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If you want to spend ninety fun and entertaining minutes in a joyfully animated, colourful world Migration is just the ticket for you, even if the film lacks the originality to be more than a trifle.

From the film’s gorgeously animated opening cautionary tale sequence to the postcard snapshots in the end credits, Migration paints a bird-centric world you’d happily spend days in.

The movie is funny, contains relatable characters and has a sweet – if simple – message about breaking free from convention. Still, I wanted to like this picture about a family of never-migrated ducks who set off a trip to Jamaica, a lot more than I actually did. So where’s rub?

To begin with, this is a tale that has been told many times over and thus contains very little narrative surprises. After a solid first half hour you start to realise that the plot is stretched far too thin to sustain a feature film. The various set-pieces might be breezily entertaining (an ambiguously scary night in the company of herons is a particular highlight), they also more often than not bring the story to a screeching halt.

Another misfire, as far as I’m concerned, is the big villain that pops up halfway through. He seems to be a castaway from Illumination’s Despicable Me films rather than a character suited to this particular tale and has a detrimental effect on the overall tone and style of Migration.

So while I enjoyed the film as a slice of fun family entertainment, the filmmakers don’t follow the advice that meanders throughout Migration: they choose safety instead of adventure.

release: 2023

director: Benjamin Renner

starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Tresi Gazal, Elizabeth Banks, Caspar Jennings


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