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Code name: Ugly Duckling

Codename: Ugly DucklingIt is true that Hans Christian Andersen did not insert the word "I" in the title of his unforgettable fairy tale, but this film goes beyond the traditional story of the ugly duckling. In fact, here we are also talking about his mother Ratso, a mouse, who is actually his father, indeed, to be honest, he is not even really his father. In fact, the unfortunate mouse was right there, while the ugly duckling's egg was being hatched, and therefore took on this great responsibility in a completely random way. What kind of father would he be if he refused to be a mother to his son? Well, Ratso feels confused to say the least ... Not that he didn't already have enough to do, given his hiding from a gang of unsavory street rats, and the difficulties of dealing with the hostile poultry of the inhospitable countryside surrounding. Not to mention his relationship with a cat who takes orders from a glove named William ...
Life isn't easy. However, anyone who has raised a duckling will be able to confirm this.

For years A. Film has considered the possibility of making a film based on a fairy tale by HC Andersen. For a long time, however, he hesitated, preferring original stories, his own creations. Then one day, while on a plane ride to Beijing, Per Holst, a prominent associate producer of the Danish film industry since 1965, and longtime associate with A Film, finally managed to convince filmmaker Karsten Kiilerich (Creative Director of A film) to seriously consider the idea.
The parody of the society of the time, offered by HC Andersen, is known and appreciated all over the world. The writer's work reflects his personal struggle against intolerance, narrow-mindedness and prejudices of the petty bourgeoisie.
Everyone can identify with the characters mocked by the mediocre who do not have the courage or depth to recognize the positive qualities of others. It is with this in mind that we have tried to retell the story of the "Ugly Duckling" or rather to interpret it and re-invent it for a contemporary audience. There are many questions that HC Andersen had deliberately left open, while A Film has chosen to broaden the vision and seek an answer to these questions: where does the egg come from? Had no one else noticed that the Ugly Duckling was not what it seemed? Was there no resistance whatsoever against the ruling crowd of scoundrels, skeptics, and toadies? Ugly may have had a friend or girlfriend as well! The story of the Ugly Duckling was the first that society turned towards, trying to stage it in the style of "Babe". However, at the time of "Babe", CGI animation was not as advanced as it is today and was very expensive. So it was more natural to work in order to combine live action and puppets, with the help of the computer for mouth synchronization.
Karsten Kiilerich first studied swans, chickens, ducks. Ducklings are certainly very cute but they have a hard time following instructions, not to mention that they grow double within two weeks. However, challenges must be met, and A Film was ready to follow the brood of a swan's egg, as well as dive into a frozen lake in Hans Christian Andersen's countryside. As wonderful as it seemed, it was clear that it would be difficult to get the "actors" to work together with humans, and vice versa ... To complicate matters, A Film had to complain with some professional bird watchers, who they argued that it would be a crime against the public to make them believe that a duckling can grow into a swan in just one winter, as it actually takes 4 years to grow up.
The fact that A Film was an animation studio and knew absolutely nothing about live action spurred Karsten Kiilerich to start outlining the story, adapting the story to the film.
"I really want to make this film. Even if I will have to make big sacrifices, like going to Cannes, to the Mediterranean, in May!" (Karsten Kiilerich)
At this point A Film, with executive producer Anders Mastrup in the role of major financier, now convinced of the idea of ​​the story, set about looking for suitable partners to co-produce the project.

"If you want to get people to join a movie comedy, it's always best to add a little humor to it."
(Karsten Kiilerich)
A Film had previously collaborated with Ralph Christians (Executive Producer of Magma Films) in Ireland and knew it would be a good idea to involve this amateur comedian in the film.
So after a successful presentation in Wales, in Clandudno, the partnership was sealed when Philippe Delarue (Futurikon Executive Producer) in France joined the team.
"I absolutely have to be part of this project. Not that I can't find a better one in my house. But this amuses me in a particular way" (Philippe Delarue)
"I might as well tell the audience my childhood instead of rewriting the story. It looks like the story of the Ugly Duckling, but it's more fun."
"My personal life is very similar to that of the movie. When I was young people said I looked like Shirley Temple, but then I grew up… and the rest is history!
(Ralph Christians)
After realizing that the subject of the 'ugly' in search of inner beauty is a universal theme, and having learned that the public was eager to see the film, the project finally took off.


This character would like to be part of the entertainment world and has the ambition of manager in show business. His regret is not being able to 'break through' in life and dreams of the big chance! He is a shrewd city mouse: at the beginning of the film he is intent on escaping from a dangerous past, but he comes across an egg from which a duckling emerges which he will have to act as father and mother. Not content with this, he tries to navigate the difficulties of life. Ratso is very funny: in his underwear he is a coward, he loves to flirt and this makes him even more lovable. Ratso has a heart and although he acts selfishly, he is the character who experiences the widest range of emotions; he manages to establish an authentic bond with Ugly and in his own way engages in the most arduous work that exists: fatherhood.

The Ugly Duckling
It is the innocent voice of the film. He always questions himself and seeks approval from Ratso. The Ugly Duckling is obviously like any other child, cute and lively, sweet and likeable, but also very determined. He is desperately looking for a parent and demands that Ratso be his father. As he grows up, Ugly discovers the world and behaves and acts like most teenagers. He has a very mixed mood; he wants to prove to Ratso that he can lead him to success, but at some point he feels betrayed. Jesse provokes in him the ardor of his first love, but his main concern remains to find his own dimension, since he fears that his appearance will not be liked by anyone. He is emotional, loyal and always tells the truth. Eventually he will realize that family matters more than anything, more than physical appearance and individual peculiarities, such as being Ratso's son!

Ugly's first love. He possesses the typical grit of young people, is a bit standoffish but not unpleasant, simply determined and characterized by a deep sense of justice. She is the only one who really stands up to Ratso. It also comes with a great sense of practicality. She is attractive, confident and lively. Contrast effectively with Ugly teenager.

Phyllis is tough: she always gets what she wants. And in order to have Ratso, she is willing to do anything, even to tyrannize him. Everyone fears her, because she is spiteful. Eventually, however, it turns out that her temper is dictated by an obsession with finding a husband.

Ernie / William
Ratso's cousin, a cat, is the comedian and ventriloquist of the carnival show. His glove is his alter ego named William. Ernie is big, good, sincere and warm; he has a kind manner that contrasts sharply with William's surly and coarse manners.

She is sincere, strong, wise and honest and courageous. She has common sense and understands Ratso instantly. It is the object of Ratso's desire.

Intimidating, she runs the chicken coop, and it's best not to have anything to do with her. Nothing escapes her. It is big and fat, the prototype of the rude country character.

Phyllis's brother, he's big, strong, a sturdy, easygoing street kid. Tyrannized by Phyllis.

He is Phyllis' younger brother, dumber than Frank. He always asks the wrong questions and always comes after Frank to figure out the answers. It's Phyllis' despair.

Peep Olga
An irritating voice, she keeps snooping on things that don't concern her, talking too much and making things worse when she tries to validate her theories; makes you want to silence her.

A worm, a dissatisfied actor who behaves like a prima donna, convinced that he is better than he is, and never happy with what he has. Annoying but also fun.

Original title: Code Name: Ugly Duckling
Country: France, Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Denmark
Year: 2006
Gender: 3d animation
Duration: 89 '
Directed by: Michael Hegner, Karsten Kiilerich
Official / ...
Production:A. Film A / S, Disney Television France, Futurikon, Magma Films, TPS Star, TV2 Danmark, Target Media Entertainment, Ulysses Film Production
Distribution:Eagle Pictures
Exit : 01 June 2007


Codename: Ugly Duckling is copyright Hal Lieberman Company, Lauren Levine Productions Inc., Walden Media, Walt Disney Pictures and its rights holders and are used here solely for information and disclosure purposes.

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