Migration Review

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For Lumination, however, Migration is just another case. Following a series of films that seemed to have been tailored solely toward box office success such as the Minions franchise which has been generating revenue for many years and the recent version of The Super Mario Bros.Movies, this animation studio has produced its first fully original film in last seven years; it can best be described as being filmmaker-driven.

But that does not make much sense either. Although Migration does start with a strong introduction including a sumptuous prologue done in traditional 2D animation style that reflects the French background of director Benjamin Renner and one almost wishes this was what continued through the whole story instead of reverting back to Illumination’s CGI house style in telling a story about a family of ducks learning things. This does not mean though that there is no artistic value or creativity here (an impressive flying scene over sun-lit clouds or how an OZ-like New York appears through fog). However, maybe this studio is too giant to allow anything unique; otherwise, it would have been simply: “This movie sucks!” It turns out, on the other hand, to be quite a sweet and simple kid picture – easy without being good enough.

Mike White’s script barely contains any sharpness from his work for The White Lotus. (There are sadly no equivalents to ‘these gays want to kill me’.) Mostly though it seems all so familiar: clear nods at American family comedies like National Lampoon’s Vacation (some jokes about stopping off on long car journeys for a pee or bird equivalent). Some parts even look like lesser approximations of previous bird animated attempts right from The Boy And The Heron up until Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget.

It also gets enlivened by some amusing voice work. Daddy Duck played by Kumail Nanjiani and Mummy Duck played by Elizabeth Banks both give reliable performances. David Mitchell, playing Googoo a yoga teaching duck is cast against type. Any scene immediately improves when Danny DeVito as Uncle Dan enters it. Tresi Gazal’s adorable new chick Gwen almost steals the entire movie.

On the other hand, the film’s antagonist – The Chef (Jason Marin) – is disappointing: mostly silent, grunting, beefcake Salt Bae-type despite having some hilariously exaggerated character design there is very little to his personality or even motive apart from chasing ducks in a helicopter via his insatiable bloodlust for them; this goes too far for kids. (Do they not have meat shops in New York?)

It’s all okay and that’s it. It will bring in all the money expected of it. However, Migration suffers from its adherence to well-known studio conventions toward its end where with no explanation whatsoever all characters are dancing together as if they are performing a season-ending ritual which has become part of company policy as seen before and therefore does not make any sense at all – these pills should only be taken under medical prescription.”

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