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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Hits its target audience

Author: Denise J Hale from Cheltenham, England
7 November 2002

This film reminded me of the sort of thing we'd see at Saturday Morning Kids club; independent 'ordinary' children, trying to solve their own problems and taking on the 'baddies'.

Its plot is built around a widow, her 3 children and a duck. Whilst mum is trying to hold down a job the children try to help. Enter a bird-poacher whose dream is to own a beach-bar. In order to finance his scheme, with his young side-kick, he catches and sells exotic birds. The duck is kidnapped for use in his decoy operation - a wildlife sideshow. All the children want is their duck back.

Richard E Grant plays the obnoxious Wolf, a scruffy bully, with a high opinion of his ability to impress the opposite sex and a low opinion about everything else.

Enough to say it's a good film that hits its target audience without leaving adults cringing (except at the state of REG's feet!). It's a shame that it could not have had a general cinema release. My children were rivetted and I was pleased that, for once, they weren't watching a cartoon.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Better than Famous 5! Very entertaining

9/10
Author: decibello from Melbourne, Australia
29 April 2003

This reminded me of an Enid Blyton book - Famous 5 or Secret 7 where the mum's at work & the kids have the most amazing adventures during the day, getting back in time for mum to say "OK, bathtime everyone". Really cute movie, very enjoyable, lots of fun, great for kids and parents too.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A good family film.

8/10
Author: Chris from Gosford Australia
29 June 2003

Hildegarde was a very well put together family film. \

It had the elements of a "quest" in that the children's pet duck was stolen and they went off to get it back. It had a villain, and a sub-plot where the mother was coming to terms with the loss of her husband and trying to keep the family together.

Well cast and a good script.

Chris.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

More than just ducky, this beautiful movie is a must-see family film

9/10
Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
18 October 2007

Three children in Australia, Chris, Jeremy, and Isabelle, have lost their beloved father. Their newly single mother is struggling with her dual roles as mother and chief breadwinner. Therefore, Chris is put in charge on the day that she needs to go away on business. Chris leads his younger siblings to town, where they are to enjoy a rare breakfast at a restaurant. But, they see a large, wildlife tent run by Wolf (Richard E. Grant) and can't resist the chance to go inside. Once there, they see many animals, including a duck that LOOKS like Hildegarde, their much-loved pet bird. Racing home to check on Hildegarde and her nest in a nearby pond, they discover that, indeed, Hildegarde is missing and her eggs are in danger. But, Wolf moves on to a neighboring town with Hildegarde and company. How can the kids get their pet back? And, what are Wolf's intentions toward the animals under his care, anyway? This is a terrific family film that will please everyone who sits down to take it in. The children are very winning and the darling duck, although not on the screen nearly enough, is an absolute joy to watch. Grant, a wonderfully talented British actor, plays the heavy here with ease. The scenes in Australia feel familiar and exotic at the same time and the film looks very well-made and attractive. If you love animals, you can't miss this one. But, in truth, families forever searching for suitable films for their brood will find Hildegarde an outstanding and touching choice. It's certain that, after a showing, everyone will be waddling off to bed in a happy, happy mood.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

9/10
Author: JJBustamante from Hawaii
28 November 2005

This isn't a big-production movie. It didn't hit the top of box office sales. It isn't glamorous. But it is a great film.

It is a great movie, not only because it is clean, without harsh or unnecessary violence, without sex, without swearing, and without other vice, but it also gives a good real-world portrayal of life. TV shows and movies almost always show families that are upper-middle-class. The family in this movie is much more realistic. They're not rich, they don't come from influential families, they aren't out-of-the-ordinary. That may sound like a bad thing, but it really is good, as it teaches viewers of all ages that money and prominence aren't everything.

The West Wing, for example, involves staffers of the White House. Government employees do not get paid much, and real White House Staffers have commented that in real life, they can't afford the expensive clothes as seen on the show. Hildegarde doesn't try to make such pretensions. The main character, a very-goodlooking Chris, is seen wearing a shirt that even has a hole.

The plot generally is about kids who venture out to get back their duck, and that of course isn't usual in normal people's lives, but it is still done realistically -- the kids aren't mutants with mighty morphin abilities or anything silly like that.

Yes, this is supposed to be a kids movie, but I'm 21, and I love it. I'm not a weird sort of 21-year-old. I do watch Family Guy and The Simpsons. I almost never see any PG or G movies. I'm not in the target demographic for this movie, but I like it anyway.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A great flick for kids and their parents

8/10
Author: petal652000 from california
12 May 2003

It's nice to see a film that's not violent and has positive messages aimed at kids. This film is charming and funny, with plenty of adventure and drama. Everyone will love the duck in the title role. She's so cute.

The Australian countryside is beautiful to look at, the performances are great, especially Richard E Grant as the villain.

It will be especially good for little kids because although it's dramatic, it's not scary, like so many violent kids films today.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing

4/10
Author: daguchna from Poland
14 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I expected nice, light, but not too conventional movie with a cute animal and one of my favorite actors. I got only the last two things. Plot became predictable far too fast, but it wasn't that worse. When it was revealed that dad of kids died, general atmosphere of movie started to be too teary and pathetic (including crybaby Jeremy) and it discouraged me the most. Schematic plot was the next bad thing, especially when main characters, maybe except Isabel, weren't likable at all. Typically written villains resulted in terribly waste of potential - Richard E. Grant is one of the best actors I know and here his character is reduced to being howling, unfunny maniac. Only Hildegarde and other animals were nice in watching.

If you want to show your children adventure movie with animal, better look for something else.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful heart warming film

9/10
Author: lcl-1 from San Francisco
16 April 2003

Richard E Grant is excellent as the bad guy. Great acting from the kids and an excellent story and script. Recommended for younger kids. Adults will be moved by the story as well.

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

In my opinion this movie was very badly done. . .

1/10
Author: gn-ome from Sydney, Australia
16 January 2005

My Friend and I refused to watch anymore of this movie.This was For three major reasons.1> It had a bad story line.2> was very badly shot(with a lot of cruddy camera work).3> all the actors were TERRIBLE.Especially Wolf and little girl.But generally everyone over-acted.Hildegarde was a great letdown to me, but I guess alright for the kiddies as they will like the really bad baddies and the really good goodies.But from my point of view a very lazy film that I could of probably done if I tried.All in all-If you're into crummy movies that have a clichéd plot ( or if you may be a kid). . .than this one is for you!

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