MIGRATION

★★★

ILLUMINATION TAKES FLIGHT

BOXING DAY REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
24th December 2023

In only 13 years, Illumination has taken charge in the animation field, with box office success after box office success. They have developed the 'Despicable Me', 'Sing' and 'The Secret Life of Pets' franchises, and this year with 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' have only further cemented their brand against animation titans like Pixar and DreamWorks - and in recent years, have even overtaken them. This holiday season, they're creating a new IP with 'Migration'.

The Mallard family, Mack (Kumail Nanjiani, 'Eternals', 'The Big Sick'), Pam (Elizabeth Banks, 'The LEGO Movie', 'Power Rangers'), Dax (Caspar Jennings, 'Operation Mincemeat', 'Sing') and Gwen (Tresi Gazal, in her debut) are a flock of ducks who don't migrate. They have never left the pond they live in and choose to stay at home. When Dax falls for Kim (Isabela Merced, 'Spirit Untamed', 'Dora and the Lost City of Gold'), another duck migrating, he convinces his family to leave the pond for the first time and visit Jamaica. Along with their Uncle Dan (Danny DeVito, 'Haunted Mansion', 'Jumanji: The Next Level') they head off on the adventure of a lifetime, running into a cast of characters like New York pigeon Chump (Awkwafina, 'The Little Mermaid', 'The Bad Guys'), homesick macaw Delroy (Keegan-Michael Key, 'Wonka', 'The Prom'), and Pekin yoga instructor Googoo (David Mitchell, 'Greed', TV's 'Peep Show').

SWITCH: 'MIGRATION' TRAILER 3

'Migration' feels more like a glorified animation test. It's one of Illumination's best-looking works after the stunning job they did in 'Mario' earlier this year, but outside of the animation there isn't much to grab onto. Plot-wise, it's just a road trip movie with a dash of 'Chicken Run'; it strings together as series of vignettes that never amount to much. The characters move from one location to another without much growth or reason.

It's one of Illumination's best-looking works after the stunning job they did in 'Mario' earlier this year, but outside of the animation there isn't much to grab onto.

'Migration' isn't going to be the next big Illumination franchise - it feels more like 'The Good Dinosaur', an animation test padded with plot points that we've seen in every family film before. The voice cast is fine but not enough to elevate this film. As far as summer family flicks go you could see worse, you could see better, but 'Migration' is truly right in the middle.

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