Review: ‘Migration’ Soars as Illumination’s Finest Film Yet

Migration Movie: Everything to Know About The Illumination Film | NBC  Insider

“Migration Review: A Feathered Family Adventure Soars to New Heights in the World of Animation”

As a film critic, I usually steer clear of Illumination productions, considering their track record of mediocrity. However, Migration surprised me by emerging as the studio’s best offering yet. Departing from their usual formula of sequels and familiar IPs, this film takes audiences on a delightful journey alongside a family of ducks traveling to Jamaica for a vacation. Despite its seemingly simple premise, Migration manages to deliver a refreshing and thoroughly entertaining experience.

Anxiety-ridden duck patriarch Mack, voiced by Kumail Nanjiani, lives a content life in his New England pond with his spirited wife Pam (Elizabeth Banks), adventurous son Dax (Caspar Jennings), and innocent daughter Gwen (Tresi Gazal). When they encounter another duck family migrating to Jamaica, Mack initially resists the idea of leaving their comfort zone. However, with some persuasion from his eccentric Uncle Dan (Danny DeVito), Mack decides to embark on the adventure of a lifetime with his family.

What sets Migration apart is its unexpected pairing of director Benjamin Renner, known for Ernest & Celestine, and screenwriter Mike White, creator of The White Lotus. Together, they craft a story that defies the typical tropes of Western animation, eschewing pop culture references and celebrity voice casting in favor of a more genuine and heartfelt narrative. Renner’s direction emphasizes the grandeur of the Mallard family’s journey, capturing breathtaking aerial sequences and stunning vistas with impressive detail.

Migration' review: Illumination's latest animated film a bumpy flight | The  Seattle Times

The film’s animation style reflects Renner’s signature aesthetic, featuring expressive character designs and Looney Tunes-inspired slapstick humor. From Mack’s anxious antics to Pam’s spirited enthusiasm, the Mallard family’s dynamic is both endearing and relatable. The supporting cast, including Keegan-Michael Key as the charming parrot Delroy, adds depth and humor to the story.

While Migration follows a simple plot trajectory, it excels in its execution, delivering laughs and heartwarming moments in equal measure. The film’s antagonist, a silent chef determined to cook the ducks, serves as a formidable yet comical foil to the Mallard family’s antics.

Overall, Migration stands out as a beacon of originality and creativity in Illumination’s catalog. Despite its familiarity, the film manages to surprise and delight audiences with its charm and wit. It may not revolutionize the world of animation, but it certainly proves that there’s still magic to be found in the skies.

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