‘Migration’ plucks up some fowl fun but never quite takes off

This holiday season, Illumination invites you to take flight into the thrill of the unknown with a funny, feathered family vacation like no other in the action-packed new original comedy, Migration.

“Migration” features a family of ducks braving a trip to Jamaica.Illumination Entertainment & Universal PicturesCNN — 

Turning “The White Lotus” creator Mike White loose on an animated movie from the “Minions” gang might have seemed fraught with irreverent potential, but the result, “Migration,” follows a familiar, not-particularly-inspired flight plan. About the best one can say about this mildly fun film is that it runs a brisk 80-something minutes, meaning parents can take the kids and have time left over for other holiday errands.

Older kids have likely glommed onto the scene in the teaser in which one of the young ducks objects to, er, doing her business while flying, forcing everyone to land and wait while she visits the woods. A bit more of that, frankly, would have gone a long way toward giving “Migration” an edge that the movie otherwise lacks.

The premise involves a protective mallard, Mack (Kumail Nanjiani), who has found a quiet little pond where his wife Pam (Elizabeth Banks) and two kids can live, safe from the predators that he describes in the terrible bedtime stories that he tells, which always seem to end with some poor duck dying.

When a flock of ducks land in their pond and announce that they are migrating to Jamaica, Mack is conflicted about undertaking such a perilous journey, but ultimately bows to pressure from the rest of the family.

With that, let the episodic adventures begin, which bring the family into contact with an assortment of birds, including pigeons, parrots and herons (oh my). They also make it to the big city where they encounter a chef famous for his fowl preparations, serving as the rather awkward and unconvincing villain to a piece that otherwise flits from one perilous situation to the next.

Ad Feedback

Directed by Benjamin Renner, who shares story credit with White, the film features some appropriately soaring animation and a cast punctuated by comic personalities, including Awkwafina, Danny DeVIto and Keegan-Michael Key.

Ultimately, though, “Migration” serves up a rather tired lesson about the need to take chances, embrace life and let go of your kids enough to see the world, whatever risks that might entail.

Illumination has had its share of success with anthropomorphic animals, and in a year where mainstream animated films like Disney’s “Wish” haven’t conjured much magic, this might work as an amiable take-the-kids alternative. But for a movie in which the central characters occasionally https://tawkapinew.com have reason to lament how delicious they are, it’s simply not as tasty as it could be.

“Migration” premieres December 22 in US theaters. It’s rated PG.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *