Hot Take: One thing Storks doesn’t deliver often enough is laughs. Generic animated adventure with a little comedy mixed in.
There have been a few animated offerings this year. Storks probably falls somewhere in the middle. Easily better than The Angry Birds Movie but nowhere near as good as Zootopia, Storks delivers a safe, slightly entertaining 87 minutes for kids that won’t make adults lose their minds.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, here it is. Storks centers around a delivery company that used to deliver babies but now delivers packages. The CEO of the company Hunter (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) has decided to put their #1 delivery stork in charge. That’s Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg). There’s a catch. He has to fire Orphan Tulip (voiced by Katie Crown) who is the only human who works for the company as she was the last baby to be delivered but the company lost her address and could not deliver her. Junior can’t fire her and puts her in the old mailroom where she finds a letter and accidentally activates the old baby making machine. After making a baby, Junior and Tulip, through a calamity of errors, decide to deliver the baby before Hunter finds out.
Sounds pretty generic? Well, that’s because it is. There’s a few subplots. The letter came from a boy who wants a brother because his workaholic parents pay no attention to him. The family reconnects as they bond over the boy’s excitement for a baby they know will never come because storks don’t deliver babies anymore. A pigeon named Toady (voiced by Stephen Kramer Glickman) wants to expose Junior to steal his promotion. A wolf pack led by Alpha and Beta (voiced by Key & Peele) have a run-in with the package/baby and want it for themselves because they fell in love with the baby.
In general, the film checks all the boxes of a kid’s movie. There’s an attempt at delivering a bigger message but it gets lost in the movie’s rapid fire attempts at humor. Many of them will make you smile but very few will make you laugh out loud. It’s a harmless 87 minutes that will be hard to remember in about a month.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Penguins
In one of the film’s highlights, the baby ends up in the care of a group of penguins. Playing on the documentary The March of the Penguins, they are the world’s greatest babysitters. When Junior and Tulip try to get the baby back, a fight ensues. Let’s hope it doesn’t wake the baby.
- Excellent Voice Casting
Grammer as the blowhard boss, Samberg as the hotshot stork, Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell as the workaholic parents, Key and Peele as, well, anything. The choices are solid and they work.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
While Storks has some entertaining moments, it’s hard to get overly excited about anything the movie does and the resulting movie experience isn’t all that memorable.
- Pigeon Toady
The voice of Toady might be one of the most annoying in recent animated history.
- Nothing Happens Amidst the Chaos
For all of the film’s frenetic pacing and breakneck speed, it doesn’t really go anywhere. My guess is some parents will loathe the questions it puts into their younger children’s heads and will spend the afternoon answering the questions of the more inquisitive lads and lassies.