Cartoons dying for public serviceWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Smurfs bleed blue? The answer may be found in a new TV commercial produced by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. The ad, intended as a fundraiser in Belgium, opens with the Smurfs cavorting around a campfire. Birds fly by and rabbits hop around the mushroom-shaped houses until, suddenly, bombs begin to scream down from the sky.
Smurfs scatter and run as they perish in fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched Baby Smurf crying, surrounded by dead Smurfs, including a face-down Smurfette.
The screen bears the message: ”Don’t let war affect the lives of children.”
The agency responsible for the ad told Associated Press, ”We wanted something that was real war — Smurfs losing arms, or a Smurf losing a head — but they said no.”
That’s brutal. Mothersmurfin’ brutal. It’s also effective, in a civilization-continues-to-rot-as-we-hurtle-toward-the-apocalypse way. What’s next?
Steroids. Popeye could warn athletes about the dangers of steroid abuse. Where do you think his freakishly giant forearms come from? Popeye has been using steroids since Jason Giambi was a twinkle in a lab chemist’s eyes. But as Olive Oyl could tell you, as steroids ballooned the sailor’s arms, they shriveled his cojones into swee’ peas.
Marijuana. Shaggy and Scooby Doo could be used as DEA examples. Using America’s reactionary and archaic pot laws, the DEA could send the ganja-smokers to prison for a decade. What better way to send an anti-marijuana message than to make examples out of Toontown’s second-biggest pair of stoners? Who are Toontown’s biggest pot heads? Blondie and Dagwood. Why do you think he always has the munchies?
Gay marriage. Peppermint Patty, Cathy and Mary Worth join forces with Ziggy, Mike Nomad and Marmaduke in a pro-gay marriage commercial. They could be shown walking in the park, shopping, doing yard work, adopting kids and doing all the other activities straight people enjoy.
Cruelty to animals. You could really shock people with commercials showing Garfield gutted, laying face-down in a plate of lasagna, or Lucy pulling what looks like a football away as Charlie Brown goes for the kick, with a camera zoom revealing the ”football” is Snoopy’s decapitated head.
Lead poisoning. Do you want to drive home the dangers of lead poisoning? How about a cartoon in which the ”Family Circus” characters come home to see all 26 of their kids dead from eating paint flakes? They would all be surrounded by little ghosts proclaiming, ”not me!”
Speaking of cartoon characters, it has been reported that proud unwed parents Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are shopping for a home in Ottawa Hills. Sweet! We’ll be able to see TomKat at the new Costco, buying diamond-encrusted diapers, jars of caviar baby food and a wet nurse 12-pack.
I wonder if they need suggestions for names?
For a boy:
TomKat Cruise Jr.
L. Ron Cruise
Michael S. Cruise
John Robinson Cruise
Chris Klein Cruise
PR Stunt Gone Awry Cruise
For a girl:
Nicole Kidman Cruise
Jenna Hamel Cruise
Penelope Cruz Cruise
Katie Who? Cruise
L. Ronda Cruise
Maybe their real estate agent can find them a deal in North Toledo. On second thought, that might be a bad idea. The thug rioters will confuse ”nazi” and ”paparazzi,” and all of Hollywood’s special effects won’t be able to save them. That’s Smurfed-up.
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. He may be contacted at (419) 241-1700 or by e-mail at email@example.com.