• RSS loading...

"The Ugly Duckling and Other Treasured Tales"

One of the volumes featuring the most memorable children's story about social and self-acceptance.

I'm still in disarray why these classics haven't been remastered on DVD. Luckily for the company, I'm reviewing these awesome animations in hope to ring someone's doorbell and inform them about it. These tapes, despite being worth pocket change, hold a lot of value, plus they're getting very difficult to find.

Mother Duck counted her newborns when she noticed a seventh one was a huge egg that hasn't hatched. Suddenly, it hatched and looked far different from her other baby ducks. One duckling noticed this newborn isn't yellow like they are, while another one called him "ugly." Mother Duck then takes all her baby ducks for a swim when she noticed Ugly Duckling was a great swimmer. After, she brings them back to the barn to introduce her youngsters to the animals. When they noticed Ugly Duckling, they couldn't help but laugh and pick on him. Ugly Duckling's emotions collapsed and couldn't bare the pain anymore.

"I can't stay here, there has to be a better place for me." - Ugly Duckling

Ugly Duckling went off to find a quiet spot for him to stay and be alone (where's Mother Duck?).

Duckling sought two wild geese on the pond wanting him to join them. Duckling couldn't for fear he wouldn't feel accepted as he was back in the barn, when sounds of gunshots can be heard. It's the hunters! The geese flew away, as Duckling runs for cover. He runs into a dog, but suddenly the dog leaves. Harming his own self-esteem, Duckling thought he was too ugly to be caught. Running far away from the hunters came a house with an open window sill. Duckling appeared when the old lady, living in the house with her hen and tomcat, welcomes him in for the night hoping he'll bare eggs next morning. Next day, both the hen and the tomcat mingle with Duckling encouraging him to do whatever comforts the old woman. Duckling, still not feeling accepted, isn't able to warm up to the old lady like a cat or a hen, thus leaves immediately. Residing by the pond, the winter season kicks in and it gets cold; the pond Duckling swims in gets frozen and is stuck! Fortunately, a kind peasant helps him out and takes him into his home to keep warm. Duckling then begins flying about in their kitchen knocking their jar of butter and a tub of flour! The old lady gets angry and annoyed that she kicks Duckling out of the house.

Days go by when Duckling matures becoming a Swan—notices his large wings and new look. Swan (Duckling) begins flying past the garden and sees the ducks he met previously, as they call him to join them. Swan then looks at his reflection to see how wholesome he really is and how vibrant he looks. The kids run by and point to Swan being the most beautiful one out of them all.

"The swan looked again at his handsome reflection, but in his heart, he knew he had been beautiful all along, even as an ugly duckling." - Narrator

Realizing he was beautiful from the heart, Swan finally said:

"I never thought I should know such happiness, when I was but an ugly duckling." - Swan (Ugly Duckling)


The Emperor, so fond of clothes, never saw a reason to leave his dressing room, trying new clothes constantly. Wearing and wearing new clothes came two guys imposing as weavers to infiltrate the Emperor's room. Despite the two guys not having a clue about fashion design, they were stupidly welcomed in by the Emperor. Word spread about their "work" in producing the highest quality fabric, in which Emperor's followers and the people were hyped up about the new threads the Emperor couldn't wait to show off. However, taking too long on the fabrics, Emperor summoned a minister of science to legitimize the quality of the fabrics; He sought nothing, lying to himself that what see saw was a great piece of fabric (likely saving the impostors from getting fired). As the scientist sends his reports, Emperor wanted to be fully convinced, and thus, summons a statesman on why his new clothes were taking too long (the impostors pretending to work hard on it).

The Emperor goes on to see the clothes himself and sees...nothing. He goes as far to draw the imagination in his mind that what he was "wearing" was so innovative and sleek that it "fitted perfectly." The next day is the big day: the Emperor shows off his "new clothes" under the canopy, while everyone acted flabbergasted at his "new clothes." It wasn't until one kid pointed said the Emperor was completely naked, while his dad tells him to be quiet. Word spread and everyone finally noticed, even the Emperor as he questions his own stupidity. No matter what, Emperor continues to play it off like he's wearing something, not minding what everyone says despite showing his bare skin.

"For vanity makes fools of everyone." - Narrator

Finally, there exists a girl who's so small she could fit on the palm of hand, as seen by a friendly Swallow. It's Thumbelina!

"I may be smaller than birds flying free,
but there is something waiting for me." - Thumbelina

The swallow asks how Thumbelina lives having been a small human being. As she rests, a toad she's her planning to kidnap her to make Thumbelina a wife for his son. Having disappeared from her location, she cries for help getting swept away from the river stream. She crashes into a nearby land, filled with mushrooms and different kinds of plants, and resides there until winter season. The cold weather arrives and Thumbelina is in need for warmth and food, as a nice rat comes in and invites her to her home to shelter her. The rat also got Thumbelina to promise to tell stories to her folks and did just that. One of the folks, Mr. Mole, was so impressed with Thumbelina that he expects her to be his wife; Thumbelina freaked out, not feeling the same way. Getting the ceremony prepared the next day, Thumbelina sings happily but remembers she has to be Mr. Mole's wife. Luckily, she escapes thanks to her friend, the swallow, having learned that she doesn't like Mr. Mole.

Out of the blue, rummaging through the flowers come King of the Flowers—a fit, hunky man who welcomes Thumbelina. Ater introducing each other and getting to know each other briefly, KoF is looking for a sweet princess to be his wife; Thumbelina loves the commonality with KoF, as she accepts!

"I like you. I love you, because you love the things I love." - Thumbelina

The flower spirits welcome Thumbelina and gives her butterfly wings to properly pair up with KoF as they both happily sing the song she finally remembers the words to:

"Everyone has Love to give and to share,
someone who's waiting and wanting to care.
What does it matter how small you may be,
when Love's in your heart ???? will always be free." - Thumbelina & King of Flowers

(The question marks indicate that I couldn't clarify the actual word being sung.)

Everyone is happy and the film ends with credits.

Quite some heavy stuff being portrayed on this volume. Messages? On The Ugly Duckling, you are wonderful from the heart. Ever read articles of women who lose weight, or fix their hair, then look like a completely new attractive girl? It's along the lines of that. However, on the film, the duckling was shown to be black. In the olden days, when black people had their rights, the people struggled getting along yet not having to welcome them "because they're black." It doesn't have anything to do with being ugly, but one's looks can be the axis of being sold short. When I was a kid, those who wore eye-glasses were called "four eyes." Now look, thick-bordered glasses are now acceptable. Me personally, I was picked on, even bullied, all because I was the only one with long hair (if you look at my old school photos, my hair wasn't that long but longer compared to all the guys in our school). Now look, magazines annually list the sexiest man of the year, and some of them have long hair. Folks today look at me thinking I don't look like the type who has had a troubled past but I really have; Those are years I'd love to forget. My parents, my sister and I have a beautiful relationship and there was no trouble in the house whatsoever. All this trouble emanated from school, which explained why I spent a lot of time alone (also where my introversion developed). As sad as this may sound, those scars are still in me and it'll never heal throughout my lifetime; Some people don't deserve to be forgiven. Now you know why my friend circle is small, why my social life is nonexistent and why I prefer to hang out with folks older than me. My childhood and adolescent years were hell, so bad that it's impossible to talk about it without crying.

The Ugly Duckling is a film I personally can relate to; I wasn't ugly but I looked different. In other words, I was my own person (a philosophy that people and musicians today now reiterate time and time again). However, during the nineties in my school days, it was about social conformity; I hated that because I was comfortable in my own skin but everyone in school had a problem with that. Films depicting an innocent suffering, because of being who they are, make me emotional because I know the pain; I've felt it before. Mark my words: I know the pain of being bullied and it hurts. It's not easy but if you hang in there, you'll be glad you did because when you head to college, all that pain will dissipate. That's one of the few things I like about college: there are a trillion different kinds of people who, I'm sure, once suffered as bad as you did for being different (based off of skin color, sexual orientation or "weird"). Those who are/were victims of bullying: hang in there, it'll all be over soon. And if no one at school wants to talk to you and/or be your friend, email me because I will. I'm serious about this.

For The Emperor's New Clothes seems like it's for women who are shopaholics. Despite the animation looking like drawings done representing the time of the Middle Ages, this film says a few things. Firstly, clothes don't define who you are. No matter how much you spend, you're still the same person at heart. I could dress as a sports-loving street gang but enjoy studying Metaphysics. If I did so, no one would ever guess because they'd think I'm looking for trouble with the clothes I'm wearing. Secondly, if you're a business owner looking to hire, some people don't qualify. Ironically, if you're looking for a job and got one you've been wanting to get, at some point you'll expose the nasty truth of the goings-on for the business you work for/with. Perhaps this is why pro athletes wrote books about the world of sports and why fans shouldn't depend their lives on it. It's also why former governor Jesse Ventura spilled top secrets about the government and how they treat us Americans. And third, the Emperor questioning his own stupidity knowing he walked around butt naked is easy: with or without clothes, people "can see right through you." In other words, dress with the latest fashion trends, or for Halloween, and you can change and even improve your look, but you can't change your true colors. As for the skeptical questioning of the stupidity, reality isn't so kind. Everything may happen for a reason, but what you're seeing is what you're seeing. Never delude yourself in thinking that what you've imagine is a great "fit," unless you're a nudist. Not everything can/will go the way you want.

The film Thumbelina is a film ALL young girls should watch. As we grow, we become a little more self-conscience and because it's a recreation that makes us happy, we give a shot at Love with that special someone. On this film, the message is clear and easy: never get with someone whom you don't love. Unfortunately, high school girls never will understand this message as some date for an increase in status, respect, curiosity, social acceptance, company and/or lying to themselves their crush is a great "fit" (á la the message from The Emperor's New Clothes). Very few girls are smart enough to wait until they spark with a nice guy naturally, letting the companionship and love do all the work in keeping them together. The women in my school who were in relationships ALL broke up; the women who dated the jerks are now single and miserable (even to this day). It hurts to know that a misguided girl needs to feel the pain of rejection to bring her to her senses in drawing up what type of partner is the best fit for her. Some women are attracted to nerds but are too afraid she'll be the laughing stock of the school, while some women love a traveler; Some girls like someone who's simple and funny, while some girls like bookworms. However, ALL girls and women don't like jerks—you know, those frat-like dudes who only want a girlfriend to show off to his 'cool' buddies, making her believe he's smart by saying E=mc2. It's 2013 at the time of this writing, and now geeks and nerds are finally getting all the respect, which is great because, our form of interaction? Computers, and picking on nerds and geeks won't do because those gentlemen can hack into your computer as easily as you can tie your shoes. Besides, if a jerk thinks he can come off as a "nerd" by saying "IEEE 1394," then ask him what a memory bank is. He wouldn't have a clue.

I could go on but the point is, no matter what kind of person you're attracted to—I'm certain it's not a jerk, otherwise you're at risk for domestic abuse—chances are, that kind of person will treat you well as long as they love you back. It's tough finding our other puzzle piece (unless you don't believe in Love) but keep patient and s/he will arrive soon. Don't be ashamed with the type of person you're looking to build a relationship with, even if you're one of the few who love a partner who is younger/older than you. If you don't believe me, try this: the documentary Taboo on National Geographic interviewed a woman who is 2'9" short and is in love and married to her long-time boyfriend, who is 6'2" tall. Folks can criticize your partnership but they can never criticize the love that keeps you together.

Oh, and ladies, please don't marry someone for the money. Not only is that demeaning (ask Paul McCartney, Kris Humphries and Kobe Bryant) but it deteriorates your reputation as a whole. It's hard to get respect when people know you're a gold digger. No joke.

This tape with these three films all talk about the heart. There have been tons of books talking about listening to heart, whether it's lying to you or not, if it's sending you the right message and more. Following your heart is good and trusting your instincts is great, but remember: think before you believe*.

Golden Book is a company that happily fulfilled my childhood. If you're the founder/CEO, or if you work for the company, of Golden Books, I would like to interview you on this website! Our talk will be featured here for visitors and fans to see. Contact me immediately!

(* This an advice author Guy P. Harrison said to his kids, written from his books "50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True" and "50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a god." You can read our book reviews of those books from our other website "The Seeds of Books™" here: https://kcuniversal.net/the-seeds-of-books/book-reviews/50-popular-beliefs-that-people-think-are-true-guy-p-harrison and https://kcuniversal.net/the-seeds-of-books/book-reviews/50-reasons-people-give-for-believing-in-a-god-guy-p-harrison.)





  • "The Ugly Duckling," depicting a message that can still be told today to all audiences.
  • Great voice acting and sound quality.
  • "Thumbelina" and its hidden message makes a great appeal to young girls.
  • Never remastered on DVD to this day.
95% (A)
Fan Rating
Title The Ugly Duckling and Other Treasured Tales (formerly released as "HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN CLASSICS")
The Ugly Duckling

In this classic tale a series of misfortune teaches the ugly duckling how to live on his own. Happily, as he matures he discovers the special secret about his true identity.

The Emperor's New Clothes

"Clothes make the man," brags the Emperor as he hires imposters who claim to weave cloth invisible to fools. The Emperor parades through the city clad only in illusions until a child exposes the truth.


Alone, and small enough to fit in a child's palm, Thumbelina feels powerless to deny the fate other plan for her. As her friendship with a swallow grows, so does her courage. At last, Thumbelina finds happiness.

Formerly released as

Created for the younger child, Golden Book Video Classics™ transform beloved characters and enchanting tales into magical, song-filled video stories using original art and partial animation. Complete your child's Golden® treasury...collect all of the Golden Book Video Classics®.
ISBN / Bar Code number 0-307-13845-3
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) / Full screen
Audio Format Hi-Fi Stereo
Tape Count One (1)
Genre Family / Children's
Run Time Approx. 30 Mins. (actual time 32:21)
Language(s) English
Subtitles --
Closed Captioning None
Rated G (Suitable For All Ages)
VHS Release September 07, 1990
Specification Color
Production / Company Western Publishing Company
Product / Item Number 13845-2
Copyright © 1989 Western Publishing Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are the property of Western Publishing Company, Inc. Produced in the U.S.A. Western Publishing Company, Inc. Racine, Wisconsin 53404. Copyright © 1975 by Richard Scarry. All Rights Reserved.
Other Formats ????
Quoted Reviews --
Other --
The Ugly Duckling

Hans Christian Andersen

Adapted from the
Golden Book®

written by
Ben Cruise

illustrated by
Lisa McCue

adapted by
Carol Anne Touchberry

The Emperor's New Clothes

Adapted from the
Golden Book®

illustrated by
Karen Milone

adapted by
Rich Krzemien


Hans Christian Andersen

Adapted from the
Golden Book®

illustrated by
Gustaf Tenngren

adapted by
Annabelle Current

produced by
Jim Bousman & Dick Baka

production design
and editorial direction

Virginia Theimer Clapper
Susan J. Schneck
Andrea Renee Picard

art direction
Lance Raichert

staff artist
Ron Van Harpen

audio production
Studio Consultants, Inc.

video production
Animagination, Inc.

Audio-Video adaptation
© 1986 by
Western Publishing Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

No part of this program
may be reproduced or copied,
by any means electronic or
mechanical, or broadcast by
television process now or
hereafter known, without
written permission from
1220 Mound Ave.
Ravine, WI 53404.
All other rights reserved.
Produced in U.S.A.

and associated trademarks
are the property of
Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Racine, Wisconsin 53404


Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image


No comments yet. Be the first!