The Ugly Duckling And Me (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/02/2008

One out of Five stars
Running time: 89 mins

Badly written, poorly voiced and generally ugly-looking animated feature that suffers from unappealing characters and a total lack of laughs.

What's it all about?
Ratso (voiced by Morgan C Jones) is a wheeler-dealing rat who scrapes a living as theatrical agent to Wesley, the Longest Worm In The World (Paul Tylack). However, when fate lands Ratso slap bang in the middle of a duck farm, he ends up becoming the de facto father to a newly-hatched, extremely ugly duckling named Ugly (Kim Larney, then Justin Gregg, as Ugly grows up fast).

Ratso's first thought is to head for his cousin Ernie's carnival, hoping to make some money by exploiting Ugly's unconventional appearance. But first they have to escape from the duck yard

The Bad
The Ugly Duckling and Me is a Danish cartoon that has been redubbed for English-speaking audiences, but it really is spectacularly ill-conceived from start to finish. Its biggest problem is that every single one of the characters is ugly to look at, which rather devalues the central theme of Hans Christian Anderson's Ugly Duckling story, on which this is very loosely based.

Unfortunately, it's not just the badly animated character designs that are ugly. The characters themselves aren't especially likeable and the voice performances are extremely annoying, particularly Morgan C Jones as the whiny Ratso.

The Worst
The script is badly written and contains very little in the way of jokes, although one might charitably hope that all the good gags got lost in translation. Similarly, by trapping Wesley, the Longest Worm In The World, in a bottle early on, the film almost immediately sidelines and then promptly forgets about its most amusing character, although, admittedly, that isn't saying much.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Ugly Duckling and Me is a badly made, poorly written film that is frequently painful to watch and should only be inflicted on children who won't be old enough to remember it afterwards.

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Content updated: 11/12/2017 21:04

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