film reel image

film reel image

Friday, December 29, 2023

Migration 2023 * * * Stars


"I don't want to miss out on life because you're afraid to leave this pond". You tell 'em mother Pam. Got to fly with the angels or in this case, fly with the other birdies. 

So OK, a family of four mallards decide to take a chance and go south for the winter. This is something they've never done before as they are afraid to leave their commonplace comfort zone. That's the rub to 2023's Migration and well, its title says it all. What, you think "Transhumance" would've sounded better? Hooey. 

Anyway, Migration is a road trip flick, a Tom and Jerry-like slapstick-er, a merited animated fluff-er, and a slight, black comedy farce brought to you by those guys from the always reliable Illumination. Starring the voices of Elizabeth Banks, Carol Kane, and Keegan-Michael Kay, Migration might be a little too intense for the 4-6-year-old-s or the easily flustered (hence the PG-rating over the G). I mean there's an evil character named "the chef" who wants to slice up duckling personas and have them for din-din (ouch). Oh well. Adults and teenagers won't be bored by Migration's tolerant storytelling, its haphazard editing, and its tight running time (83 minutes). "I want us to get out and see the world". Indeed. 

Feverishly directed by Frenchman Benjamin Renner and distributed by Universal Pictures, Migration won't reinvent the wheel in terms of electronic imagery but it's still goofy, balls-out fun for anyone hitting the theaters during the silly season. Disjointed but still supplied with a sort of wound up energy, Migration also gives helmer Renner the chance to provide animation with a solid sense of three-dimensional space and jungle-like, following tracking shots. Add a hazy, sunny look, likable duck types, mild absurdness, and lovable high jinks via the journey from New England to Jamaica and you've got something recommendable. "Paradise diaspora". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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