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The Catalyst

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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Mallard migration

The story of adventure, friendship and family
Migration was released by Illumination Studios on Dec. 22, 2023.
Migration was released by Illumination Studios on Dec. 22, 2023.

Almost everyone knows about the annual waterfowl migration across North America, but few truly know how marvelous it is. Universal Studios presents the movie “Migration”, an animated film that follows a family of Mallards who take part in the migration and the troubles, memories, and hardships they face along the way.

The film shows a happy family of mallards living in their pond in North New England. The ducks have everything they could imagine at the pond, from food, family, water and a cozy and safe home. Mack (Kumail Nanjiani) the dad duck likes the pond a lot and doesn’t feel any need to leave the pond for any reason. Pam (Elizabeth Banks) is the mother duck and likes the pond, but she wants to travel the world and have fun. Dax (Caspar Jennings) is the son of Mack and Pam, he is also very adventurous and is tired of spending his entire life at the pond. Gwen (Tresi Gazal) is the daughter of Mack and Pam and is the opposite of Dax, she doesn’t want to leave the pond and is very scared of the outside world.

The film starts with Mack telling Dax and Gwen a scary story about how two little ducklings wandered off from the safety of the pond and a heron attacked them, Pam then butts in and tells them that the story isn’t true. Everyone then goes to bed and wakes up the next morning and begins to start their day. I liked these opening scenes because it helps the audience get to know the characters and their emotions. 

Out of nowhere, a group of migrating ducks flies into the pond. The mallards are all very impressed with these new ducks and Dax talks to them. Dax meets a duck named Kim (Isabela Merced), a migration duck, and she and her family are headed south to Jamaica. The migration family asks the Mallards to go with them, but Mack is stubborn and tells them they don’t want to go. This part in the film shows truly how stubborn Mack is and it is a key scene for the audience to better understand his character. 

After much convincing, Pam finally convinces Mack to let the family go on a migration like all of the other waterfowl. So the family of mallards sets out on a journey from their pond. I like this part of the film because it shows Pam, the opposite of Mack, and she is sick and tired of the pond and wants to see the world. 

The mallards begin their migration journey, they begin to discover the world beyond the pond, and all of a sudden while the journey is going well a big thunderstorm hits the family. They then take cover under a fishing dock. A heron discovers the mallards and forces them into her house.  After a long and fear-filled night, the Mallards manage to get away alive and start their journey again. I don’t like this scene because it doesn’t add anything to the story and just seems like a forced scene.

All of a sudden when the mallards are flying, they begin to see tall objects above the clouds and all of them are very confused and don’t know what is going on. The Mallards decide to go down below the clouds and discover that they are in New York City. Eventually, they find a safe place to land and see a sandwich that they could share for lunch. This is one of my favorite parts of the movie because it changes the scenery from forest and wilderness to city.

The Mallards begin to eat their lunch, but right as they start to split up the sandwich they hear a very loud voice. From where they heard the loud voice, a pigeon emerged. The Pigeon introduces herself and her name is Chump (Awkwafina). Chump tells the Mallards that they need to split the sandwich with her and her pigeons because they run and own the park. The Mallards agree and split the sandwich. While they are eating the sandwich the Mallards tell Chump how they plan on heading south to Jamaica for the winter. Chump hears this and tells them that she has a friend named Delroy (Keegan-Michael Key) who is from Jamaica and knows how to get there. Chump takes the Mallards to Delroy, who is a red macaw and he is locked up in a cage in a restaurant. This is a key scene in the movie because if the mallards can’t get Delroy free they will never complete their journey of migration.

After lots of planning and scheming, Chump and Mack decide to grab the key from the chef to free Delroy. Mack goes into the kitchen and grabs the key from the chef. This is another scene in the movie where Mack reveals another of his characteristics and the audience can see that he is much more than a stubborn-washed-up Mallard. Mack frees Delroy, but the chef shows up and almost kills all of the birds. After the birds escape, Chump tells the others that she needs to stay in New York to watch over the pigeons. The rest of the birds fly away from New York City with Delroy leading the way to Jamaica.

The birds fly for a few days and meet some new friends of Snow geese and swans. The birds settle down for a little bit and while they begin to doze off the chef’s helicopter shows up and captures Delroy and Mack. The other Mallards and birds break into his helicopter and find a way to tie up the chef and free Delroy and Mack. After this scene, the chef never makes an appearance again, but I would say he is the movie’s main villain and plays a key role in trying to prevent the migration.

The Mallards, Delroy, and the snow geese eventually make it to Jamaica and decide to spend the rest of the winter there, until they have to fly back in the spring. I enjoyed this movie because of the plot and how the characters developed throughout the movie the voice actors played their roles well. This movie wasn’t as amazing as I expected, but some good scenes helped the movie. If you have little siblings or just like waterfowl or birds, I recommend seeing this movie before it leaves theaters.


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About the Contributor
Wyatt Carmichael
Wyatt Carmichael, Staff Reporter
Wyatt is a junior at Millard West and beginning his first year on the CATalyst staff. In his free time Carmichael likes to create sports videography and photography and spend time outdoors with family and friends by fishing, hiking, riding bikes and waterfowl hunting. Wyatt loves spending time watching high school, college and professional sports. Whenever Wyatt is watching sports he enjoys cheering on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Kansas City Chiefs.

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