Danny DeVito Finds Joy in ‘Migration,’ Doing Family Films

Danny DeVito Finds Joy in ‘Migration,’ Doing Family Films December 19, 2023

In a recent interview with Reel Faith, the legendary Danny DeVito shared his enthusiasm for his latest animated venture, “Migration.” Best known for his versatile career spanning decades, from the iconic “Taxi” days to directing “Hoffa” and producing “Erin Brokovich” to his memorable roles in films like “Matilda” and “Hercules,” DeVito now brings his charm once again to the world of animation, taking on the role of Uncle Dan, a cantankerous duck.

Danny DeVito image – Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“I’m excited about ‘Migration’,” he said. “It’s like, I have had some reaction from kids already. They kind of like Uncle Dan. And that makes me happy.”

Known for his ability to connect with audiences of all ages, DeVito emphasizes the joy he derives from entertaining the younger demographic. Reflecting on his past experiences in family-friendly films, he notes, “I did ‘Hercules.’ I did ‘My Little Pony’ years ago. And I mainly did it because of my big three kids. You want to go there, and you want to see the look on that kid’s face when they’re watching. That gives you the joy.”

The actor has a fan base that spans multiple generations. DeVito acknowledges this phenomenon, stating, “I do all kinds of movies, different genres. But I do like to stay in the younger area quite a bit. Like with ‘Migration,’ I feel like I’ll wind up with kids who are just still holding on to their moms and dads’ hands. As a fan, I’m Uncle Dan, and once they meet you and hear your voice, that gives you the juice.”

What sets “Migration” apart, according to DeVito, is the creative freedom he enjoyed while voicing his character. He explains, “Yeah, there’s scripts we go off of, but I tend to go off on my own little journeys every once in a while.” The actor emphasizes the importance of working with secure and artistic collaborators who allow for improvisation. “If you’re working with people who are very secure on the artistic side of it, you can veer off in various ways. And they’ll take advantage of the good stuff,” he adds.

Discussing the unique experience of working on the film, DeVito elaborates on his character’s whimsical adventures. “Being dragged along by my family to ducks, is this that what else can Uncle Dan do?” he quips, highlighting the delightful unpredictability of his role.

Reflecting on his illustrious career, DeVito shares insights into his work ethic, stating, “I always work. So I try to never take long times off if I can. I always look for good stuff to do. It’s also varied. Some of it’s for adults. Some of it’s for the kids. I like to try to keep the genres mixed up.”

In a final note, DeVito expressed the thrill he gets from being recognized by young fans on the streets of New York, saying, “And I do get a kick out of like, if I’m on the street in New York. And there are a bunch of little kids going to school. And they recognize me from something. I mean, it’s a fun thrill.”

As Danny DeVito continues to enchant audiences with his timeless charm, “Migration” promises to be another feather in his cap, adding to the legacy of a performer who has effortlessly transitioned between genres, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of fans young and old alike.

“Migration,” directed by Benjamin Renner and starring Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key, David Mitchell, Carol Kane, Caspar Jennings, Tresi Gazal, and Danny DeVito, opens December 22 from Universal Pictures.

Watch the video interview with Danny DeVito and DeWayne Hamby below:

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