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Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classics: "The Ugly Duckling"

A new animated take on the famous story of the ugly duckling, which also features voice actors.

The infamous story of The Ugly Duckling graces our reviews here at SHOWSOTROS, on the DVD section this time. There isn't anything new that hasn't been said about the Ugly Duckling, except for this variant, compared to the VHS presentation, this actually has a happy ending.

Mother Duck struggling to hatch her fourth egg resulted in a duckling different from her other ducklings. Keeping upon with him, realizing that he's still her son, the animal society, namely The Dutchess, mocks and criticizes her for giving birth and raising such an ugly duckling.
Ugly Duckling isn't ugly.

"Bad egg, bad mother."
- Dutchess

If you were to compare that to us humans, that logic doesn't follow. That means, clearly, it's an insult coming from a speck of insecurity that The Dutchess may be too ashamed to admit. The Dutchess was able to talk the talk behind Ugly Duckling's back, only to get confronted with a harsh response:

"...and what you say is what you are, yourself."
- Ugly Duckling

As his siblings learned to get along with him, the Ugly Duckling gets introduced to the farm society where a lot of them have noticed and ganged up on the poor Ugly Duckling. The Boss—the farmer's cat—wanted to do some hunting and Mother Duck stepped forward to protect her ducklings, taking the scratch from the vicious cat. As the ducklings run away safely, Ugly Duckling gets trapped by The Boss only to escape cleanly....flying away. Ugly Duckling never knew it could fly but was happy to escape unharmed. While Ugly Duckling's Mother and his siblings escaped, The Boss then confronts The Dutchess to finish his hunting.

Next day, Ugly Duckling overhears yet misunderstood what Mother Duck said about the violence that transpired. Mother Duck confessed that the trouble wouldn't have occurred had Ugly Duckling not been born—a heartaching statement that made Ugly Duckling fly away from home.

Looking to find a place to belong, Ugly Duckling flew to two different places all with societal standards that don't fit with his lifestyle. Living alone during the cold, winter season until the lake froze up, Ugly Duckling continues to roam alone trying to find himself and reasoning why he's not accepted in other places. He, however, wanted to get in contact with the swans he saw at the lake but never was able to talk to them. As the weather got warmer, Ugly Duckling-turned-Swan stays in the shade of a lake, still afraid to go out. The swans he wanted to talk to comes over and heard what Ugly Duckling/Swan said. The trio pull him out of the shade to show him that he's not ugly after all and he's one of them. Rapidly building his confidence, human mother and her children having a picnic see the new swan and wanted to see him up close.

Before staying and hanging out with his new family, Ugly Duckling-Swan flies over to where he was born to see his siblings and his Mother all grown up but looked depressed and sad over him being gone. After he greets his Mother, Mother Duck was happy again and realizes that Ugly Duckling-Swan was beautiful, but of a different kind compared to his siblings. Wishing he could stay, Ugly Duckling-Swan promises to fly back every now and then to visit her and his siblings as he flies with his new friends happily. Don't you just love a happy ending? The feature film ends with credits.

Just like The Princess and the Pea DVD, it has quizzes and games on the Special Features section of the DVD. We provided the correct answers below this page; Don't scroll down if you want to figure out the answers yourself.

Perhaps the strangest thing was the DVD Menu, as it says "Play Episode" as opposed to "Play Movie."

'Play Episode' as opposed to 'Play Movie' on DVD menu.

Onto the digital specs of the DVD: The video was digitized and compressed using the MPEG2 Video (mpgv) at a 29.97 frame rate; The resolution is 720x480 with a color space of 4:2:0 YUV. The audio is compressed using A52 Audio (ac3), Stereo (Dolby Surround, an included alternative), and a sample rate of 48000 Hz with 192 KB/s bitrate.

While the quality seemed to be remastered from an old tape, the quality of this presentation seems to be best fit for an online/TV episodic series. That's right: Mentioning that means Hollywood will hijack this idea and say "Fans spoke and we listened" without giving credit to the originator who discovered this gem—your's truly. If they can modernize the story of Peter Rabbit, I don't see a reason the movie industry may do the same to The Ugly Duckling. Go ahead, film executives—I DARE you to make a TV series and/or a movie based off of this. I know you all are reading this, pretending you don't visit this website occasionally.

Judging by the goings-on today, perhaps the deep, heart-heavy story of The Ugly Duckling ought to be retold again. It's enough to remind and let kids know that we're just people. There are going to be unpleasant ones, and the ones who con and lie to you, but finding those who accept you for you are the ones you should keep. To quote my 12th grade high school teacher Mr. Boysen:

"For every person who rejects me, there are many others who are willing to accept me."
- my 12th grade teacher Mr. Boysen

Because that quote really hit me at the bottom of my heart, I kindly share this to all you fellow visitors and fans. There's no reason you can't belong because you do.

Those who have experienced this disassociation personally, like I have, will relate to the story and pain Ugly Duckling went through. Similar thing said when we interpreted the lyrics to the song "Luka" by Suzanne Vega at the MUSICSOTROS! sub-domain website. Yeah, the story in this movie will hurt, as it did with the Ugly Duckling himself, but you will also witness that he finally realizes that he belongs with a flock who see nothing wrong with him. Same goes in real life. It's a struggle and a challenge, yes, but the pain is temporary. You can do it, and you belong here.
Swans reminding Ugly Duckling about how great he looks.

Even though this is catered to kids, I feel adults will learn something from this too.

Another excellent DVD volume by the Reader's Digest Association and Starlight Home Entertainment! Highly recommended, especially for those who are big fans of Hans Christian Andersen!

Gee Whiz Quiz answers: #1 - B, #2 - A, #3 - D, #4 - B, #5 - C
Rhyme Time answers: #1 - C, #2 - D, #3 - C, #4 - D, #5 - C
Cast of Character answers: #1 - True, #2 - True, #3 - False, #4 - False, #5 - True, #6 - False, #7 - True, #8 - True, #9 - False
I See It! answers: Picture #1 (top left), Picture #3 (bottom left), Picture #2 (top right), Picture #4 (bottom right)





  • An updated take on the famous children's story.
  • Adorable, lovable characters.
  • Fine voice acting.
  • A new animation that may carry over to a full length feature film (they did the same with "Peter Rabbit").
  • None.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Title Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classics
Volume Name and Title The Ugly Duckling
Description Children will love these beautifully animated timeless tales by Hans Christian Andersen, author of the world's greatest fairy tales. Lovely, lush productions of these enchanting stories provide a perfect way for little ones to learn life's lessons in a fun and entertaining way. Each Hans Christian Andersen Animated Classic is sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike.

The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling is the heart-warming, and sometimes heart-wrenching, story of a little "ugly" duckling. Ridiculed and laughed at, the Ugly Duckling leaves his home and journeys through the world, searching for a place to belong. But after a lonely and cold winter, the duckling is transformed and shows his true feathers as he discovers how being different can be beautiful.

Fantastic Special Features!

Gee Whiz Quiz ∙ Rhyme Time ∙ Cast of Characters ∙ I See It! ∙ Printable Activities
ISBN / Bar Code number ????
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) / Full Screen
Audio Format Dolby Surround
Disc Count One (1)
Language(s) English
Genre Family / Children's
Subtitles None
Rated ????
Region Region 1 - NTSC
Specification Color
Features [MAIN MENU]: (1. Play Episode, 2. Special Features)
Printed in Hong Kong
Production Egmont Imagination, A. Film & Magma Films / MEDIA - A programme of the European Union / NFTF: Nordisk Film & TV Fond
Company Layout & Design Reader's Digest Young Families / The Reader's Digest Association / Starlight Home Entertainment
Item / Product Number ????
Closed Captioning None
DVD Release 2006
Run Time Approx. 30 minutes (Menu - 00:40, Feature - 26:21, Special Features Menu - 00:40, Gee Whiz Quiz (Menu, Question #1, Question #2, Question #3, Question #4, Question #5) - 00:35, "You Are Right!" screen - 00:40, "Sorry!" screen - 00:43, "Correct! Hooray! End of Game!" screen - 00:39, Rhyme Time Menu - 00:35, [Rhyme Time] Question #1/Question #2/Question #3/Question #4/Question #5 - 00:35, Cast of Characters Menu - 00:35, [Cast of Characters] Question #1/#2/#3/#4/#5/#6/#7/#8 - 00:35, I See It! menu - 00:35, Printable Activities - 00:35. Total DVD time: 0:43:02)
Copyright © 2006 Layout & Design Reader's Digest Young Families. All rights reserved. The Pegasus logo and Reader's Digest Young Families are registered trademarks of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. © 2003 Egmont Imagination, A. Film & Magma Films. All rights reserved.
Other Formats VHS
Quoted Reviews --

Fantastic Special Features add fun and learning!
Egmont Imagination
A. Film A/S
Magma Films

In co-operation with
Super RTL

The Ugly Duckling

Adapted by Gareth Williams

Jorgen Lerdam

Original Music Score
Gregory Magee

Executive Producers
Ralph Christians
Tom Van Waveren
Poul Kofod
Anders Mastrup

Michael Christensen
Daina Sacco
Maeve Mc Adam

Line Producer
Christine Thårup

Overseas Supervisors
Joanne Rice
Rick Allen
Serge Conchonnet

Production Manager
Therese Sachse

Head Writer
Gareth Williams

Story Editors
Linda O'Sullivan
Cecilie Olrik

Voice Directors
Gareth Williams
Moe Honan

Featuring the Voices of
Dermot Arrigan
Nicola Coughlan
Ned Denneghy
Patrick Fitzsymons
Pashcal Friel
Eileen Gibbons
Rod Goodall
Zan Goodall
Helen Gregg
Max Hafler
Hilary Kavanagh
Liz Kuti
Casey Mc Donagh
Grainne Mc Namara
Colin Murray
Aileen Mythen
Clodagh Ní Shaoire
Liam O'Brien
Maurice O'Donoughue
Robert Power
Robert Price

Art Director
Malene Laugesen

Animation Director
Eddy May

Pedro Munoz
Kang Lin Zhu

Character Design
Márdøn Smet

Location Design
Uwe Saegner

Background Colour Style
Thomas Colding-Jorgensen
Ago Liu

Prop Design
Sten Mesterton

Model Clean Up
Tridente Animacion, Spain
A. Film Eesti, Estonia

Model Clean Up Supervisor
Mai Britt Hastrup

Colour Models
Donal Freeney
Janus Borup Staffe
Jon Skræntskov

Track Breakdown
SyncMagic, France

X-Sheet Timing
Declan O'Connor
Conor McMullin
Aidan Walsh
Noel Kelly
Stina McMullin
Paul Stibal

Location Assistants
Mads Themberg
Mads Peitersen

Storyboard Assistants
Thorbjorn Christoffersen
Zdenko Santini
Simon Sonnichsen
Anja Hiesner
Felix Schichl

Pre-production Editors
Anders Sorensen
Carsten Bo Wåhlin
Virgil Kastrup

Production Co-ordinator
Trevor Murphy

Production Assistants
Trille Ingram
Robert Friis
Mark Hollier
Peter Schmidt
Line Bjerring
Grainne Mc Namara

Aase Moresco
Anne Bentsen

Brand Manager
Rolf Bangsgaard

Animation Produced by
A. Film A/S

Animation Services
Wang Film Production

Title Sequence Director
Niklas Hansen
Michael Hegner

Video Post Production
ShortCut Post Production

Offline Editors
Per Risager
Rasmus Worso

Online Editor
Neil Mc Lauchlan

Audio Post Production

Sound Recordist
Garret Farrell

FX Editor
Bernie Ní Choistealbha

Phil Murphy
Kate Mc Keown

Sound Mixers
Garret Farrell
Ciará Ó Tuairisc

Post Production Supervisor
Moe Honan

Financing & Legal Counsel
Seamus Mulligan
Anne Jorgensen
Malene Ehlers

Head of Studio Finance
Susanne Boas

Head of Finance
Lisbeth Vibestrup

With the support of the
MEDIA Programme of The European Commission

The Nordic Film & TV Fond

Produced with the support of investment incentives for
The Irish Film Industry provided by the Government of Ireland
Bord Scannán na hÉireann
The Irish Film Board

Executive Producer for
Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board:
Rod Stoneman

A co-production between


in co-operation with
Super RTL
Susanne Schosser & Oliver Schablitzki
Lene Nordin

Copyright © 2002 Egmont Imagination,
A. Film A/S & Magma Films
All Rights Reserved.

Egmont Imagination
www imagination dk

Egmont Imagination
www imagination dk


Magma Films
www magmaworld com


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