Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids see how staying true to themselves and embracing what makes them unique can empower them to overcome bullying and chase their dreams.
The story's standout message reminds kids of the value of strong self-esteem. The misfit characters don't let what makes them different from their peers stand in the way of their being happy, and they encourage others to feel the same. Other recurring themes are perseverance, friendship, forgiveness, integrity, courage, and resourcefulness. In one scene, a boy disobeys his dad's rules, but he reconciles and winds up saving the day because of his father's trust. Some of the "normal" toys tease Lucky and his friends because they're different, but it never makes a dent in how they feel about themselves.
Positive Role Models
Lucky is as good as it gets as far as role models for preschoolers. He's confident in himself, despite the fact that others poke fun at the qualities that make him different. Snap and Flo have personality quirks that initially inhibit friendships, but they conquer them and evolve into great models as well. Danny's mistakes never go unnoticed; he and his dad talk about what goes wrong and reconcile after every incident.
Violence & Scariness
There's no violence, but all the main characters find themselves in sticky situations at some point. The tub toys get tossed around in the ocean, are swallowed by a whale, and are dropped into the water by flying seagulls. Danny and his dad struggle to right their boat in a storm, and for a brief time it seems as if his dad may be injured, but everything works out in the end.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.