CinemaCon: Illumination Announces Star-Studded Cast for Migration Movie

Big names are migrating to Illumination. The Super Mario Bros. Movie studio has announced the star-studded voice cast for new original animated movie Migration, which debuted its first footage in front of Illumination and Nintendo’s blockbuster Mario movie earlier this month. Heading for theaters this Christmas, Migration is about a family of ducks who convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime as they attempt to migrate from New England, through New York City, and ultimately down to the Bahamas. On Wednesday, Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri revealed the voice cast during Universal Pictures’ slate presentation at CinemaCon in Las Vegas:

Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Marvel’s Eternals) will voice anxious duck dad Mack opposite Elizabeth Banks (Spider-Man, The Hunger Games) as the duck family’s daring and quick-witted matriarch. Also on board are Caspar Jennings (Illumination’s Sing) and newcomer Tresi Gazal as siblings Dax and Gwen.

Rounding out the cast are Awkwafina (Shang-Chi, Disney’s The Little Mermaid) as the leader of a NYC pigeon gang, Carol Kane (Taxi, Hester Street) as the friendly Erin the heron, Keegan-Michael Key (Toy Story 4, The Super Mario Bros. Movie) as a homesick Jamaican parrot, David Mitchell (Peep Show, Upstart Crow) as the yogic leader of a duck farm, and Danny DeVito (Hercules, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Mack’s adventure-averse Uncle Dan.

In new footage screened at CinemaCon: “Ducks are seen migrating with a family of ducks looking on from a lake. The father is afraid to leave the pond and happily stays there. The mother is ready to see the rest of the world. Together, they head out and fly to the rest of the world. It looks to be an uplifting comedy until they fly into a city where the looming skyline startles the family and leaves them confused and lost.”

“The film is very beautiful and has a painterly quality that is quite different from anything we’ve done at Illumination,” Meledandri told Variety about the original story written by The White Lotus creator Mike White. “The story is told with humor and heart. It’s a remarkably human story with characters who are very relatable and end up wrestling with issues that we all understand, even though they are ducks. And their qualities as ducks are incredibly well executed, from the smallest detail on a feather to their movements and their flight. So it’s a movie that transports you into this world up in the sky, but at the same time it’s very true to who we are.”

Illumination’s Migration opens in theaters December 22nd.