Migration a Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment Film is Great Entertainment

I have been watching the trailer for Migration for quite a while now, and one sentence stands out when the ducks are standing in a kitchen for the first time. I remember it, like it, and now I know it is catchy as some friends also repeat what the chef is cooking. Other scenes are humorous, and I do not doubt that this will be a family favorite starting this holiday season and well into the future. Some adults may consider it somewhat predictable, but with the excellent voice cast of actors, I did not focus on that – I was too busy laughing. I am glad to see how the family worked together on their travels, as things were challenging.

Directed by Benjamin Renner (Ernest et Célestine), co-directed by Guylo Homsy, and written by Mike White (“The White Lotus,” Despicable Me 4), based on a story conceived by White and Renner. Christopher Meledandri (Illumination, creators of the blockbuster Minions, Despicable Me, Sing, and The Secret Life of Pets comedies), is the producer that has had success appealing to kids and families of all ages, not only with comedy but the action that keeps the audience fully engaged.

Mack (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick) is an overprotective mallard father who has never left the pond with his family to migrate south. He is content with where they live and doesn’t long for adventure, as does his mallard wife, Pam (voiced by Elizabeth Banks, Pitch Perfect). This season, another flock of ducks dropped by their pond on their migration journey toward Jamaica. When their children, Dax (Casper Jennings, Sing 1 and 2) and Gwen (Tresi Gazal), hear about this adventure, they make it their mission to get the adult mallards to go on the trip, including Uncle Dan (voiced by Danny DeVito), their granduncle (Mack’s adventure-averse uncle). Sweet little Gwen pulls out all the charm needed for Uncle Dan to dust himself off for the trip.

As seen in the trailer, the trip is fine until they find out they may have headed in the wrong direction – in New York City – and don’t know what to make of the big city. Somewhat lost and hungry, Uncle Dan lands in an area where food is available, but the local pigeon gang, led by Chump (voiced by Awkwafina), is not about to let him into their turf. Mack shows up to smooth things over, but that takes a while – I can’t spoil this for you. Chump softens up and agrees to lead them to meet Delroy (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key), a caged parrot with a Jamaican accent who is homesick after being held in the Manhattan restaurant by the chef (voiced by Boris Rehlinger). No one should complain there is not enough action when the mallard family and Delroy are in the process of escaping, finding other ducks who are not aware they are heading for peril (led by the yogic leader of a duck farm, Goo Goo, voiced by David Mitchell). The audience can’t help but root for all of them to get away from the farm and the chef.

Additional cast is Carol Kane in the voice of Erin, an older heron who provides the mallards a night of rest on their journey. Isabela Merced voices Kim in the film, as do other actors who lend their voice talent.
John Powell composed the score, marking his second collaboration with Illumination following The Lorax (2012). The music is marvelous and used effectively as part of the action you must see. I love the dance scenes used unexpectedly.

Rating: PG (Mild Rude Humor, Action/Peril), Runtime: 1 hour and 32 minutes

Migration will be in theaters wide release on December 22, 2023.
Source: Distributor: Universal Pictures, Production Co: Illumination Entertainment

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