM
Hey, Vanity (fellow Canadian), that is why in my latest smurf fic I have them move to Canada [Wink] This is why this commercial is so interesting to me. It reminds me of an up coming part I entend to write for the story, "How things Smurf".

Take Care, and Stay Smurfy.
<USA RULES>  - posted 10-13-2005 08:58 AM
Too bad UNICEF didn't do a version showing a smurf's head being cut off. I guess UNICEF is a terrorist organization.
Vic George
Member # 37
 - posted 10-13-2005 04:02 PM
"All this smurf's powers...and this smurf couldn't even save them!!!"
Member # 746
 - posted 11-21-2005 02:05 PM
That picture is disturbing. [Frown]
Member # 718
 - posted 11-21-2005 08:00 PM
MR USA it doesnt surprise me that you would be the one worried about terrorism but i do think your taking it a bit far not to be rude, their rsmurfs and unicef
Member # 1241
 - posted 12-13-2005 04:56 AM
that picture is terrifying! how can they get away with that? i don't think they should be allowed to put out pictures of dead smurfs because kids could see them. and pictures like that make it hard to sleep! that just isnt right
Papa Smurf
Member # 1
 - posted 02-04-2010 02:15 PM
Watch UNICEF Bomb the Smurfs video:


Smurfus Norsmurficus
Member # 2350
 - posted 02-05-2010 07:20 PM
Pretty frightening!!!
Member # 2756
 - posted 02-05-2010 07:43 PM
Kids can watch it if they stay up longer than 9 pm
Member # 1224
 - posted 02-06-2010 09:05 PM
That is a scary video!
GreenDay Smurfs
Member # 2895
 - posted 02-07-2010 04:30 PM
I saw this before.

Acually i thought it was a joke because i saw it on youtube.

Thanks for the info Papa Smurf!
Papa Smurf
Member # 1
 - posted 02-10-2010 11:20 PM
UNICEF Smurf TV Advertisement:

UNICEF Smurf Commercial

Member # 3409
 - posted 11-25-2010 08:57 AM
General impression:

The scene opens up serenely, and harkens back to the good ol’ days of Smurfyness. Then, from above we see lines of bombs being dropped on the Smurf village. All the smurfs are running around, scattering from the chaos created by the unknown assailant. Finally, the image of destruction where smurfs are laying about face down or under rubble, and baby smurf is left crying leaves one feeling oddly numb.


Is it because it’s a children’s cartoon?

The message at the end is a simple plea for people to not let children suffer, and become victims of war.


It is not like WWII had victims. Perhaps the US may have forgotten, but Europe has not. The countryside still bears the scars, and in every village and hamlet stands a memorial to fallen soldiers. Some as young as 17. Even then, there were victims who suffered from the bombings of the Blitzkrieg on the German front, and in the Pacific countless Japanese civilians died due to the atomic bomb.

All war, be it between wealthy nations or poor, is bad.

There will always be children who suffer because of it.

I feel like the message of the ad serves its original purpose to shock people into paying attention, but it also has become a joke. People send it around the internet not because it’s a great ad about UNICEF helping the victims in Burundi. No they send it around the net because OMG SMURFS GOT PWND!

The only people who actually were shocked by this, are those who grew up with the Smurfs. They would have had a knowledge of the general story behind the blue characters, and the message would have made more sense. However, to not show the ad before 8pm because a child might see it and be traumatized is a joke. The management certainly is assuming that children today are still innocent and niave as my generation was. I disagree. Games like HALO, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, etc have created a generation that is numb to war. We are so used to killing pretend “bad guys” that war has become nothing more than a fantasy in and of itself. Outdoor pursuits such as paintball, and airsoft create a false sense of security, with a hint of reality, that allows participants to enact various scenarios without the risk of being mortally injured or killed from gunfire. Even non-participants are bombarded by images of war and violence. We have a love affair with action, suspense, and the thrill. Yet all of that is fantasy.

If UNICEF wanted to get a message across, then they should show the real victims of war. Show the dead baby, show the toddler who has no arms and no eyes. Show the villages and lives destroyed by war. Then, show the weapon casings. Show the world who is selling these instruments of death and allowing the hatred to be spread. Then, let the people decide.

At this point, I can honestly say, I am not totally proud to be an American. I know there are corporations in my country who have sold weapons to dictators and military leaders so that they can enact their atrocities on their perceived enemies. I know my country has created much of the mess it is now in today, because of greed.

One last thought, I think they should have shown the total devastation produced by the bombs. Yeah, Gargamels house is gone, the castle is in ruins. Just so that people realize that even old enemies are affected by the actions of an outside source. Finally, UNICEF, show the Smurfs receiving aid, medical help, and care. Because despite the horror of war, there is hope in those who give of themselves to help another.
Member # 1224
 - posted 11-28-2010 07:44 AM
You've made a lot of valid points!!

You've given this some good thought and what you say makes a lot of sense...

Well said!
Member # 3842
 - posted 08-21-2011 07:17 AM
Sick! This ad made me sick! Too many different ways to make people aware of disasters. Disgusting!
Sweet Smurf 2
Member # 5136
 - posted 11-26-2014 06:38 PM
No! No! NOOOOOOOOOOO! This is very Gargameo! UNICEF is on trial for crime against Smurfs!
Member # 5525
 - posted 03-31-2015 03:33 AM
I have to say, i understand the point they're trying to get across and i think its a fairly good one! But the way that they showed it, the horror, its horrible. I think that it was a well justified point, displayed in a gruesome
flying smurf
Member # 6670
 - posted 03-30-2018 11:12 PM
I'm Sympathize with you sweet smurf2
and fcvl73.
It was terrible vidio.
Member # 746
 - posted 04-05-2018 09:21 PM
It made me ill to see the picture. The point was made for better or worse.
Squeaky Smurf
Member # 2416
 - posted 07-05-2019 03:10 PM
I can even understand the purpose of this advertisement, even though it seems really shocking to our eyes - perhaps beacuse we are Smurf fans.
Member # 300
 - posted 07-06-2019 02:28 AM
The Sugar Apocalypse.

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