In an effort to raise money for Unicef's rehabilitation programs for ex-child soldiers, IMPS, the Belgian company controlled by the Smurf heirs, has authorized the creation of what amounts to a Smurf snuff film, which will start airing on Belgian TV next week:
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.In order that the film traumatizes only adults with idyllic childhood memories of the Smurfs and not actual children, Unicef and IMPS "have stipulated that it is not to be broadcast before the 9pm watershed."
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."
Yeah, that'll happen. It must be good to think you're the king. Unicef's trying to raise EUR150,000 with the short; and if giant media corporations hoarding valuable kiddie characters don't pony up, Unicef'll make snuff films out of their brands, too.
UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE: Greetings from the year 2011. When this post was first written, the Unicef video was really hard to find online, almost impossible. But thanks to YouTube, we can watch it in several languages. Which pretty much makes up for still having war everywhere.
Unicef bombs the Smurfs in fund-raising campaign for ex-child soldiers [telegraph uk, via dt reader buck]
Donate to Unicef Belgium's campaign online [unicef.be]
And listen to their radio ad while you're at it; it's bloodier than La Marseillaise. Yikes.