Breaking News
  • April 265/7-5/8: Senior Exams
  • April 265/10: No School
  • April 265/13: Graduation
  • April 265/27: No School
  • April 266/3-6/5: Half Days for Exams
The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Illumination’s latest film, Migration, is the perfect family movie for those seeking something fun-spirited and lively

The Movie Database
One of the movie posters for this Illumination film depicting the lovable Mallard family.

It is not every day that one would correlate a children’s movie with a dull topic learned about in science class.

A movie named Migration does not necessarily spur thoughts of excitement. When reading the title of Illumination’s latest film, I certainly did not have high expectations as to how exciting it would be. Unlike the migration taught in school, however, this film was anything but mundane. 

Released in the wake of the holiday season on Dec. 22, the film Migration follows a family of ducks called the Mallards and—corresponding to the title—their migration. The father, Mack Mallard, is the film’s main protagonist. His cautious and overprotective demeanor drives him to keep his family secluded from life outside of the pond where they reside. The rest of the Mallards—Mack’s wife, Pam, and his two children, Dax and Gwen—begin to grow restless and long to see the world beyond their home. When the Mallards are presented with the opportunity to migrate to Jamaica for a much-needed escape, they take it. But when the Mallards accidentally find themselves amidst the chaos of New York City, they must navigate the ins and outs of the city before they get separated forever. 

The film most notably features actor Kumail Nanjiani as Mack Mallard, who is known for his roles in HBO’s comedy series Silicon Valley and Marvel’s Eternals. Alongside Kumail is Hunger Games star, Elizabeth Banks, who portrays Pam Mallard. Between the frantic yet valiant Mack and the lively, fun-loving Pam, the two characters bring a dynamic to the movie that not only emphasizes the fun, family-oriented themes but brings humor to the movie that all ages can appreciate. Along with the performances of the two main protagonists, the rest of the cast additionally brings a passion to the film with their animated voice acting. 

The comical brother and sister duo of the Mallard children is made complete by the spirited, vibrant voice acting of their portrayers. The film also features a notable feature from comedienne and actress Awkwafina, who plays a sassy New York pigeon by the name of “Chump,” and actor Keegan-Michael Key who voices the homesick Macaw named Delroy. 

Despite the big names included in this film, both the executions of their characters were conveyed perfectly with skill. A noteworthy contrast would be to the classic Pixar cartoon, Cars. While the film is certainly incredible, it is evident that Owen Wilson—the voice behind the main character, Lightning McQueen—is not a voice actor. He did little to add to the personality of McQueen, who is already a bland character as a whole. Wilson’s recognizable voice carried his performance rather than his talent. In Migration, however, the voice actors all possessed an energy that elevated the personality and depth of their characters rather than making them seem shallow.

In Migration, however, the voice actors all possessed an energy that elevated the personality and depth of their characters rather than making them seem shallow.

The plot, however, felt somewhat recycled. The story line of getting lost in the big city is overused, and implementing a new element to the story to differentiate it from similar films would have helped it to reach a whole new potential. Oftentimes, it was very easy to predict what would happen next, lacking a certain surprise that might leave viewers feeling a little more satisfied when the film ended. 

On the other hand, the amusing writing was like a breath of fresh air. While it is easy to make a movie targeted towards children feel cringe or awkward, this script has elements that appeal to people of all ages. The witty, comical humor and conversation between everyone in the family provided a much-needed passion that not only elevated the nature of their characters but brought an engaging vivacity to what was a somewhat unoriginal plot. 

Coming into the movie expecting an experience closer to that of sitting in biology reading about the seasonal movement of animals from one place to another, it is safe to say that Migration exceeded my expectations and was, without a doubt, an enthralling, enjoyable experience to watch. 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Kathryn Campbell
Kathryn Campbell, Staff Writer

Kathryn Campbell is a freshman entering her first year on The Central Trend. When she’s not at school, you can find her playing competitive ice hockey for Fox Motors Hockey Club. She has just completed her 6th year playing travel soccer and hopes to compete for the high school this spring. Her other hobbies include listening to music, writing, and hanging out with her friends. She is very enthusiastic about her next four years of high school and plans to make as many memories as she can. She is especially excited about all that awaits her in room 139.

Her favorite album: SOS by SZA Her lucky number: 4 Her go-to animated movie: Hercules Her favorite holiday: Christmas  

Comments (0)

All The Central Trend Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *