Migration parents guide

Migration Parent Guide

Beautifully animated, funny, and sweet, this tale of a hapless duck and his family is the perfect choice for kids and their parents.

Overall A

Theaters: A family of ducks with an overprotective father set out on the vacation of a lifetime.

Release date December 22, 2023

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is Migration rated PG? The MPAA rated Migration PG for action/peril and mild rude humor.

Run Time: 82 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Roots or wings? All parents struggle with finding the right balance between security and independence for their kids, but for Mack, this is an existential question.

Mack (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious and cautious father of a family of ducks. He tries to convince mama duck, Pam (Elizabeth Banks), and their two children, Dax (Caspar Jennings) and Gwen (Tresi Gazal) to remain in their safe, comfortable little pond instead of following a flock of ducks who are migrating to warmer climes.

It turns out that Mack and Pam have different life goals: Mack wants to remain in his pleasant surroundings and Pam wants to explore and experience more of the world. Pam has an ace in her wing: Mack’s grumpy Uncle Dan (Danny DeVito), who’s a bit of a wreck and a confirmed homebody. Mack doesn’t want to end up like Uncle Dan. Add to this fear the pressure being put upon Mack by his children and he finally capitulates and agrees to leave home. Astonishingly, even Uncle Dan comes along.

And so the adventure begins!

The duck family fly off into the great beyond, full of hope and optimism, only to see flocks of birds flying in the opposite direction. The little family is sure they’re headed the right way, so they keep going, only to fly straight into a heavy rainstorm. While sheltering under a dock, they are confronted by an eccentric heron named Erin (brilliantly voiced by Carol Kane). Since herons have been known to eat ducklings, Mack and Pam are reluctant to trust her offer of hospitality – but this is just the beginning of their mind-broadening experiences.

The family go on to meet Chump (Awkwafina), the leader of a gang of tough pigeons in New York City; Delroy (Keegan-Michael Key), a caged and homesick Jamaican parrot; and GooGoo (David Mitchell), the leader of a yogic chicken compound. All of these new friends aid the ducks along their way, doing their best to protect them from the elements (and the city!) and from the nefarious intentions of a crazed chef intent on making them into his next culinary creation.

Parents will be pleased to note that the duck family experiences many opportunities to learn and grow and to broaden their perspectives. All five of them gain a deeper understanding of trust, courage, determination, acceptance, and love. These are sweet messages and are completely appropriate for family audiences. It should also be noted that Migration includes many adventures, dangers, and perils for the ducks which might be a bit intense for the youngest of viewers, but do make for a fast-paced exciting story.

I happened to go to a 3D showing of Migration and I’m glad I did. The stunning landscapes and the vibrant action scenes made the extra few dollars for my 3D ticket worth it. Add to that the lovely soundtrack, the well-paced and original story, the comedy and the adventure, and the beautiful life lessons in Migration, and you have a no-regrets family movie that everyone can appreciate.

Directed by Benjamin Renner, Guylo Homsy. Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Awkwafina, Elizabeth Banks. Running time: 82 minutes. Theatrical release December 22, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Migration

Rating & Content Info

Why is Migration rated PG? Migration is rated PG by the MPAA for action/peril and mild rude humor.

Violence: There are moments of mild peril and scenes of slapstick, cartoon violence.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There is some minor name-calling. 
Alcohol / Drug Use:   None.

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Migration Parents' Guide

Why does Mack finally change his mind? Have you ever been able to do something you were previously afraid to try? What gave you the courage to change your mind and make the attempt?

What do Mack and his family learn from their experiences? Have you ever done something that has made you see the world differently? What was it? What did you learn?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

For live action movies about migrating birds, you can watch Winged Migration, a documentary about the global migratory patterns of birds. In Fly Away Home, a girl finds a nest of orphaned Canada Goose eggs. She raises the chicks and uses an ultra-light aircraft to teach them to fly.

If it’s animated avian adventure you’re after, try Chicken Run, The Angry Birds Movie 2, Rio, or Chicken Little.

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