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

Plot

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 finds that Quacker, looking at himself in a broken mirror, still thinks he is ugly, and starts throwing a tantrum 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 eats a branch. Quacker apologizes and asks for Tom's tongue. Tom puts it out, and as Quacker jumps on it, but is saved again by Jerry, Quacker ends up falling down Tom's throat.

Jerry and Quacker hide next to a hen, but instead of taking Quacker, who leaves, 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 to eat Quackor, who convinces him to eat him. Before Tom manages 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 blindly manages to grab Quacker from the mousehole, but 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 and squeals in alarm and backs away, as Quacker has mud on his face, is wearing a girdle, has exaggerated lipstick, and has four big perm curlers on his head (this is from Jerry's work-in-progress make-over earlier) just as Quacker, has even begun walking like Frankenstein Quacker, asks if Tom wants to eat him, but fails when 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 knows that 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, Fifi passes by and sees Quacker sitting in despair on a rock. In curiosity, she tries to look at his face, but is yelled too when he thinks it's Jerry. He then realizes that it is the girl duck, who giggles at his reaction before declaring he is cute. Quacker, no longer thinking himself ugly, tosses the bag away, then clicks his heels happily, does a loop-de-loop 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.

Characters

Main Characters

Major Characters

Minor Characters

Trivia/Goofs

  • 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. However, the short was pulled out from HBO Max and the Boomerang app (along with Designs on Jerry).
  • Quacker falls in love in another episode Wing Nuts.
  • This is the first episode where Quacker attempts suicide. That's My Mommy is the second episode where Quacker attempts suicide, only Tom intervened.
  • In 2020, the cartoon was restored along with Designs on Jerry on Amazon Prime.
  • A hen, who Quacker has replaced himself with, looks similar to the one in the short, Fine Feathered Friend. Similarly, the hen pecks down on Jerry, just like how she pecks down at Tom in the other short.
  • After Tom destroys the wall after seeing Quacker, Quacker is on the left side of the wall. But when he is approaching it, in one frame, Quacker is suddenly on the right side of the wall.
  • Quacker sits in a rock, when the female duck said that he is cute, Quacker climbs over the tree around and the rock cannot be seen.


Gallery

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