Lucky Duck

Common Sense Media says

Cute movie uses mild bullying to promote self-esteem.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids see how staying true to themselves and embracing what makes them unique can empower them to overcome bullying and chase their dreams.

Positive messages

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, 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. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

It's impossible to overlook any of Lucky Duck's many positive messages, 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. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the toys tease Lucky, Snap, and Flo. 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? 

This review of Lucky Duck was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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