BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Out of an idyllic blue sky dotted with birds and butterflies come warplanes that carpet-bomb the Smurfs’ forest village, killing Smurfette, leaving Baby Smurf wailing in distress and sending Papa Smurf and the others bolting for cover.
The scene from a bizarre commercial featuring Belgium’s lovable blue-skinned cartoon characters is so upsetting it can only be shown after 9 p.m. to avoid scaring children.
Yet it is part of a UNICEF ad campaign on Belgian television meant to highlight the plight of ex-child soldiers in Africa.
"It’s working. We are getting a lot of reactions, and people are logging on to our Web site," said Philippe Henon, a spokesman for the Belgian office of the U.N. children’s agency.