Like "The King's New Clothes
," this Frank Loesser composition appears in the 1952 adaptation Hans Christian Andersen
; the song - sung herein by Danny Kaye as Andersen - is faithful to the original story, which was first published, in Danish, in November 1843, as Den Grimme Aelling
Although a children's story in spite of the obvious moral at its heart, at least one Andersen biographer has suggested that it is rooted in personal experience, the man himself was a tall, ugly boy with a big nose and big feet, and suffered all too typical childhood cruelties on account of this. Although no one could ever have called Andersen a handsome man, it is a truism that just as beauty is only skin deep, so too does true beauty lie within; Andersen's beauty is of course his literary legacy, which has been translated into all the world's major languages and both entertained and educated successive generations.