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Animation / Leafie, a Hen into the Wild

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It's a tough world, for a hen.

An animated film from South Korea, released in 2011. It tells the story of a battery hen named Leafie, who manages to escape the cage where she has spent all her life and make it into the wild. Through series of events, she comes across a duck egg, whose mother had been killed by a weasel. Having never sat on any of her eggs back on the farm, she does so eagerly, to (surprisingly) no protest from the egg's father. She promises the father duck, whom Leafie names Wanderer, to take the duckling to the everglade when he hatches. After the duckling does hatch, he and Leafie embark on their journey there, and the story proper begins.

One of the best-looking and highest grossing animated films from S. Korea (watched by 2.2 million).

This entry is heavily spoilered. You have been warned.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Adoption Diss: Greenie is teased as a duckling for being adopted by a hen.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The English version has a different credits song Gave it All by Daily Jane as well as different credits animation.
  • Animated Adaptation: It's an animated version of a South Korean novel of the same name.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: One-Eye's seen shedding tears before she delivers the final bite to Leafie.
  • Balloon Belly: Leafie and Greenie have these after finding a watermelon in a field.
  • Bedhead-itis: A variant; Leafie's feathers become messier as the poor environment takes a toll on her health.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Greenie's egg starts to hatch as Wanderer's fight with the weasel begins, and he emerges very shortly after Wanderer is killed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Greenie becomes the guard duck of his flock and is able to set out and see the world while Leafie lets herself be eaten by One-Eye so the weasel's babies can survive.
  • Blatant Lies: Leafie's reassurance that she will wait for Greenie (though its strongly implied that both mother and son knew that this was the final time they'd see each other). She sacrifices herself to One-Eye instead so that another mother won't have to watch her children die.
  • Bowdlerize: Leafie's death is completely removed in the German dub, while the English dub cuts off before the One-eyed Weasel runs at her but still implies she dies.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Averted, the film makes it abundantly clear that predator animals will hunt and kill the prey animals, despite both groups being sapient.
  • Die or Fly: Greenie learns to fly after falling off a cliff trying to escape the One-eyed Weasel.
  • Disney Death:
    • Greenie falls off a cliff, and is presumably killed. While Leafie sobs her heart out, the audience finds out that he spontaneously learned to fly and is safe after all.
    • Averted at the end. The audience is expecting everything to be okay and everyone will have their own happy ending...until Leafie sacrifices herself so that One-Eye's babies can survive.
  • Down to the Last Play: Greenie's race ends with him neck and neck with Red Hair and winning with a photo finish.
  • Dub Name Change: Leafie becomes Daisy, Greenie becomes Willie, Wanderer becomes Wilson, and the weasel loses her name entirely.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One-Eye is actually trying to feed her babies and releases Greenie when Leafie threatens to harm them.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Leafie chooses to sacrifice herself so One-Eye's children don't die of hunger.
    Leafie: I wonder why I never thought of learning to fly? [notices One-Eye behind her, shivering] Yes. You can eat me, so your babies won't starve. [closes her eyes and waits for the inevitable] English version 
  • Foul Waterfowl: Several of the ducks tease Greenie for being adopted by Leafie, who is a chicken.
  • Foreign Re-Score: The English version has a new score composed by Patrick Cannell replacing the original score.
  • Furry Female Mane: A Gender-Inverted Trope. The two main male duck characters and most if not all of the background male ducks have "hair" (really feathers), but most if not all of the female characters lack these.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Mercifully, Leafie's death is off-screen, and the camera cuts back to a distant shot to show One-Eye dragging the mutilated body away.
  • Happily Adopted: Greenie. Initially subverted when Greenie first finds out that Leafie's different, but becomes the trope after his mom saves him from having his wings cut off.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Wanderer to protect the unborn Greenie, as well as Leafie at the end of the film to save One-Eye and her babies.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The English dub has a lot of moments were the characters' mouths don't sync up with the dialogue or is just poorly timed. The biggest example being Wanderer's Big "NO!" when One Eye leaves with his wife, which happens whilst we see him gritting his teeth in the dub.
  • Honorary Uncle: Mayor to Greenie. Greenie even calls him "uncle" at one point.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The owner of the chicken farm, who is the only human shown in the film, tries to cut off Greenie's wings.
  • The Hero Dies: Ultimately happens to Leafie when she sacrifices herself as dinner for One-Eye's kids.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Leafie, a hen, adopts Greenie, a duck.
  • Interspecies Romance: Leafie's unrequited affection for Wanderer.
  • I Will Wait for You: Leafie promises to wait for Greenie at the end of the movie. Unfortunately, that doesn't pan out too well, seeing as she let herself be eaten by the weasel.
  • Life Meter: When Leafie escapes the farm, she places a flower in her tail feathers. As she becomes sickly over time, more and more petals fall from it. By the end of the film, it has withered away and died. Leafie's own death occurs shortly afterwards.
  • Mama Bear: Leafie. Or as one may call her, a Mama Hen. Even to the extent of a Heroic Sacrifice. One-Eye is also revealed to be one, making them similar.
  • Mercy Kill: Arguably Leafie. She knew she wasn't going to survive the winter, and an instant death by a cervical bite was much preferable to slowly staving or freezing to death...and One Eye was there to oblige her.
  • Momma's Boy: In the warmest, most positive sense of the word. Even becoming guard duck isn't enough to stop Greenie from breaking down in tears when it's time to leave his mother, and it's made abundantly clear that he always was and always will be her baby.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: One-Eye the weasel is hunting to provide food to her children.
  • The Nicknamer: Leafie.
  • No Indoor Voice: Leafie has a habit of shouting. She seems to pass it onto Greenie.
  • A Pet into the Wild: Leafie is a young hen who's sick of her life being stuck in a tiny cage being forced to lay eggs constantly. She ends up escaping and runs away into the nearby marsh after being ostracized by the coop chickens. Deconstructed as the marsh is not suitable for a hen, especially a captive one with no survival skills. Leafie grows sickly by the time her son is an adult and would have likely died even without her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Predators Are Mean: The weasel One-Eye. Subverted at the end, when it's revealed she's just trying to provide food for her new children. When Leafie offers herself so One-Eye and her babies won't starve, you can see the weasel is crying before the final pounce.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: While a good portion of the ensemble can be defined by this trope, baby Greenie steals it all, as he pretty much fits this to a tee.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Leafie lets herself be eaten by the weasel so she could nourish her babies.
  • Scavengers Are Scum: Eventually subverted. The one-eyed weasel is depicted both scavenging and hunting, and in fact kills both of Greenie's biological parents. She's the closest thing to the Big Bad the film has. It's later averted when it's shown she is not any worse than the birds are. She is just trying to eat. In fact the film ends with Leafie allowing the weasel to eat her in order for her to produce milk for her newborns.
  • Secretly Dying: Since the marsh is not a good environment for a domestic hen, Leafie gets sicker as time passes on, and it's strongly implied that she wouldn't survive the winter. And yet, she hides it from her adoptive son. At the end of the movie, she doesn't die because of her illness, but because of a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Bizarrely, the English dub refers to the weasel with male pronouns, despite the character still clearly being female.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: One-Eye cries these as she runs up to Leafie to eat her.
  • Toilet Humour: On several occasions. At one point, we're treated to a rather gratuitous shot of Mayor pooping.
  • Toothy Bird: Leafie, Greenie, and various other bird characters are drawn with teeth.
  • Xenofiction: The world from Leafie's perspective, in birth and in death.


Video Example(s):


Leafy's Ending

The movie ends with Leafie allowing herself to be killed by One-Eye the weasel, so she can feed her babies, having lived a happy life raising Greenie.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / FaceDeathWithDignity

Media sources: