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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lucky Duck is a sweet story about learning to love yourself because of your flaws rather than in spite of them, a message that's illustrated in the main characters' kindly relationships as well as in the movie's five-song soundtrack. Very young viewers may need some reassurance as the tub toys and the human protagonist face a series of perils at sea, but things always work themselves out eventually. Lucky and his friends are teased and shunned by their peers for being different, which raises the issue of bullying in way that's appropriate for young viewers. What's more, the toys' ability to shrug off this kind of treatment is a great lesson in self-esteem.
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What's the story?
LUCKY DUCK is the story of an indomitable rubber duck named Lucky (voiced by Christian Borle) who embarks on a grand adventure to find a place to call home. A fortunate turn of events saves the squeakless duck from the "Rejects" pile at the toy factory, but stormy weather sends him and an entire crateful of tub toys from the cargo ship overboard into the ocean. Lucky and his new friends -- Snap (Tom Cavanagh), a turtle who can't squirt, and Flo (Megan Hilty), a hippo with differently colored eyes -- set out to find a kid who needs them. Meanwhile, Danny (Gage Munroe) and his father (Dan Chameroy) set sail on their boat to locate the missing toys and claim a reward that will change their lives, which leads to a chance encounter between the boy and the trio of one-of-a-kind tub toys.
Is it any good?
It's impossible to overlook any of the many positive messages in this TV movie, what with the characters' constant affirmations. ("Different is good," "You're beautiful because you're different," and "There's only one of me," for example) and a handful of catchy tunes that reinforce the same themes. It does the trick for the younger crowd, even if it gets to be a bit sugary for the grown-ups who watch alongside them. But there's never any harm done in a sweet story about liking yourself and embracing the qualities that make you unique.
The movie's creators took a thoughtful approach to presenting the issue of bullying to a young audience, and doing so through a cast of adorable bathtub toys helps them ease into content in a nonthreatening way. Even so, kids will feel for Lucky, Snap, and Flo as they're teased and shut out by peers for being what the toys call "rejects" because of small differences such as non-conforming eye color and a malfunctioning squeaker. But, with your help, little kids can make the connection between the characters' experiences and the movie's broader message of embracing diversity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the toys tease Lucky, Snap, and Flo in Lucky Duck. Does doing so make them feel better about themselves in some way? Kids: Have you ever made fun of someone because he or she looked or sounded different from you? How did it make you feel to do so?
What are your kids' favorite qualities about themselves? What are their special talents? Why is being unique something that should be celebrated?
Lucky is on a quest to find a home. Kids: What defines a home for you? What about it gives you a sense of belonging to that place and the people in your family?
- On DVD or streaming: June 6, 2014
- Cast: Tom Cavanagh, Megan Hilty, Christian Borle
- Studio: Disney Junior
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character strengths: Courage, Integrity, Perseverance
- Run time: 43 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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