Why comedians Awkwafina and Kumail Nanjiani flock to Migration, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Why comedians Awkwafina and Kumail Nanjiani flock to Migration

Why do so many top Hollywood actors love doing voice work for animation?

The cast of Migration, a new animated comedy opening in Singapore cinemas on Dec 28, offers some reasons.

The movie follows the Mallards, a family of wild ducks, as they go on an epic adventure after deciding to migrate from New England to Jamaica.

And it features the voices of comedy stars such as Kumail Nanjiani as Mack Mallard, the anxious father duck who would prefer the family stayed home, and Elizabeth Banks as his more adventurous wife Pam.

Awkwafina voices Chump, the scrappy pigeon the Mallards encounter in New York, and Keegan-Michael Key is her homesick Jamaican parrot friend Delroy.

At a recent screening of Migration in Los Angeles, the actors explain why they each signed on to this family-friendly film, a story about overcoming fears and broadening one’s horizons.

Awkwafina, 35, instantly related to her character – “a pigeon with attitude” – as a fellow New Yorker.

“I like voice work because you literally don’t have to wear (anything). You just come in with, like, one Croc on and you’re good,” jokes the comedienne.

The animators Illumination also managed to weave in some aspects of the actors’ appearances and personalities into the characters.

“The animation is insane. The pigeon has my eyelashes. The way they work (you) into the character is always really cool,” Awkwafina says.

“And when I heard about this story, I thought it was beautiful. It’s this really cool metaphor and I love that there’s a family aspect and they have different stops along the way.”

Nanjiani, 45, appreciates the fact that Migration is truly something the whole family can watch together.

“So many of the other movies coming out aren’t for everyone. Sometimes, something awkward happens on-screen and you have to avoid your parents’ eyes all day,” says the Pakistan-born American actor, who starred in and received a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for the romantic comedy The Big Sick (2017).

“Not in this movie. Grown-ups will connect with it, too, because it’s really about family and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

“I genuinely think it’s one of the best-looking movies of all time,” he adds.

“It’s very different from acting on-screen because you can really change your performance months later. The movie keeps adjusting and your performance keeps adjusting.”

With live action, this would be much harder, if not impossible. “A couple of weeks later, you wish you could go back and change it, but you can’t.

“With this, you really can, and you discover your character over months. You always have the freedom to go back and adjust something.

“So for an overthinker like me, it’s paradise,” Nanjiani says.