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Western Animation: Sitting Ducks

Sitting Ducks is a CGI television series that spawned from the iconic lithograph of the exact same name. It mainly centers around a good-natured duck named Bill, who establishes an unusual friendship with an alligator named Aldo. Said friendship is challenged by both the seperate divisions between ducks and alligators (Ducktown and Swampwood, respectively) and the obvious idea of ducks and alligators being unable to establish any kind of friendship. The two of them end up in the usual Slice of Life affair, dealing with the three slackers next door to Bill, enduring complications that test their friendship, among other hijinks. Originally shown in 2001 in Europe and was later brought to Cartoon Network, as well as ABC in both Australia and Japan. It proved to be a surprisingly successful series in Europe, and is somewhat well-received in the US as well.

This series includes examples of:

  • All-CGI Cartoon
  • Alliterative Name: All the alligators have names starting with "A".
  • Art Evolution: The second season benefited from improved animation.
  • Bowties Are Cool: Bill. Heck, it's all he wears.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Bill has a crush on Bev and tries to tell her in one episode, but he ends up saying that he likes her pie.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Averted. References are made to ducks being eaten by alligators (all offscreen, of course). Aldo would rather be friends with the ducks.
    • The ducks, however, eat fish and salamander.
  • Clever Crows: Raoul is Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Oh, man. Poor Aldo has to endure this in order to maintain his friendship with Bill.
  • Creator Cameo: Bedard's lithographs appear as paintings that Bill is working on in his apartment.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Though now she works as a police officer.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Becomes the subject of an episode when Ducktown is visited by a famous bongo player who proceeds to run around town "playing" its various odds and ends, much to Bill and Aldo's puzzlement.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Fred, who worked pretty hard to become a naturalized citizen of Ducktown, but who has to live in an apartment with the air conditioning completely turned up. Also his cousin, Gelata.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The original 1970s lithograph has three ducks which are in fact sitting on chairs. Averted in the TV series since the ducks are rarely seen sitting down for too long.
  • Fantastic Racism: Played straight with both the ducks and alligators, since the former are considered prey to the latter.
    • Raoul and his fellow crows similarly look down on the ducks for being flightless.
  • Funny Foreigner: Raoul, who sprinkles Spanish words into his dialogue.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Literally, as Raoul has a knack for "fly-bys" on unsuspecting duck bills.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Bill and Aldo. Fanfics say... otherwise.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun
    • Fred's "ice skates".
  • Jerk Ass:
    • The slackers Ed, Oly and Waddle, of the shamelessly self-absorbed, childlike, annoying and simple-minded variety. They repeatedly cause problems and think nothing of it.
    • Raoul is probably worse because he's not simply too self-centered and stupid to realise how annoying he is; he genuinely feels that having the racial ability to fly makes him so superior to the ducks that he can heckle, jeer, mock and empty his bowels upon them whenever he sees fit.
  • Karma Houdini: Ed, Oly and Waddle in most episodes: generally, at worst, they eventually lose their ill-gotten gains (Aldo took their money away when they sold a fellow duck). For the most part, though, their cheating, lying, mooching, thievery and kidnapping goes unpunished (they once got another duck killed and eaten and faced no repercussions). Raoul benefits from the trope as well, to a lesser extent.
  • Licensed Game: Of the Wide Open Sandbox variety, and also surprisingly difficult considering its target audience.
  • Mind Screw: Bill explaining the rules of Squaddo to Aldo, in addition to the very game itself.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Averted with Aldo, but most of the time played straight with the other alligators.
  • Only Six Faces: All the ducks look the same apart from what they wear. The alligators have it a bit worse.
    • Even lampshaded by Bev herself in a flashback when people keep mistaking Bill for multiple people.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: To blend in with a duck picnic, Aldo wears a mask... and that's it. No attempt at hiding his huge, green body or teeth. And it works!
    • Also done during Bill's family game night when they're playing Squaddo.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Raoul.
  • Power of Friendship: Exactly what allows Bill and Aldo to endure the harsh criticism regarding them being pals.
  • Power of Love: Spoofed to a great extreme when Bev defrosts Bill and his friends by kissing them.
  • The Seventies: Precisely when it all began. The series' asthetics has traces of this respective era, especially in regards to the technology.
  • Shout-Out: "Daredevil Duck" contains a scene which references The Blair Witch Project via its camera point-of-view of Bill, complete with dripping nostril.
  • Status Quo Is God: Unfortunately. In a later episode, "Duck Lover!" Aldo's friendship with Bill is found out by the other Alligators, who haze him as a result. To add to his woes, the Ducks in Ducktown have lost all fear of him and are treating his disrespectfully, and even Bill is badmouthing Alligators to his face. In the end, he asserts both his friendship with Bill and his pride as an Alligator, and proceeds to rescue and unnerve Bill by the end. Fair enough. Except that Bill never insulted Alligators before this episode, and in all the ones that proceeded it, Aldo actually wanted the Ducks to lose their fear of him so that he could feel more at home in Ducktown and make more friends. The whole thing was an excuse to put everyone back to square one, and it suffered as a result.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Poked fun at on a few notable occasions.
  • Toothy Bird: Invoked during "Denture Venture" when Bill attempts to garner respect with his new teeth. It later on becomes clear why ducks weren't meant to have teeth.
    • Quack the Ripper, the legendary alligator-eating duck who serves as the boogeyman of Swampwood, proudly sports his fangs.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Aldo and Bev convince Bill is experiencing this when Raoul gets grounded from flying for a while.

Sid the Science KidAll-CGI CartoonShadow Raiders
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The SimpsonsCreator/HuluThe Snorks

alternative title(s): Sitting Ducks
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