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Laramie Movie Scope: Migration

A long and winding way to comedy

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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December 27, 2023 – This animated comedy takes some time to gain any traction, but it eventually does arrive at a comic story that works, once it develops a suitable villain and a suitable hero.

A family of mallard ducks at first resists migration from Moosehead Pond in New England because the father, Mack doesn't like the risk. This idea is very similar to another animated film, “The Croods” where the father doesn't want to venture into the wider world he fears.

Eventually, however, Mack changes his mind, and the family, including Mack's weird Uncle Dan, Mack's adventurous wife, Pam, and their kids Dax and Gwen all take off for winter in Jamaica, but Mack's guidance system is off and they wind up in New York City. There, they end up in a fight over a subway sandwich with a tough pack of pigeons, led by the diminutive Chump.

The Mallards encounter some stressful adventures with a couple of great blue herons and a deadly chef who wants to cook the ducks. The fearful Mack suddenly becomes brave and decides to free Delroy, a homesick scarlet macaw who is being held in a cage by the chef. Delroy was born in Jamaica and would be happy to guide the ducks there.

The birds headed for Jamaica also run across a duck farm which is very similar to the chicken farm in “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.” Happy ducks there are lured into a false sense of security, not realizing they are headed to the slaughter. Fortunately, Dax spots the danger in the nick of time.

More adventure awaits the increasingly large host of ducks headed to Jamaica. The chef doesn't give up easily and hunts them down with a helicopter. The ducks need all their strength, courage and cunning to survive the increasingly angry and frustrated chef. The film's artwork is solid and there is an explosion of color later in the movie.

Voices are provided by the ever busy Awkwafina (Chump) Danny DeVito (Dan) and Carol Kane (Erin). Others voicing characters in the movie are Kumail Nanjiani (Mack) Elizabeth Banks (Pam) Keegan-Michael Key (Delroy) Tresi Gazal (Gwen) Caspar Jennings (Dax) David Mitchell (GooGoo, an American Pekin who is a leader at the duck farm) and Isabela Merced (Kim, Dax's love interest, who is also headed to Jamaica with her family). It rates a C+.

This relentlessly promoted holiday movie is directed by Benjamin Renner and Guylo Homsy. It is written by Mike White and Benjamin Renner and is a production of Universal and Illumination Entertainment (“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and the “Sing” movies). A short feature, “Mooned,” is included in the theatrical release, featuring characters (minions and Vector, voiced by Jason Segel) from another Illumination feature, “Despicable Me.”

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2023 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]