RVOD131 Seven Little Ducks

(1967, Educational/Short, color)


Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

The yard is ankle-deep in feces.

Rating: ***1/2

In a Nutshell:

A little girl cares for dozens of ducks.


...That I Once Knew...Seven Little Ducks relates the tale of three rather large ducks, who are then joined by five mid-sized ducks and a rather porcine-featured little girl. The little girl appears to keep dozens of ducks on a quarter acre of back lawn. Ducklings hatch to one of the large ducks. (Seven ducklings? Possibly. By this time I’d stopped counting.) Their mother takes them out of the pen and introduces them to their hideously disfigured father, and then they all go swimming in a concrete pond only slightly larger than a birdbath. One of the girl’s friends comes over to select a mid-sized duck as a pet. She seizes one by the neck and carries it off.


It’s about domesticated animals, but still, it’s sort of a nature short. And, in keeping with that tradition, it’s rather pointless. It’s an amusing kind of pointless, though, as the randomly shown elements tend toward the ridiculous. The ugly little girl and her unsanitary waterfowl accommodations top this list, but the staged animal events are pretty silly too. (The adolescent duck that just happens to come and steal the duckling’s food has obviously been thrown into frame, while the puppy who shares the back yard has been stuffed into a corner so it won’t try to mutilate a duckling on camera.) And then, of course, there’s the hideous Father Duck.

The riffers have a field day with it. When the girl comes to watch over her ducks, Bill speculates, “She won them in a pig-resembling contest.” When a sticky newly-hatched duckling writhes in the duck pen filth, Mike asks, “Shouldn’t that thing be bursting out of John Hurt?” When we meet the deformed father, Kevin notes that he “turned to a life of crime after a horrible accident that he blamed on Batman.” The short is a bizarre, unstructured mess, but there are plenty of things to harp on, which is what riffers do best.