Movie stars from the upcoming animated movie “Smurfs: The Lost Village” came to United Nations headquarters in New York to celebrate International Day of Happiness on Saturday (March 18th).
The actors were joined by a trio of young students who were recognized for their work to make the world a better place. Demi Lovato, who voiced Smurfette, Joe Manganiello, Hefty Smurf in the movie, and Papa Smurf Mandy Patinkin handed the students a symbolic key to the Smurfs Village.
“We’re here to reward young people for stepping out and teaching the rest of the world how to take care of our planet.” said actor Joe Manganiello. “So, we’re here on behalf of the Smurfs to try to teach the younger generation the lessons that these three young people, these exemplary young people, have stepped out and created.”
The students were honored for inventing a containment device to prevent offshore oil spills, a girl empowerment initiative, and advocating for social justice issues. All are in line with UNICEF and United Nations Foundation’s Small Smurfs Big Goals campaign that rounds off with the International Day of Happiness on March 20th.
“Smurfs are sort of all about happiness,” said Kelly Asbury, director of “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” Even grumpy or, I’m sorry, even Grouchy Smurf is happy. I think that they just spread happiness wherever they go. And that’s what’s great about them. They are all about happiness and what a perfect time. It’s very exciting.”
The idea behind the International Day of Happiness is to promote personal happiness and well-being, in particular decent work for all, access to nutritious food, quality education and health services, and freedom from discrimination.
“What’s going on here today is a celebration of happiness, an opportunity for the Smurfs to come together with UNICEF and the U.N., to say to children around the world that even the littlest person can make a difference,” said Caryl M. Stern, UNICEF U.S. Fund President and CEO. “And if we’re going to reach the sustainability goals the U.N. has set, it’s going to take all of us big and small, little and big, blue and not blue. Each of us doing something and each of us can make a difference.”
The stars and the United Nations officials will gather again to turn the Empire State Building blue on March 20th in celebration of the International Day of Happiness.