Sarah and Duck. A Few Questions.

Our Little One is a massive fan of two shows on Cbeebies. One of them is “Bing”, which I blogged about here, the other is Sarah and Duck. I admit, I’m ok with Sarah and Duck. There’s a sense of innocent joy mixed with humour that is captured in the episodes, which makes them fun to watch. Even more now that we have Sarah and Duck dvds, as this means we don’t have to switch between episodes on our DVR every 5 – 7 minutes.

As we watched the adventures of Sarah and Duck, Mrs Sofa, and I started asking ourselves a few questions about the world that Sarah and Duck live in…

If Sarah is 7 years old, why doesn’t she go to school?

I guess she’s kinda smart, even for the lack of school attendance, but I guess in a world where a cake can talk back to you, school must be quite interesting.

For all the scenes set at home, why don’t we see her parents?

Seriously. WHERE are they? Is she left home alone all day, with nothing but a duck for company?

IMG_0889.PNGIf Moon can be seen walking around the shop, where does the Sun go?

I kinda wonder why we don’t see Sun wandering around when its night. I guess its ok that we don’t have a massive ball of fire walking around the place… but what impact does moons actions have on the worlds tidal levels? What we don’t see, is that every time that Moon walks around the Big Shop, are there massive floods elsewhere?

How do children and birds understand each other so well?

I tried talking to a duck once.
It was a boring conversation. But people walking around me thought I was quackers.

Sarah and Duck - Eating BreadIsn’t bread meant to be bad for ducks?

Duck seems to be tired on a regular basis, maybe he’s just a bit poorly?

What is the narrator?

I have a few theories about this guy. Is he an invisible man? I did wonder if he’s God, and all the  characters can hear God really really well, but thats kinda deeply religious for a cbeebies show. Therefore I questioned if he was Sarah’s conscience, but the thing is, all the characters can hear him. This makes me wonder; Is all of this in Sarahs imagination?

The thing is, If Sarah and Duck is all simply set in Sarahs imagination, then that suggests that real life is a bit of a dark place for Sarah. And thats something that I’d prefer wasn’t true.

Sorry, that got a bit dark there towards the end.

Have you got any questions about the world of Sarah and Duck?


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52 thoughts on “Sarah and Duck. A Few Questions.

  1. We don’t have this show in Canada, but I see where you’re coming from. Children’s shows amaze me. Sometimes I ask myself the same types of questions you outline in your post out loud, in front of my son, although not intentionally. I wonder if I’m taking the fun out of the show or fostering critical thinking skills.

  2. I’ve pondered many of the same questions about Sarah and duck. I

    My theory is that it is set in Sarah’s imagination, the narrator is Sarah’s dad (in some episodes he appears to be consulted for permission). Duck is Sarah’s imaginary friend, or the personification of a favourite toy.

  3. Whilst I’ve not thought about the show that much, I have often wondered which lazy ‘composer’ came up with that opening theme.
    It’s very effective at telling us what we’re about to watch, but not very good at setting up any sort of premise to the show, other than there’s Sarah and a duck.

  4. Quite a lot of shows on CBeebies are a bit weird, although I must admit Sarah and Duck is one of the weirdest. I do love analysing them all though. For me the most pressing question on television is the circumstances of Iggle Piggle in the Night Garden. Where is he going on his boat? Why doesn’t he have a home? What is his relationship to the other characters in the garden? I could spend all day wondering about such matters. #justanotherlinky

    1. I read some where that in the night garden is set in between sleep and awake so that space of consciousness and sleep as a child drifts off to sleep so iggle piggl is drifting off to sleep in his boat

  5. I’ve not seen this, but will have a peek to see if it’s as weird as you say. I do remembering wondering what some of those programme makers were on when the Tubblet was watching CBeebies.

  6. Kids programmes are so confusing aren’t they haha! We don’t really have Cbeebies on TV anymore! The girls are into Nick Jr. etc!
    Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky

  7. this link to a blog summarizes nicely why my daughter and I both love this show:

    “Throughout the show, Sarah leads the adventure completely unsupervised. Their are no parents, no rules, and no limits. Sarah is trusted by the unseen narrator to play and create in an unsupervised manner. No one tells Sarah what to do or how to think. How many great ideas have you repressed because you were scared of what others might think?”

    1. Actually I disagree – the narrator (Sarah’s dad, I believe) gently guides Sarah around her adventures giving her space to explore on her own but getting her back on track when needed. I think that’s a better approach than “No rules”

  8. After much time pondering I’ve decided that sarah is in a coma and this is her mind’s way of working through the trauma she’s faced until she’s grown enough to move on. She had created a world out of bits and pieces that she has remembered like John and Flamingo are Japanese maybe from a documentary she saw. And that’s why there’s aspects of the absurd rooted in reality. And maybe that’s why there’s a benevolent voice in place of parents and maybe a duck in place of a younger brother? It’s a bit sad though.

    Either way it’s a lovely show and a favourite in our house.

  9. It makes perfect sense that the narrator is Sarah’s dad. I think the show is about the adventures they take on weekends.

    Sarah’s mum doesn’t seem to exist so maybe she visits dad on weekends, perhaps mum works on weekends or maybe mum died? Either way, dad’s clearly way too permissive as single or part-time dads can be, letting Sarah have the run of the house and garden, plant shallots wherever she likes, he’s decorated the place with duck motifs and got her duck clothes.

    What I really don’t understand is why Scarf Lady’s bag is so mean to her. Scarf lady is so nice! She’s always giving things to Sarah and knitting for everyone. She even knitted a tree warmer when she thought her weeping woolen tree was too cold!

    1. I also think the narrator is Sarah’s dad, and it’s possible that he’s more permissive with her to overcompensate for her mother’s death. He does seem to gently advise her at times, which lead me to believe he was her dad. I never thought about specifics as to when they had their adventures, but I did assume it was during off-school hours. That’s a good point there. I just think the bag is grumpy and impatient with Scarf Lady, because she seems a bit scattered at times. We found this show on Netflix, and we love it! It is so much better than many of the kids’ programs in the US. I love how it is calm and innocent, but it is still exciting enough to hold a child’s attention. I have 4 kids, and it is their favorite.

  10. As some people have said, I think of the narrator as Sarah’s dad! I think the show is set on weekends or after school hours!

  11. I kind of assumed the narrator was Sarah’s dad and he was homeschooling or unschooling her. They go to the library, the zoo, research on the computer, and keep a garden. Just made sense to me. Child led learning.

    1. That sounds lovely! Child-led learning. I like that. She seems very smart and responsible, so I can see that as a good possibility.

  12. My son absolutely loves this show. We watch it all the time. I think the narrator is her nanny, well man nanny and her parents are super rich off on dinner parties and what not and he home schools her and takes her on adventures. She really has a pet duck because it’s all about the imagination, and how fun would it be if none of it was real. Hehe
    Or it could just be her dad and a stuffed animal she carries around and she only sees him on the weekends because her parents are divorced, but that just seems so sad. I like the imagination better.

  13. I thought the narrator is Sarah’s father and he’s just filming Sarah’s adventure…

    As for her mother?
    Maybe something tragic happened 🙁

  14. My husband and I actually have a few headcanons of our own. We actually think the narrator is Sarah’s dad and that he’s a ventriloquist, wich is why so many things can talk. We also think that Scarf Lady’s bag is actually her husband but Sarah sees him as a bag. And the show isn’t so much set in Sarah’s imagination, but rather just how she perceives the world. We really like Sarah and Duck.

    1. I agree with FireBlueVixen, I’ve often thought that this is how she sees the world and that maybe the show is set on the weekends and this is why she doesn’t go to school.

  15. I say the story teller is her dad because he buys the shoes and takes the food out of the oven for her. Sarah isn’t in real time. The story of Sarah is being told by her dad which explains why she is never in school.

  16. I think Sarah and her dad are dead. Duck was a favored pet that died before she did. It explains the lack of school and a mother. I think this is her version of her Heaven. Kinda dark I know, but I’m a Grimms Brothers kinda girl.

  17. I interpret “Sarah & Duck” as set in an alternative version of our world which works like kids think the world works (the big shop is actually called “The Big Shop”, wool grows on trees, everyone can eat their favourite food all the time like Duck and his bread). I tend to think that Sarah might actually go to school, but the episodes simply focus on other things, maybe take place on the weekends or in the afternoons. I do wonder about the narrator though; either he actually is her father, like many people here have suggested, or he’s more of a fourth wall breaking element, which might also make sense, given that “weird but wonderful” seems to be the general mood of the show.

    Generally, I really love how charming and positive “Sarah & Duck” is. I haven’t gotten my hands on the later seasons yet, but so far, i haven’t once seen her throw a tantrum, she’s never mean or rude or jealous. If something goes wrong, she’s sad for a bit and then thinks of a good alternative. And the art is rather gorgeous, too.

  18. It can be a little overwhelming, maybe too much knocking down of the fourth wall at least for me, to consider the narrator and Sarah’s perceived freedoms. It’s helped me greatly in terms of encouragement to not so much think about the backstory and take it for what it is, which is truly difficult. I do think this show is all about creativity and imagination. I truly love the fact this show isn’t ‘on the nose’ in the least and encourages the kids (and the parents, apparently) to ask lots and lots of questions. In times like these it’s not bad to be inside your own head in a healthy way every now and agai.

  19. The narrator is Sarah’s dad, he talks to her and other characters directly. He let’s Sarah figure things out on her own and occasionally provides input when she can’t figure something out. Duck is more than likely a toy duck, as is John’s flamingo, and they are both brought to life through their imagination which appears to be encouraged by Sarah’s narrator dad. Sarah’s dad seems to play along with just about everything and I think it’s safe to assume adds his own voice and ideas to whatever Sarah and her friends are doing. I think Sarah’s dad helps bring inanimate objects like the umbrella, cake, wicker chair and others to life. Scarf Lady brings bag to life and the bus driver also seem to have a part in some of the imaginary adventures. As far as school goes, who’s to say this doesn’t take place during summer, winter and other school breaks- even after school? The thing we love about cartoons like Sarah and Duck is the creativity on behalf of the show’s creators and animators. We’ve even taken the birthday song from the show and replaced the traditional birthday song with it for our kid’s parties. Lovely show!

    1. I think the narrator is her father as well. I see him as a quadriplegic. He goes with her everywhere and cares for her greatly but can’t interact with her. It’s a bit sad but really sweet as well.

  20. My daughter and me watch Sara & Duck on Netflix in the States. When I first heard the show being played, I thought it was a twist on Peppa Pig, because of the common themes; English Accents and a deep voiced Narrator.
    I will say though, while Peppa Pig is charming, Sara and Duck is much more pleasing. We both really enjoy it.
    Like most of you here, I began to question certain elements of the show, such as where are her parents, and what is her relationship with the narrator. Why doe she never attend, or even speak of school? We have seen John’s parents in the bread episode, but never Sara’s. The kids even all had a sleep over at Sara’s, and no parents.

    Eventually I began to wonder if Sara is either dead or in a coma. Being in an alternate state of reality, or even the afterlife would explain the magic that takes place in her world. I would hate that to be true, but it is difficult to not imagine.

  21. I do have one question about Sarah and Duck. Some of us may know that the narrator is Sarah’s dad, but where is her mom? The closest person I can think of as family is her ”dad” or Scarf Lady since they are both around in her life.

  22. My daughter loves this show and while I used to think of the narrator as her father (seems like the most obvious conclusion) I’ve noticed elements of the show that made me develop a new theory: Sarah and most of the other characters in the show are patients in an assisted living community for mentally disabled adults with SOME ability to care for themselves. One of my reasons for thinking this is that Sarah often decides independently to take measures to care for herself and Duck such as, “We’re out of bread, let’s go to the bread store.” or taking duck to the vet. She has her own home/space and is allowed to prepare her own food, but needs the narrator (her nurse/caretaker) to help her with some basic things and make sure she’s ok and out of harm. Another reason for this theory is that many other characters including adult ones share a lot of Sarah’s delusions or lack of understanding of reality. Such as the man in the lighthouse. Scarf lady is another great exmple of someone who is potentially unable to completely care for herself . Her bag’s bad attitude may be an expression of her disability (DID, turrets, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc). I also beleive the bus and driver to be a paratransit-type service (not sure what its called in other parts of the world) which would explain why no strangers are ever on the bus. There are a lot of examples to support this theory if you look for them. So far its been easy to find an abundance of evidence to support it in the last 10 episodes or so that my daughter has watched. There also seems to be a similar vibe (in my opinion) to many classic films that depict mental illness though this show does so in a happier, more light-hearted way.

    I told my husband this idea along with a bunch more evidence. He agreed that it made sense but that it was a pretty dark interpretation. But if you think of it from the prospective of the narrator who really cares about a patient he cares for, who loves her child-like happiness, wonder and imagination, its still a sweet and fun story.

  23. My husband and I were discussing this one day. I too believe that the narrator is her dad. I believe he just lets her roam and her imagination run freely and interacts with it. I believe Scarf Lady may be her grandmother. I think she adores her which is why she still sees her as human. I think Scarf Lady’s bag is a bit mean and bossy and I believe that he is Sarah’s grandfather but she doesn’t like him as much so she sees him and an inanimate object. I believe Duck is probably a stuffed toy that Sarah brings to life in her imagination. Possibly never was allowed a real pet so instead of a dog or cat as people would usually have as a pet she wants a duck.

    All in all, I’m probably just thinking way too much over a nonsensical cartoon, but it is a really great show. By far one of the least annoying ones my son loves to watch.

  24. My wife and I came up with a really dark theory about this show. We agree with the theory that the narrator is Sarah’s father, and we thought Sarah had some debilitating disease of the brain that’s making her perception of reality slowly deteriorate. Her father is always there with her because he’s video taping her last few years on Earth. Her mother isn’t around because she died of whatever it is that ails Sarah now. All of the talking inanimate objects are part of Sarah’s delusions and her father is playing along with them to keep her happy and entertained.

    We also had a theory that, because of what Sarah is going through mentally, Scarf Lady is actually her grandmother and she can’t remember that it’s her.

    We have this horrifying vision of Sarah’s last day alive and her father just shuts the camera off and say “We’ll turn it back on when she comes out of surgery” and it just never turns back on. Last thing you see is her father watching the old videos. You hear her father in the background while they’re at the zoo saying something like “So, my daughter is really sick, would you mind playing along with her and letting her pretend to be a zookeeper and maybe feed the penguins or something?”

    We’ve thrown ourselves into an existential depression with this lol.

    1. Oh my word! That is beautiful!
      I kinda feel like a need a hug… or a counsellors appointment… or chocolate… or something

  25. I love this stupid show and have asked many of the same questions. Here is my theory. The Narrator IS Sara’s Dad. And the show is seen from his prospective. Examples are, Often when Sara is trying to solve a puzzle he will help guid her. In an episode when she is baking that cake. The narrator tells her not to touch the oven, instead he takes over and sets the timer. Now proof it’s from his point of view Sara and Duck go and play outside the kitchen while he waits by the oven until the cake is done. I have no theory about the moon, it’s just weird

  26. We habe found Sarah & Duck on Netflix. My son really enjoys it, and it is one of the bun educational kids shows we don’t mind him watching. It definitely has an innocent charm to it. My theory is that Sarah and all the human friends on the show have a terminal illness of some kind, most likely cancer. Duck and Flamingo are both imaginary friends, as evident at how they understand the humans they are with, and how, in Duck’s case, the other ducks look different. The narrator, I see as more of a nurse explaining things that Sarah is imagining. Most of the world in the show, is from Sarah’s point of view, with the imagination of her friends, such as the Scarf Lady, and her Wool-o Tree, or the falling of ribbons the ribbon sisters take part in.

    To me it makes the most sense, as a child cooped up I a hospital or cancer center my dream up adventures to have have while they are there. In addition, the variety of different regular characters, such as Scarf Lady, and John, and Scooter Boy, makes sense In a hospital setting.

  27. After reading these I’m glad I’m not the only one that questions children’s to.
    My partner and I have decided on a light hearted option that is:
    The Narrator is Sarahs dad, who videos their adventures.
    Duck is actually her little brother who can’t talk yet and is just affectionately referred to as ‘Duck’.
    Scarf Lady and Bag are Nanna and Grandad
    Cloud captain might be Dads pilot friend?
    And Cake is an old lodger, since he moved from their house to live with bread man!
    I think Moon/Venus/Mars might be her aunts and uncles that work night or something 🙂

    It makes the most sense to us, or there is the alternatives that I’ve read above but I watch it too often to want to consider that haha!

  28. #thesatsesh How did Sarah and Duck first meet? Is Duck house trained? (if so) How do you hope train a duck? Ive also wondered about the bread…poor duck.

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