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Parents' Guide to

The Sissy Duckling

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Animated tale celebrates difference; some bullying.

Movie NR 1999 38 minutes
The Sissy Duckling Movie

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The Sissy Duckling has its heart in the right place, trying to persuade the skeptical that people who are different shouldn't be cast out of the community. It argues that we are all different and we should all be accepted. A better argument might be that underneath all our many seeming variations, we are in fact all the same. Black or White, large or small, rich or poor, no matter whom we choose to love, we share similar emotions, goals, and hopes.

What feels sad about this movie is that a bright, creative, and perfectly nice kid like Elmer has to prove to his father that he has value. And it takes a display of Elmer's inherent goodness, decency, and loyalty during a terrible crisis to finally show everyone he should be embraced rather than ostracized. A song's lyrics advise that "time takes time," echoing a recent advertising campaign that supported gay youth with the assuring mantra that even when life seems awful, "it gets better."

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