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Western Animation / The Ugly Duckling and Me

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Never trust a film poster like this.

The Ugly Duckling and Me is a 2006 Danish movie (made in English) that tells the story of a rat, Ratso, who gets saddled with a very ugly duckling who thinks Ratso is his 'mama'. Ratso plans to exhibit Ugly (as everyone starts calling the duckling) as a sideshow freak, thus a portion of the movie deals with their journey to the carnival where Ratso's cousin Ernie works, with all sorts of bumps along the way. It eventually got an animated series which narrates the events after the first film.


This film contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Ratso calls Jessie "Jeff" at several points of the film.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Bemoaned by Ugly when Ratso starts provoking him to conclude that he's become a teenager.
  • Beautiful All Along: Much like the fairytale it adapts, this film ends with Ugly becoming a pretty swan.
  • Big "NO!": Ratso is rather fond of these, particularly in the animated series, in which he lets out one each time something goes terribly wrong.
  • Cats Are Mean: Subverted with Ernie. He initially chases Ratso down and almost eat him before recognizing him as his cousin, at which point he becomes more affectionate towards him and Ugly.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Ugly calls out Ratso when he realizes that he wanted him to be a sideshow freak:
    Ugly: Is that why you brought me here... for people to laugh at me?
    Ratso: No!
    Ugly: Jessie was right. That's the only reason you wanted me around!
    Ratso: Yes...
    Ugly: I guess I'm stupid and ugly! (runs away)
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  • Children Raise You: While Ratso starts out as a Jerkass, he gradually improves after adopting Ugly.
  • Feather Fingers: Since the movie stars anthropomorphic birds, most of them use their wing feathers to gesture and hold objects.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Most of the mammal character have these.
  • Great Escape: Ratso's escape from the duckyard.
  • Hand Puppet: Ernie the cat owns a chicken hand puppet named "William".
  • Heel Realization: Ratso finally realizes that he shouldn't exhibit Ugly as a freak after Ugly saves him from Ernie, but it's too late as Ugly doesn't hear his warnings and ends up making a fool out of himself.
  • Mouse World: The rats, cats, birds and worms in this film seem to have a human-like community to themselves.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: Jessie's reaction to Ugly's amazing 'dancing' is to laugh, then realize he was doing it in earnest.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer made it appear that Ugly was being exhibited as the world's ugliest duckling right from the start (and as more of a routine thing than in the film). Not the case in the movie.
  • No Cartoon Fish: While most of the characters look cartoony, a pike shown in one scene is more realistic in comparison (excluding the fact that it's gigantic).
  • Rule of Funny: Probably the only reason why a cat can be a rat's cousin.