At The Movies With Josh: Migration

There are a handful of comedic actors that always make me laugh just by hearing their voice. One of them is Kumail Nanjiani; so hearing him as the father of a family of ducks was perfect casting. His family all wants to go to Jamaica, after they run into another flock of birds migrating there. He goes on about all the dangers they could face. After all, they’re perfectly safe in their New England pond. 

Dad has been telling the ducklings bedtime stories that always end in their being eaten by various other animals (to keep them on the straight and narrow). One of those stories involves being eaten by Herons, so it’s a humorous scene when they run into a pair of them (again voiced by someone  whose voice always cracks me up – Carol Kane). They decide to make the flight to Jamaica, but end up in New York City.

One of the actors wasted was Danny DeVito (nice to see him re-teamed with “Taxi” co-star Kane again). He plays the cranky uncle, who joins them on their flight.

The rest of the voice-actors are Elizabeth Banks, David Mitchell, and two of the funniest people in movies today – Keegan-Michael Key and Awkwafina (yet after hearing her as a seabird in “The Little Mermaid” singing “Scuttlebutt” I was expecting a bit more in this part as a bird).

This movie was made by the animation studio “Illumination” whose debut feature was “Despicable Me” in 2010 (this film also includes a short involving minions, which was absolutely horrible). This is the best movie that studio has done. 

The animation is lush and beautiful. The water, forests, and other locations are colorful. All the backgrounds are fun to look at.

The story is a bit weak, though. And it needed a few more laughs. One laugh out loud moment for me is, after a crazy chef is after them (since he serves duck), the parents are captured and one of the ducklings cries, yelling up to the sky “Why do we have to be so delicious?!!”

There’s another scene with ducks doing yoga that’s very amusing.

It just feels like an overly familiar road picture, but it’s the perfect film for families this holiday. In fact, at the screening, the 8 to 13-year-olds in the audience were having a blast with it.

One other thing I’d like to point out is a lovely score provided by John Powell.

This gets 2 ½ stars out of 5 from me, but I’m sure 10-year-olds would give it 4 stars.

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