The Ugly Duckling And Me! review

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale fowl gets a digital makeover in Michael Hegner and Karsten Kiilerich’s clunky kids’ animation. Successful enough in its native Denmark to earn a spin-off telly series, it sees the eponymous Ugly led on a series of Duckyard skirmishes by his adoptive carnival-shyster dad, Ratso. A stylised mish-mash of Ratatouille and Chicken Run, this puffs out its comedic feathers but lacks Pixar’s lustrous plumage or Aardman’s quack-pot inspiration. The character designs may be ‘quirky’, but they’re also plasticky and un-emotive. True, it gets some way on sheer vim. But by the time Ugly has grown into a stage-bound teen and Ratso is embroiled in an Old West-style showdown with vermin gangsters, this Duckling has become too gamey and over-stuffed to take flight.

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