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Can these cartoon pals help reduce the stigma of cancer treatment for children? (Courtesy of Ogilvy Brazil)

Snoopy, Garfield And Friends Go Bald For Kids With Cancer

by Linda Poon
Apr 24, 2014

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Olive Oil Snoopy Monica from Monica's Gang, one of Brazil's most popular cartoons, got a makeover as part of the Bald Cartoons campaign.

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It's not easy having cancer, especially when you're a kid. And it's even harder when that bald chemo head tells the whole world that you're sick.

So Garfield, Hello Kitty and the fine-feathered cast of the movie Rio 2 are going bald, too. Cartoonists around the world are de-fuzzing their creations as part of a Brazilian project that aims to reduce the stigma of cancer treatment.

Children "have to fight the prejudice from friends, from colleagues at school and from people they see on the street," says Roberto Fernandez, executive creative officer at the ad agency Ogilvy Brazil, which launched the campaign with GRAACC, a childhood cancer nonprofit in Sao Paulo. "They start to be treated as somebody special, in a bad sense. People avoid them; friends at school bully them for being bald."

The Bald Cartoons concept started in Brazil back in November, when characters in cartoons and comic books popular there, such as Monica's Gang, started taking a bit off the top. This month it's going international, with about 40 characters from across the globe including Garfield, Snoopy, Hello Kitty and Finn from the TV show Adventure Time.

The story lines stay the same, Fernandez tells Shots, but the characters have no hair - or fur - on their heads.

"They're bald with no explanation, just like if a kid with cancer is bald ... you don't have to bother them about the fact the he or she is bald," he says. "That's how we want to see kids. I want to see kids playing happily, no matter if they have or don't have hair."

In Brazil, the Bald Cartoons campaign became so popular it even got a Twitter shoutout from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

But Fernandez is most excited about children's reactions. One patient said in a video, "I thought that if I took my hat off at school people would laugh, but now I don't feel that anymore."

"And he took off the cap," Fernandez says. "And all these friends clapped for him immediately. And that was a huge emotional moment for us."

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Can these cartoon pals help reduce the stigma of cancer treatment for children? (Courtesy of Ogilvy Brazil)

Four-Letter Friends

Apr 24, 2014 (Ask Me Another)

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Olive Oil Snoopy Monica from Monica's Gang, one of Brazil's most popular cartoons, got a makeover as part of the Bald Cartoons campaign.

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We don't have to bleep a single word in this final round. Rather, identify famous folks who have four letters in both their first and last names, like the Grammy-winning singer of "I Try," Macy Gray.

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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"I wrote all the drag-queen-ish lines," Bobby said, and Kristen added, "I was listening to a lot of Tori Amos at the time. We put a lot of our emotion into it. A lot of things we didn't realize we needed to express went into this song." (Getty Images)

'Let It Go': A Hit Song, Spawned From Partnership

Apr 24, 2014 (Ask Me Another)

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Olive Oil Snoopy Monica from Monica's Gang, one of Brazil's most popular cartoons, got a makeover as part of the Bald Cartoons campaign.

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Has "Let It Go," the showstopper from Disney's Frozen, been stuck in your head all winter? You're probably humming it right now. It's a big-sounding song with a strong emotional core, written by husband-and-wife songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. If Queen Elsa, once destined to be the story's villain, is Frozen's superhero, then the Lopezes view "Let It Go" as her origin story moment.

Their own origin story is equally as magical, hinted at in the way the charming pair finishes each other's sentences (and sandwiches). Of their first meeting at a musical theatre workshop, Kristen says: "I fell in love with him immediately." Bobby says: "I thought, 'Thank God, someone who gets me. I can probably get with her.'"

The duo's knack for blending sweetness with irreverence shines through in lyrics such as "I don't know if I'm elated or gassy / But I'm somewhere in that zone." Their musical credits collectively include In Transit, Disney's Winnie The Pooh, Avenue Q and Book of Mormon, the latter two of which earned Bobby multiple Tony Awards. (He now is an EGOT winner.)

On Ask Me Another, Kristen and Bobby graciously lent their voices to a rewritten version of "Let It Go," that quizzed contestants about other cold and frozen items. And later, the gloves came off during a VIP Challenge that pitted spouse against spouse in a Broadway musical mash-up showdown.


Interview Highlights


On trying to write songs for an earlier version of Frozen

There was a script, it was very Romancing the Stone live-action at the time. And we tried to write songs for that script, and it was like tuna and chocolate, a little bit. Like, "You put your chocolate in my tuna!" None of those songs stayed.


On finding the inspiration to write "Let It Go"

We stood on picnic benches [in Prospect Park] and imagined what it would be like if you'd put your whole life keeping your feelings in and trying to be perfect. And at the time, she was supposed to be a villain. But up on that picnic table, I started to feel sorry for her, and I started to think, "Well, that stinks!" She's been repressing who she is her whole life, and here at this moment, she's being chased out of a village from these people who she's been sacrificing her whole life for. She has to say goodbye to all of that, and yet there's this release.

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Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
"I wrote all the drag-queen-ish lines," Bobby said, and Kristen added, "I was listening to a lot of Tori Amos at the time. We put a lot of our emotion into it. A lot of things we didn't realize we needed to express went into this song." (Getty Images)

This Quiz Never Bothered Me Anyway

Apr 24, 2014 (Ask Me Another)

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Olive Oil Snoopy Monica from Monica's Gang, one of Brazil's most popular cartoons, got a makeover as part of the Bald Cartoons campaign.

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Sure you have an Oscar, but do you have an Ask Me Another Rubik's cube? Frozen's Married songwriters Bobby Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez let their competitive swagger shine in a game where the answers are mashed-up musicals, like "The Lion King and I."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
"I wrote all the drag-queen-ish lines," Bobby said, and Kristen added, "I was listening to a lot of Tori Amos at the time. We put a lot of our emotion into it. A lot of things we didn't realize we needed to express went into this song." (Getty Images)

Google, You Autocomplete Me

Apr 24, 2014 (Ask Me Another)

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Olive Oil Snoopy Monica from Monica's Gang, one of Brazil's most popular cartoons, got a makeover as part of the Bald Cartoons campaign.

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What's the weirdest thing you've ever Googled? Search histories can be so incriminating. In this round, guess celebrities based on their common search terms, like "height" and "goes crazy on Oprah."

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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