Everyone knows that storks deliver babies, right? Well, at least they USED to.
An enterprising corporate stork named Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) has shut down the storks’ baby making business (Oh no! Is the entire human race doomed to extinction then?), and opened Cornerstone.com, an Internet shopping and delivery service. Who needs babies when you can have new phones, right?
Anyway, Cornerstone.com’s top employee, Junior (Adam Samberg), is about to get a big promotion to Hunter’s position as boss of the company, provided he can handle one simple task – fire Cornerstone’s only human employee, Tulip (Katie Crown), the last baby produced at Cornerstone who was orphaned when her homing beacon was broken.
Meanwhile, Nate (Anton Starkman) is a lonely boy whose parents (Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston) are way too busy to play with him. Nate decides to write to the storks for a baby sibling, and one thing leads to another – Junior and Tulip wind up producing that baby (no, not in THAT way) and are forced to deliver her to her new family.
Along the way, they have to deal with a rather resourceful pack of wolves, and Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman), a boot-licking, obnoxious homing pigeon employee trying to usurp the boss position by stopping them from delivering the baby.
Well, another week, another animated feature featuring talking animals. This year alone, we’ve already had (deep breath) Zootopia, The Angry Birds Movie, Ice Age: Collision Course, The Secret Life Of Pets, Finding Dory, and now Storks. Heck, even Kubo And The Two Strings had a talking monkey.
While some have been great (Zootopia, Finding Nemo), others have been just borderline bearable (Ice Age, Angry Birds). Storks is somewhere in between. It’s pretty formulaic initially – you’ve probably seen the way the main characters are introduced a thousand times before in other animated features. It’s only when the little baby girl is introduced and the two unlikely partners embark on their delivery trip that things really start to get going, thanks to the sequence of unlikely mishaps they run into along the way.
The run-in with the wolf pack is especially memorable – I won’t give anything away, but let’s just say that the wolves have probably been watching one too many episodes of Voltron and Transformers. There’s also a funny fight with some ruthless penguins (no, not the ones from Madagascar) where both sides exchange blows as silently as possible to avoid waking the baby.
While there is a fair bit of the movie that uses the age-old “new parents trying to take care of baby” trope, the easy chemistry between Samberg and Crown’s characters manages to keep such scenes slightly less tired than they should be. Oh, and it helps that the babies in the movie are really, really cute too.
Like most animated features, however, a huge dose of suspension of belief is required here. The whole thing about storks making human babies (instead of, well, you know, humans making their own babies) is already stretching it enough, without having to hurt your mind thinking about how there are other babies and kids in the movie that were obviously NOT made by storks. Sure, it’s not as stupid as that 2006 movie Barnyard, which had a MALE COW (with udders!), but still…
Illogical baby-making situations aside, however, Storks is an entertaining family film with some decent laughs for adults and kids alike. If you’re looking for a movie to watch with the kids, Storks definitely delivers. Just be prepared to answer a lot of questions about storks, babies, and the birds and the bees after that.
Directors: Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland
Cast: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Danny Trejo and Stephen Kramer Glickman