Migration (2023) 4K Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Danny DeVito shines as Uncle Dan in Migration, delivering a standout performance in this animated adventure.

At some point, everyone needs to grow up, leave the nest, and get out on their own.  Of course, that is one of the scariest things to do in life, and for some, it is even scarier when they need to uproot every six months to go to warmer climates.  No, I am not talking about the retired people who leave the frigid cold of Canada and the Northeast states to temporarily move to Florida until April but the annual bird migration.  Each year, hundreds of thousands of birds fly to warmer climates while facing danger and peril both down south and back up again. Migration, the Illumination film that was released during the 2023 holiday season, explores some of these themes, as well as how much fun someone could have if they weren't afraid.

Mack (Kumail Nanjiani; The Big Bang Theory) has always been a homebody.  As other birds fly to warmer climates in winter, he preferred to stay north...and freeze his little tail feathers off,  However, now that he has a wife, Pam (Elizabeth Banks; The Hunger Games), and kids, Dax (Caspar Jennings; Sing) and Gwen (relative newcomer Tresi Gazal), he can't put the idea of migration off forever.  Despite his reluctance, the Mallards pack a bag and make the arduous trek to Jamaica and manage to encounter a few unsavory characters along the way,

Nanjiani has a distinctive voice and he was a solid choice to play Mack.  With his comedy background, he knows how to deliver a line to make it unintentionally funny.  Banks' voice has a calming tonal quality to it making it perfect for Pam.  Gazal is cute, and Jenning has that pre-teen boy sound that seems somewhat annoyed at everything.  The stand out in this ensemble cast though is Danny DeVito (Batman Returns) as Uncle Dan.  He is cranky and bitter and DeVito nails each line perfectly.  

The best part of this 4K release is, by far, the 2160p resolution.  It makes every line sharp and clean and the colors are vibrant and lush.  The blue of the other ducks who stop by the Mallards' pond on their way south is exceptional with the jewel tones popping off the screen.  The video quality alone is worth the purchase price.  

The Dolby Atmos audio is fairly strong but can't compare to the video presentation.  There are some good ambient noises and the dialogue sits front and center for crisp audio quality. However, the hustle and bustle of the major city the Mallards pass through somehow gets lost in the soundtrack and is truly a missed opportunity to add some depth.

The 4K Migration Collector's Edition has enough extras to have almost the same running time as the film itself and, while some are better than others, there are a few interesting ideas for family fun.  The Extras include: Fly Hard Mini-Movie, Mooned Mini-Movie, Midnight Mission Mini-Movie, Microphone Madness, Meet the Cast, Taking Flight: The Making Of, The Art of Flight, How to Draw, Build Your Own Pop-Up Book, Calling All Birds, and Best Nests.

When one compares the global box office returns to the budget, Migration is considered a success but considering Illumination's other animated films make 3 to 4 times the box office of Migration, one might say it is a flop..not in the traditional sense, but by the measurement set forth by movies like Despicable Me and Minions.  The story is decent but doesn't have any surprises or any hilariously funny moments that are memorable.  It's a good animated feature but not Illumination's best.

Grade: B-

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 82 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

Stream from Amazon Prime
Purchase Migration from the iTunes store.
Watch on Apple TV

For more information about Migration visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Migration images are courtesy of Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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