REVIEW: Life lessons and laughs let ‘Migration’ soar

From the producers of the infamous children’s film “Minions,” Illumination expands viewer’s horizons with “Migration.” 

Mack Mallard, the film’s father duck, is a firm believer in never leaving their pond since it is the only place that is safe. He melodramatically tells his ducklings a bedtime story describing the awaited horrors of leaving the pond.  

The day following a flock landed in the pond to rest, and Mack’s ducklings took an interest. They learn of the flock’s adventures and experiences but also that they are headed to the beautifully described Jamacia. The ducklings, Dax and Gwen, make it their mission to go too.  

Both ducklings express their wish for change and Mack’s wife, Pam agrees. They plead with Mack, but he is conflicted with their desires and his adventure-loathing beliefs.  

After, he turns to his Uncle Dan, who agrees with him. Their beliefs aligning, and his love for his family stirred up enough motivation in him to migrate. He succumbs to his family's wishes, and they begin their first adventure.  

When the feathered family of five embark on their journey to Jamacia, they face some unexpected events. Even with encountering major setbacks, the Mallards persevere. 

They lose sight of their path but get the opportunity to see new sights like New York City and a too-good-to-be-true oasis retreat for birds. The Mallards meet new friends along the way like the frowned-upon pigeon clan and their leader Chump.  

With that, they also meet their new enemy ‘The Chef’ who holds a parrot called Delory captive. The family endeavors Delory as an honorable guide to their destination. 

These twists encourage them to broaden their perspectives, open themselves to new confidants, and exceed their expectations. The journey allowed them to become more insightful into themselves and one another.  

Seeing the film this past year, a week after its release on Dec. 22, I did not hear or see much circulating about it. I was puzzled afterward because this film was exceptionally executed, especially since it stars popular voices like Awkwafina, Danny DeVito, Carol Cane and Elizabeth Banks, and rising voices like Casper Jennings, Kumail Ali Nanjiani and Trasi Gazal. 

Like Mack, many of us find comfort in the safety of our everyday surroundings and it can be fearful to venture out of them. I resonated with this because of my brother’s desire to keep everything the same when I crave change.  

What I have learned was reinforced by the message of “Migration” — at times we need a push from those in our lives to experience anew. This push can lead to so much more than we ever expected. The push Mack’s family gives him and the push I give my brother, generate the opportunity to develop new enjoyable experiences.  

The kid-like appeal of “Migration” appeases the majority, but the lessons taught throughout the duration along with the humor and action-filled fun, make it stand out among children’s films. I can confidently say that the film is family-friendly and encapsulates a motivational atmosphere. 

The film leaves room for more, the future will tell how far the Mallards will expand our horizons.