September 22, 2015 by Liza Lou
This animation is South Korean in origin and was so popular there that it was sold and distributed by America to English speaking countries. This is the version I saw and although the original’s main character was called Leafy (the characters names have been changed country to country), I chose to watch this because of Daisy – which is one of my nieces name.
For people of a Disney/Pixar generation the film has a different sort of look. It isn’t as highly saturated and looks generally more line drawn. I have seen a fair amount of Asian animated films so the overall form isn’t a new one to me and one I like. I sort of wished I’d found a South Korean version to have that whole experience, without the mostly Canadian accents but I wouldn’t have understood it would I and the visual won my heart enough.
So as I said, this is the story of Daisy (voiced by Stacey DePass). She is a battery hen and yearns to be free. One day she realises how to make her escape and does so, only to be confronted and attacked by a one eyed weasle. She is saved by a Wilson the wild duck (voiced by Ryan Hollyman) who leaves her be. After being dismissed by the other farm birds and being told she doesn’t belong, she makes her way into the forest and meets up with Wilson again.
It’s here we learn a little bit more about him and his plight to avenge his wives death at the hands of the weasle, going into the deep forest to fight it every night. His wife has left behind a single egg and Daisy decides to sit on it and keep it safe. The night the egg hatches Wilson loses his ongoing feud with the weasle and dies.
This fight scene is epic and much more violent than it’s American counterparts but that’s the usual in Asian animation. It’s stylistic and beautiful to watch despite it’s bleak subject and underlying implications on the newly born ducklings story.
There’s a lovely brightness with most of the second act and it’s gorgeously done. A highlight for me was the montage as the duckling, named Willy (also voiced by Hollyman) grows up which is pretty and joyful. This feeling is echoed throughout sweeping scenes of the pair’s new home in the everglade and as with most films within the animation genre, there are lots of little surprises to find on screen along the way.
The film takes a darker tone throughout the second half as Daisy and Willy not only struggle to fit in on the everglade but also realise the differences between them. This results in Willy running away but this isn’t stretched out as ultimately the overall mood of the film is one of acceptance and finding one’s place in the world. Wilson’s back story adds a twist and drama but doesn’t over take the quaintness of the film.
Of course there are elements of sadness and fear, especially as the film draws towards it’s conclusion but everything is explained so it doesn’t seem pointless or filler and I really love that. I’m not sure if Daisy offers anything more than the usual ‘coming of age’ rollercoaster as all the typical components are there but with it’s fable like quality it’s so endearing.
Feeling fed up? Watch it, you soon won’t 🙂