Certificate: U

Voices of: Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Danny DeVito, Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key

Release date: 2024

4 out of 5


Brightly animated to a high standard, this silly adventure benefits from an unusually strong script by Mike White (creator of The White Lotus TV series). While the plot itself never strays from the usual formula, especially as the action is ramped up in the second half, the characters and dialogue are consistently witty and engaging. This makes the movie surprisingly involving for a rather corny odyssey about a migrating family of cute ducks.

These mallards have never left the safety of their picturesque pond, largely because dad Mack (Nanjiani) is terrified of everything. But brave mum Pat (Banks) likes the idea of wintering in Jamaica, as do their sparky kids. So they take to the skies with their goofy uncle Dan (DeVito) and have a series of outrageous escapades as they travel south. This includes an unplanned visit to a very bustling New York City, where a scrappy pigeon (Awkwafina) helps them free a caged Jamaican macaw (Key) who can guide them on their journey.

The plot kicks into gear during this escape sequence, as our heroes take on a celebrity duck-roasting chef who becomes dead set on revenge, setting in motion a series of high-octane thriller-style set pieces. These sequences are expertly animated with a terrific attention to detail, and the whole film has eye-catching colours and textures that look gorgeous on a big screen, especially in the Jamaican epilogue. Meanwhile, little kids will enjoy the adorable and ridiculously funny characters.

There are some deeper themes gurgling under the surface, but the screenplay wisely leaves them there, never preaching while quietly making points about overcoming fear, and spreading your wings. Instead the film’s most surprising strength is in its depiction of the relationships between these family members and their new friends. And the hilarious characters, situations and dialogue will make this a film worth revisiting.

Is Migration suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

There’s a bit of salty humour here and there, but it never turns rude. And while the action scenes get rather violent, it’s always clear that no harm will come to any of the characters.

It’s more thrilling than scary, with comical touches to release the tension.

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