The most touching episode of 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark'?
For me, yes it is. There may be some bias though, but Hans Christian Andersen's original story has always moved me.
As said in my previous 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark' reviews, 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark' is a wonderful show. It adapts well-loved stories and while not completely faithful it treats them with respect and tells the stories with plenty of heart and charm without over-complicating or dumbing them down.
"The Ugly Duckling" is one of my favourite episodes from the show, mainly because it is so touching and even with some changes it is one of the closest episodes in structure and spirit to the source material. The Ugly Duckling is an adorable and poignant protagonist, one of the most relatable characters of the entire show from personal opinion.
With the animation, it's very beautifully done, there's better around but also much worse. There's plenty of vibrant colour, the backgrounds have a great amount of detail and it's smoothly drawn. The music score is one of 'Timeless Tales from Hallmark's' most whimsical and understated, with the songs, the best one belonging to the Ugly Duckling which is a tear-jerker, having great emotional impact.
Scripting has a nice balance of humour without being juvenile and pathos without being over-sentimentalised, and the story is beautifully told and easy to follow with a lot of charm and heart and no rushing, no choppiness, no dragging and no padding. The voice acting is very nicely done, the Ugly Duckling sounds like Charlie Adler and if it is for a voice actor who usually does comic roles and over-the-top villains this is him at his most subtle and heartfelt.
In conclusion, lovely and touching animated version, almost as heart-wrenching as the 1939 Disney Silly Symphony cartoon. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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