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"It's working. We are getting a lot of reactions and people are logging on to our Web site," UNICEF Belgium spokesman Philippe Henon said Tuesday.
The Belgian office of the U.N. children's fund said it has decided to use the creations of late Belgian artist Peyo to shock a complacent public into backing its fund-raising efforts for ex-child soldiers in Africa.
The 20-second video commercial clip now being shown on Belgian TV aims to show that war can happen in the most innocent of places, Henon said.
"We get reactions from all over the place," said Henon. "People are shocked and want to know the reasons behind this cartoon image."
The appeal is meant to raise money for UNICEF projects in Burundi, Congo and Sudan, Henon said. However, due to its graphic and disturbing scenes, this cartoon is not for everyone. The advertisement is aimed at an adult audience and is only shown after 9 p.m. to avoid upsetting young Smurfs fans.
The video is peacefully introduced by birds, butterflies and happy Smurfs playing and singing their theme song when suddenly out of the sky, bombs rain down onto their forest village, scattering Papa Smurf and the rest as their houses are set ablaze.
The bombs kill Smurfette leaving Baby Smurf orphaned and crying at the edge of a crater in the last scene of the video and finishing of with the text "don't let war destroy the children's world."