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Ugly Duckling (1939)

A newborn cygnet searches for a family that will accept him.

Directors:

(uncredited), (uncredited)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Storyline

The duck's eggs hatched: but the fifth hatchling, rather late, isn't like the rest, and momma chews poppa out. On top of all that, where the ducklings quack, the oddball honks. He's soon ostracized and rejected forever by all the ducks. He also explores a nest of sparrows and a duck decoy, but there's no acceptance there, either (the decoy bonks him on the head like one of those drinking birds). But just when he's feeling worst, a family of swans comes by, and he's found his real family. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

duck | duckling | swan | egg | bird | See All (25) »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

7 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das hässliche Entlein  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Golden Books adaptation of this short is closer to the original fairy tale than the actual short itself, because for some reason the animators didn't follow the original plot. See more »

Goofs

When the hero is reunited with his family, we discover that he is one of five baby swans. However, for a brief moment, six baby swans appear on screen as they swim around one another before returning to their mother. See more »

Connections

Version of The Ugly Duckling and Me! (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last Of Disney's Very Special Series
17 October 2000 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.

A gawky UGLY DUCKLING, only moments after birth, is hectored & harried from the family of ducks he was born into. Will he ever find happiness & learn his true destiny?

This is a pleasant cartoon, with the plucky personality of the protagonist firmly front & center; the by-play between the duck parents is also amusing. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen classic, it is a remake of a 1931 black & white Symphony. The SILLY SYMPHONIES ended with this film, but they went out with a bang - like 6 of its predecessors, THE UGLY DUCKLING was awarded an Oscar for Best Animation.

The SILLY SYMPHONIES, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most fascinating of all animated series. Unlike the Mickey Mouse cartoons in which action was paramount, with the Symphonies the action was made to fit the music. There was little plot in the early Symphonies, which featured lively inanimate objects and anthropomorphic plants & animals, all moving frantically to the soundtrack. Gradually, however, the Symphonies became the school where Walt's animators learned to work with color and began to experiment with plot, characterization & photographic special effects. The pages of Fable & Fairy Tale, Myth & Mother Goose were all mined to provide story lines and even Hollywood's musicals & celebrities were effectively spoofed. It was from this rich soil that Disney's feature-length animation was to spring. In 1939, with SNOW WHITE successfully behind him and PINOCCHIO & FANTASIA on the near horizon, Walt phased out the SILLY SYMPHONIES; they had run their course & served their purpose.


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'Ugly?' The main character's the cutest, as far as I'm concerned. :) kellyleighcrutcher
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