“My kokoro goes ducki ducki.”
Also known as the “bishounen duck movie,” this is is a Korean film about how a family can be made of people (or birds) that are different, and it will still be a family. It’s heartwarming, and heart-breaking, which most good movies tend to be, and it’s refreshing, because it shows some of the things that American children’s shows and movies won’t show, even if they are crude.
The movie begins with Leafie, a hen from a factory farm that dreams of leaving her cage. She wants to explore the wider world instead of spending her days eating and laying eggs. Her friend Chirpie is a sparrow that visits her every day at lunch and tries to discourage her from leaving. She thinks it is dangerous and it is better to stay where she is. But Leafie knows there is more to life and if she doesn’t escape, she will die without really living.
In order to be able to leave, Leafie starves herself to the point of fainting, so the farmer thinks she is dead. That evening, the farmer comes in and piles all the dead chickens into a wheel barrow and dumps with in a ditch outside. I’m not sure if this is really how factory farms are, but it is certainly a statement against them. Leafie wakes up just in time to come face to face with the one-eyed weasel. The weasel is hungry, of course, and apparently only likes live prey it can chase, so it goes after her. She manages to escape with the help of a strange duck that calls himself Wanderer.
Now that she is free, Leafie wants to go see “the yard” that she has spotted every day from her cage. She visits the fancy hens in the coop and the rooster that demands to be called “boss.” There are also four ducks that cause trouble for him that share the coop. Leafie wakes them up, much to their dismay, but they kick her out and she sits just outside the coop until morning. However, when the sun rises, she realizes there is more to the world than the farm, and sets off into the world.
Soon, she comes across a pond where an otter greets her. She calls him “Mr. Mayor,” and he keeps the name. Mayor says that Wanderer has instructed him to find her a home. After inspecting her features, he decides the best place for her is a thicket to hide her scent from the weasel and protect herself with the thorns. As it happens, she lives right next to Wanderer and his wife. However, one evening, the weasel finds his home and takes his wife for dinner (and not in the good way!). While the
bishounen duck Wanderer is off fighting in revenge, he leaves his egg behind. Leafie, being a hen, can’t stand to see the egg left alone, so she falls asleep sitting on it. In thanks, Wanderer brings her some food every day. He instructs her that when the egg hatches, to bring the baby to the Everglades.
But one evening, while keeping the weasel at bay, Wanderer is fatally struck down. Leafie mourns his loss, but suddenly, the egg hatches, revealing the cutest little duck I’ve ever seen. They travel to the Everglades where the baby, named Greenie, learns how to be a duck from the various other creatures there: he learns to fly from a bat and an owl, and he learns to swim from Mr. Mayor. However, the other children from the everglades are not so kind when it comes to his mother. They make fun of him because his mother is a chicken, and none of the other residents like her because she is different and loud. Greenie lashes out at his mother, telling her he is ashamed of her. He wanders off to the farm where Leafie used to live and gets caught by the farmer. After quick thinking on his mother’s part, Greenie is saved, and he is sorry for the way he acted.
But things are not quite settled yet. A flock of migrating ducks has come by the everglades and Leafie knows this is time to say goodbye. In order to prove himself, Greenie must win a flying race against three talented competitors and become the new Guard Duck of the flock, like his father once was. It won’t be easy, but Leafie is cheering for her son the whole way. Greenie must use all the skills he learned from his allies and friends in the everglades to win the race.
This movie is just great. The animation is stellar, the character designs are colorful, and even though it has a sad ending, it’s a fitting one. I am a huge fan on this movie, but those that watch it, be prepared for heart-break. I give this movie a 9 out of 10!
For more information about my rating system, please click here.
Picture source: http://jitterbugjive.tumblr.com/post/43361679662/ladyzolstice-kayotics-buttstuck-from-what