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The Story (you thought you knew)

Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Ugly Duckling”

Spring has sprung at the farm! Drake, the Mallard Duck, and his wife, Ida, await the hatching of their brood. After four “normal” ducklings hatch, an extra-large egg cracks open to reveal an “ugly” chick who makes a strange “honk" sound instead of the expected "quack.” Ida loves Ugly anyway, and finds out that he is a prodigious swimmer. The other farmyard birds, including the rest of his family, make fun of his strange appearance.

Ugly runs into the wily Cat, who offers to “take” him to "lunch," and, being deeply hurt and alone, Ugly follows the Cat to his lair. After realizing that Ugly is missing, the other barnyard fowl mourn his death, but Ida refuses to believe that Ugly is dead and begins a desperate search for her son. Ugly manages to avoid becoming the Cat’s dinner and runs into a family of Geese who take him under their wings. Unfortunately, the Cat also finds Ugly, and they both become separated from the Geese.

Ugly then finds a small cottage, home to a domesticated hen and her feline companion. The Cat appears yet again, and is distracted by the female cat, Queenie, allowing Ugly to escape, with the Cat in hot pursuit. Ugly winds up alone again, comes upon a beautiful swan, Penny, and saves her from a fishing line. Penny invites Ugly to fly south for the winter with her flock, but knowing that his mother Ida would miss him, Ugly stays behind.

Still trying to find his way back to the farmyard, Ugly gets stuck in a snowstorm. Ida, with the help of the Swans who have returned, finds Ugly under a snowbank…except Ugly isn’t an ugly duck anymore! He is a handsome Swan! They also find the frozen Cat who has decided to give up trying to eat Ugly and the baby ducks. Ugly and Penny fall in love and decide to stay with Ugly’s duck family on the duck pond.

A Turkey, a Bullfrog, some colorful Fish, and a bunch of singing Froglets round out the cast for this delightful show.

LINK to COMPLETE SYNOPSIS from MTI

Honk! Synopsis 2—much shorter version

Ugly looks quite a bit different from his darling duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice and point this out, despite his mother trying to protect him. Upset and hurt about being so different, Ugly finds himself on an adventure of self-discovery, all the while unknowingly outwitting a very hungry Cat. Along the way, Ugly meets a flock of unique characters and finds out that being different is not such a bad thing to be.