This animated adaptation by Jorge Sandoval & Ella Yoon is based on German author and illustrator Wolf Erlbruch‘s children’s book Duck, Death and the Tulip. In this story about friendship, a duck meets Death “who, as it turns out, has been following her all her life.” The two explore the landscape together, “discussing life, death, and what any afterlife might be like.”
Though this telling is more melancholy and visually darker than the book‘s almost-playful approach, it continues to be an illustration of death as a part of life. Death is wistful but practical, a gentle companion for the duck as they spend time together.
Though the duck’s peaceful passing at the end of the story may upset some young viewers, as with the book it’s based on, it may be a prompt for curiosity, conversation, and understanding. Both versions of this spare tale can be a valuable resource for those who are immediately dealing with death.
Follow this with more videos about death, life cycles, and seasons, including Premier Automne by Je Regarde, Whale Fall (After Life of a Whale), Dia de los Muertos – An animated journey to the land of the dead and Father and Daughter by Michaël Dudok De Wit.