Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Queer Duck: The Move – I Laughed So Hard I Nearly… Well, You Know

Written by Mike Reiss
Directed by Xeth Feinberg

I first heard about this animated movie when everyone in my house started talking about a hysterical movie they’d seen called Queer Duck: The Movie. I don’t know who saw it first or how exactly they stumbled upon it, but it was a hit with everyone. Finally, when I was home one evening, we all managed to catch it together. Yes, I found it hysterically funny as well.

Queer Duck: The Movie is the story of an animated duck who is gay. Apparently, there is an animated television show by the same name, but I haven’t come across it before now. It’s written by Mike Reiss, who’s been frequently on the credits as they’re rolling by over at The Simpsons. The movie uses Queer Duck (yes, that’s his name as well) to poke fun at everything. It pokes fun at the stereotypes we see of gays in the media. It pokes fun at the left as they attempt to be politically correct. It pokes fun at the right as they attempt (and fail) to take the moral high ground.

Right from the beginning, I was hit with dripping sarcasm as it portrayed the gay stereotype. In the intro, Queer Duck gets hit on the head with a bucket and dreams of Judy Garland’s star on the walk of fame. He must then contend with overturned “Chers”. There are lines like “Oh my God, it’s like a Bette Midler concert out there!”

The plot is that Queer Duck and his partner Openly Gator are having a rough patch in their relationship. Queer Duck meets up with an aging “B” movie actress named Lola Buzzard. The two develop a great friendship and he helps her revive her career with a one-woman play on Broadway. She accepts him how he is, gay and all. She proposes and he ponders marrying her.

At the same time, he’s questioning if being gay is all it’s cracked up to be. Queer Duck seeks out an organization that promises it can make him not gay anymore, Homo No Mo’. It’s run by the Reverend Vandergelding. He tries to change Queer Duck, but it doesn’t work. Still, Queer Duck decides to go ahead with the wedding.

There are other not-so-politically-correct characters in the movie as well, such as Bi-Polar Bear, who’s all decked out in S&M gear throughout the movie, and Oscar Wildcat who’s ultra-chic hanging around in a smoking jacket and reminiscing of what it was like to be gay back in the old days. The voices are terrific and done by such notables as Jm J. Bullock, Estelle Harris, Mark Hamill, Andy Dick, Kevin Michael Richardson, Tim Curry, Bruce Villanch, Conan O’Brien, and David Duchovny.

Queer Duck: The Movie is definitely not for everyone. I think the people on the right who complain the most about political correctness will probably be the most offended by the themes going on here, although it doesn’t pander to those on the other side for sure. It is an equal-opportunity offender and spends a good part of the movie dishing out rapid-fire jabs at Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Conan O’Brien, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, and The Village People. What film poking fun at gay stereotypes would be complete without an appearance by The Village People? It’s something I had to watch a second time, and I still think I missed a number of the gags.

The animation is rather flat, reminding me of the days when the backgrounds were stagnant and all the action took place in front of it, like on The Flintstones cartoon shows. That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just that if you are expecting the rich, alive animation of the Pixar films, you’ll be disappointed.

There are quite a few musical numbers in Queer Duck: The Movie. Most of it consists of funny songs which take off many from classic periods such as the vocal girl group era, the sixties, disco, and Broadway shows. There are also scenes that pay homage to the final scene from The Graduate, A Christmas Carol, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. When Queer Duck and his friends are planning their own “Gay Day” at an amusement park called Happy Land, one of them asks “Can’t we go to Disneyland? They love gay people.” Nice jab at the Southern Baptists and their failed boycott.

What Queer Duck: The Movie also does is make the case that you’re born gay, and nothing anyone can do will ever change that. I know it will fall on deaf ears to some, but perhaps it’s an indication that the slow steps we are making as a society are taking root a bit that this film could get made at all.

If any of what I said made shivers go up your spine (in a bad way), then Queer Duck: The Movie is not for you. But if you can put aside any thoughts of political correctness or being uptight for about an hour and fifteen minutes, I guarantee you’ll find something to laugh about.