Father and Mother Duck anxiously await for their babies to hatch...
...and their patience is soon rewarded with four perfect little ducklings.
Father Duck is overjoyed that the ducklings are all healthy and beautiful
The ducks watch with pride as their babies learn to walk and start to explore their new world
Suddenly, Mother Duck feels something strange happening beneath her
As it turns out, the final and largest egg has yet to hatch
As the egg jumps around the nest, Father Duck moves in for a closer look...
...only to get kicked in the face by the creature inside
The ducks have no idea what to make of the scene before them
And when the egg finally cracks open, the result is even more shocking
The bizarre little hatchling stares adoringly at his shocked parents...
...and greets them with a loud HONK!!
Father Duck looks at his new brood and realizes something isn't right.
Four beautiful downy little ducklings...
...and one big misshapen fuzzy one
The more the Father Duck looks at the ugly one, the angrier he becomes...
...and demands the Mother Duck explain why he is so different from their other young.
Mother Duck is just as confused as he is
Father Duck insists no duckling of his could be so abnormal
Are you suggesting it's my fault he turned out like this?
Unaware he was the cause, Ugly Duckling watches his parents argue, thinking it's some kind of game (GIF)
The Ducks' spat grows more and more heated until Father Duck goes too far...
...and gets a firm slap from Mother Duck
Disgusted by the whole situation, Father Duck storms off and leaves Mother Duck to deal with the ugly duckling on her own
Mother Duck leaves as well and takes the four normal ducklings down to the pond with her
To his surprise, Ugly Duckling finds himself left behind
Assuming she simply forgot him by accident, Ugly Duckling chases after them
Out on the pond, Mother Duck starts to feel better and offers the ducklings a ride on her back
Unknown to her, Ugly Duckling paddles up from behind and jumps on as well
Ugly Duckling settles in and is so happy to have a mother kind enough to carry him around
Quack Mother Duck calls out...
...and the ducklings answer quack, quack, quack, quack...
The ducks realize they have one more in their group than they should
But all Ugly Duckling wonders is what everyone else is looking at
Mother Duck is not happy that the ugly little pest won't leave her alone
And with a fick of her tail...
Ugly Duckling just thinks it's all part of the game and hurries after them
Finally thinking themselves rid of him, Mother Duck and the ducklings continue on their way...
...until Ugly Duckling honks for them to wait up.
As Ugly Duckling catches up, he notices that his mother seems mad at him for some reason
And even if you are I don't want one as ugly as you!
...and don't ever come near me again!
Still in shock, Ugly Duckling can only watch as his family turn their backs and go on without him
Ugly Duckling can't understand what it is about him that made his mother so upset
Why doesn't mommy like me?
And why would she say that I'm ugly?
A strange and malformed face stares back at Ugly Duckling from the water's surface
Hiding behind a tree, Ugly Duckling peeks out to make sure he wasn't chased
When the monster doesn't emerge, he creeps back for a second look...
...and realizes to his horror that what he saw was his own reflection.
Ugly Duckling sees how happy his mother and siblings are now that he's gone...
...and tearfully realizes how unwelcome among them he really is.
With a broken heart, Ugly Duckling leaves as his mother told him to...
...and wanders alone through the marsh.
As he walks through the scrub, someone calls down to Ugly Duckling from overhead
From up on their branch, a nest of baby birds chirp hello to him
Thinking he's found new friends, Ugly Duckling scrambles up the branch toward them
Unlike the ducks, the chicks don't seem to mind his appearance at all (GIF)
Deciding that they would become his new family, Ugly Duckling climbs into the nest with them
From up in the sky, the Mother Bird flies toward the nest with a worm in her beak
Not noticing the intruder in her nest, Mother Bird gives the worm to her hungry chicks
But Ugly Duckling grabs and eats it before they can
Mother Bird is furious that Ugly Duckling stole her babies' lunch and yanks it away from him
She then chases Ugly Duckling out of the nest...
...pecking at him the entire way.
As the Mother Bird continues to attack him, Ugly Duckling runs back to the pond as fast he can
Even after losing her at the water's edge, Ugly Duckling continues to flee for his life...
...But he doesn't watch where he is going and crashes into a wooden decoy.
Not realizing the decoy isn't a real duck, Ugly Duckling hides, expecting it to be mad at him
But the new duck doesn't get mad and seems to smile at him instead
Encouraged by its smile, Ugly Duckling emerges from his hiding place with his tail waggling
To Ugly Duckling's delight, It doesn't even get mad when he honks at it
Mistaking the decoy's silence for acceptance, he adopts it as his new mother
Climbing up on its back, Ugly Duckling has a wonderful time playing with his new parent
But just when he thinks he's finally found a family...
...he makes the mistake of diving off the decoy's bill...
...which causes it to tip over and bonk him on the head
Ugly Duckling doesn't understand what just happened...
...until he looks up and honks in terror
The decoy hurtles toward him for a second strike...
...and barely misses Ugly Duckling as he flees for the safety of the bank
Hiding in the grass, Ugly Duckling watches the decoy turn its back to him just like the Mother Duck
Everyone hates me. I'm so ugly noone will ever want me.
Unloved by everyone, Ugly Duckling gives up on finding a family to accept him...
As he weeps, Ugly Duckling catches another glimpse of his reflection
The sight reminds him of how ugly he is and makes him cry even harder
A Mother Swan and her cygnets are swimming nearby and hear the Ugly Duckling's sobs of despair....
...which they follow to his location.
Ugly Duckling looks up...
...and can't believe his eyes
The cygnets look and sound just like him
Don't cry! The cygnets honk Come and play with us!
Ugly Duckling dives in and is so happy to finally have friends who want to play with him...
...until the Mother Swan calls them back to her side...
...and Ugly Duckling once again finds himself left all alone
Seeing the cygnets with their beautiful mother, Ugly Duckling knows he doesn't belong with them either...
...and decides to leave before she tries to chase him off like all the others
To his surprise, both the cygnets and the Mother Swan swim after him
The Mother Swan reaches for him and Ugly Duckling cowers in fear of another attack
Instead, she embraces him as one of her own...
...and assures him that she doesn't find him ugly at all...
...and he realizes he's found what he was looking for
No longer an Ugly Duckling, the Little Swan swims along with his real mother and siblings...
...much to the shock of the Mother Duck and ducklings.
As she realizes what he truly is, the Mother Duck invites him back into their family
However, the Little Swan realizes her motivation and this time, it's he who rejects her
And with the ones who love him for who he is, he swims off into the distance