903. The Happy Duckling – Gili Dolev

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SUMMARY: A schoolboy on his way home is pursued by a persistent duck.

WHY IT’S HERE: Gili Dolev’s BAFTA nominated ‘The Happy Duckling’ is a truly delightful film in which a boy is followed by a duck on his way home. The boy tries repeatedly to shake the duck but it keeps re-emerging. When he finally arrives home, we realise the reason the boy was so determined to not let the duck come with him. The central storyline here is engaging enough but Dolev’s real trump card is the idea to set the action inside a pop-up book. For anyone like me who grew up loving pop-up books, it’s a joy to see one brought to life through animation and Dolev has captured the look perfectly. As he makes his way home, the boy jumps from page to page, a new scene popping up each time, and he much pull tabs and lift up flaps to make progress. This warm, winsome little short took me right back to my childhood and barely puts a foot wrong in either its storytelling or animation. The brilliant central premise later became the basis of the children’s show ‘Zack and Quack’.

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