Downhearted Duckling

Downhearted Duckling

Directed by
Produced by
Story by
William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Music by
Animation by
Distributed by
Release date
November 13, 1954
Color process
Preceded by
Followed by

Downhearted Duckling is a 1954 Tom and Jerry cartoon. With backgrounds by Robert Gentle and layouts by Dick Bickenbach


Quacker is deeply upset after reading "The Ugly Duckling". The duckling in the illustrated book looks just like Quacker. He worries that he too is ugly, and has thoughts of suicide. Jerry hears his cries and tries to help Quacker look better, but Quacker attempts to behead himself by releasing an axe onto his head. Jerry removes him from the death trap and the axe falls on his tail.

Next, Jerry dresses Quacker up in a bow-tie and hat, but Quacker, looking at himself in a broken mirror, still thinks he is ugly, and starts crying again. Before Jerry runs inside his house and returns with another mirror, an upset Quacker walks off saying that nobody loves him, then he looks into the pond and says "Oh, boy, I'm sure ugly", and wishing he was dead.

He approaches sleeping Tom and wakes him up, asking to be eaten. A puzzled Tom is only too happy to oblige, but is prevented from successfully eating the duckling, owing to Jerry's intervention. Jerry grabs Quacker out of Tom's mouth and flees. Tom searches for the duck and Quacker calls out to Tom while lying in a sandwich. Quacker jumps out of the sandwich as Tom tries to eat it and Tom eats a branch. Quacker apologizes and asks for Tom's tongue. Tom puts it out and Quacker jumps on it, but is saved again by Jerry before falling down Tom's throat.

Jerry and Quacker hide next to a hen, but instead of taking Quacker, Jerry grabs the hen and gets pecked into the ground. Quacker pokes his head out of a pie and asks if Tom wants to eat it. Tom refuses, but Quacker convinces Tom to eat him. Before Tom managed to grab the pie, Jerry suddenly comes, grabs Quacker before throwing the pie onto Tom's face.

Jerry tries to raise Quacker's spirits by giving him a beauty make-over inside Jerry's mousehole, while a demotivated Quacker laments that it's no use. Tom later approaches the mousehole after hearing Quacker's voice, and he blindly manages to grab Quacker from the mousehole, puts him in a bag before running off elsewhere. However, when Tom finally takes Quacker out of the bag, he becomes horrified at the duckling's appearance, as Quacker had mud on his face, was wearing a girdle, had exaggerated lipstick, and had four big perm curlers on his head (this is from Jerry's work-in-progress make-over earlier) and Quacker even began walking like Frankenstein Quacker asks if Tom wants to eat him but Tom runs off as quickly as he can, clawing straight through a brick wall in order to escape.

This worried Quacker once and for all "Oh, boy, am I ugly...", and Quacker is at his lowest ebb, curbing his suicidal tendencies and reducing himself to hiding under a paper bag (angrily scolding Jerry for lifting it up), and saying that he'll never show his face again. Just then, a female duckling passes by and sees Quacker sitting in despair on a rock. In curiosity she tries to look at his face but he yells at her too thinking it's Jerry. He then realized it was the girl duck and she giggles at his reaction before declaring he is cute. Quacker, no longer thinking himself ugly, tosses the bag away, then clicks his heels happily, loops on a tree twig, and holds her arm. When Jerry looks on without delay, both ducklings waddle off into the sunset together, stopping along the way to share a kiss before the rest of the walk.


  • Unlike the controversial Blue Cat Blues, this was never pulled from television (especially American television), possibly because despite that this has references of suicide, but does not have references of alcoholism. Another possible reason is that this cartoon's plot isn't as depressing to the networks' younger target audience as Blue Cat Blues is.

External Links

Downhearted Duckling at

Downhearted Duckling at B99.TV