7.8/10
1,991
12 user 5 critic

Ugly Duckling (1939)

Approved | | Animation, Short, Comedy | 7 April 1939 (USA)
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 (26) »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El patito feo  »

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 »

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User Reviews

 
What a wonderful cartoon!
2 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

The only reason I give this film a 9 and not a 10 is that it's actually a remake of a film this same studio made eight years earlier. I tend to be a little tougher on remakes plus it just doesn't take nearly as much effort to remake a film instead of do one from scratch. However, despite this concern, I can see why this film received the Oscar for Best Animated Short. It is simply wonderful from start to finish.

First, the animation is exactly what you'd expect from Disney from this era. In the 1930s, no other studio came close in quality of animation and music. The whole package was simply terrific and could not be beat. I particularly loved the wonderful backgrounds as well as the great use of colors--nicely muted and soft.

Second, the story, while very familiar to most, is wonderful. I am not ashamed to admit that by the end of the film, my eyes were very misty--it is a lovely and sentimental film. A joy to watch from start to finish.


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