Originality flies the coop in this family-friendly computer-animated adventure from the flock at Illumination, who previously hatched Minions and The Secret Life Of Pets.
A baby duckling borrows her wide-eyed cuteness from supervillain Gru’s youngest adopted daughter Agnes in Despicable Me, aerial acrobatics above a fluffy cloud line glide in the slipstream of How To Train Your Dragon, and a menacing chef mimics the fowl play of Aardman’s stop-motion farmer Mrs Tweedy in Chicken Run.
Regardless, director Benjamin Renner and co-director Guylo Homsy deliver predictable, feelgood fun in the company of scaredy-duck Mack Mallard (voiced by Kumail Nanjiani), who frustrates his quick-witted wife Pam (Elizabeth Banks) by refusing to stray from Moose Head Pond in leafy New England.
“I don’t want to miss out on life because you are afraid to leave this pond,” she warns him. To save the marriage (and provide the film with a defined narrative structure), Mack spontaneously agrees to migrate south to Jamaica with the family including children Dax (Caspar Jennings) and Gwen (Tresi Gazal) and curmudgeonly uncle Dan (Danny DeVito).
Colourful visuals soar but the sparkling ensemble cast coasts along on autopilot for most of the 91-minute flight with scant dramatic turbulence to ruffle our feathers.