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Oh My Darling (1978) is an animated short film from The Netherlands (7 minutes) directed by Borge Ring.

The simple story involves a couple who have a baby, a little girl. The child grows up healthy and happy and the apple of her parents' eyes. But in even the happiest family children at some point have to assert their independence. As the little girl grows into a young woman and draws attention from a young man, she starts to clash with her parents, and especially her mother.


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Tropes:

  • Blowing Smoke Rings: A variation on this, as the girl and her husband build a house, and the house blows smoke rings out of its chimney, in the shape of a heart.
  • Call-Back:
    • The little girl puts her father on a throne and gives him a crown. Later, after she's left, he sits on his throne and drinks morosely. Still later, after the father goes to his daughter's house to resolve an argument, the daughter and her husband win him over by putting him on the throne again. His crown then pops out a new little crown, symbolizing the relationship-to-come between his son-in-law and his grandchild.
    • The first shot of the film shows the father poking the mother's womb, and their unborn daughter, inside, poking back and giggling. At the end, after the father has learned his daughter is pregnant, he looks up at the full moon and sees an unborn baby poking back from the inside.
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  • Daddy's Girl: The daughter loves both of her parents but appears especially close to her father. She rides on top of his shoulders, they have fun scaring local cows, and she puts a crown on his head.
  • Empty Nest: Symbolized by a literal empty nest, as a mother bird sends its two baby birds away. The mother immediately panics at this and tries to make her daughter play with the teddy bear she played with as a little girl. The father for his part is terribly depressed after the daughter leaves, drinking alone.
  • Girlish Pigtails: The daughter wears these when she's small. As she grows up, it becomes a conflict between the mother who wants her to keep wearing them, and the daughter who's interested in Letting Her Hair Down.
  • Time Passes Montage: A single shot of a tree growing from a small to a very large tree indicates that several years have passed.
  • Titled After the Song: The title is taken from the old traditional "Oh My Darling Clementine", which plays as a motif throughout the whole short. (An interesting choice, since in the song, Clementine drowns.)
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where the girl, now a young woman, puts the bow for her Girlish Pigtails after she meets the boy she winds up marrying. The fact that she has a Compartment obviously demonstrates that she's grown into adulthood.
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