The Ugly Duckling

You know, my kids have suddenly discovered Tom & Jerry. They love it, and I’ve been watching it with them – it brings back a lot of memories for me. Sure, it’s violent – but it’s cartoon violence, right? I don’t think my kids are gonna cut off the cat’s tail or slam each other in the head with baseball bats or frying pans. On one level, it’s kind of refreshing. The cartoons aren’t hiding behind some kind of PC message – the characters smoke, beat the crap out of each other, and in at least one episode, Tom actually dies via guillotine. Pretty hard core, honestly. I remember watching it as a kid and not really thinking about it – and judging by the way the kids giggle their asses off, I don’t think they are either.

On the other hand, we watched the Ugly Duckling episode (down below) the other day and for some reason I found it vaguely disturbing. In it, the duck decides he’s too ugly to live (after seeing a picture of a duck and reading the Ugly Duckling Story), and decides to kill himself. He attempts to chop his head off with an ax for starters and then, of course, convinces Tom to eat him. (And yes, I’m going to hell, because I can’t help laughing at parts of it – I dunno – seems sorta homo-erotically charged when the duck asks “Aren’t you gonna eat me, pussy cat?”)

Eventually he runs into a girl duckling who tells him he’s cute, and they walk off into the sunset together. Ah, L’amour. Although, it’s probably a sad commentary that Connor found the image of the two ducks kissing as far more repugnant than the scene where the duck puts himself into sandwich bread and begs the cat to devour him…but that’s a six-year-old for you, I guess.

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