REVIEW — “Storks”
Much like the off-the-wall lunacy of computer-animated contemporaries; The Lego Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Storks is a rare animated film that is as equally appealing to kids as it is their accompanying adults.
From Warner Animation Group – the same studio behind The Lego Movie – Storks rarely lets up on its zany action, sight gags and rapid-fire banter. The film is preceded by an equally entertaining and very meta short film, The Master, based on the Ninjago line of Lego sets.
Written and directed by Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neighbors), Storks possesses the same spastic, self-aware, snarky humor as the filmmaker’s previous works.
In the film’s universe, storks once literally delivered babies. Now, they deliver packages for Amazon-inspired, internet retail giant, Cornerstone.com from its cloud-suspended warehouse atop Stork Mountain.
The company’s top delivery stork, Junior (Andy Samberg), jeopardizes his upcoming promotion when his teenage human friend (herself an undelivered baby), Tulip (Katie Crown), accidentally reactivates the long-abandoned Baby Factory and produces an unauthorized baby girl.
While much of the film follows Junior and Tulip’s madcap attempt to deliver a baby, the plot’s satisfying B-story tracks young Nate (Anton Starkman) and his parents (Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell) as they prepare for their newborn’s arrival.
Suffering from single-child loneliness, Nate mails a letter to the storks asking for a sibling, which sets the film’s main action in motion.
Desperate to deliver their Nate’s newborn sister, Junior and Tulip race against time to make their first baby drop before their boss (Kelsey Grammar) finds out.
Along the way, the pair get sidetracked by duplicitous co-worker Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman), the leaders of a shape-shifting Wolfpack (comedians Key & Peele) and a ninja squad of penguins in a hilariously silent fight scene.
Another comedic highlight of the film is how Nate guilts quality time out of his over-worked dad by muttering witty comments under his breath. These scenes cleverly expose the Cats-In-The Cradle fears of many preoccupied parents: that they’re missing out on their children’s lives.
The film is consistently funny while also tackling several mature themes such as newborn parenting, adoption, familial identity and the tech-driven disconnect between child and parent.
With smart, snappy comedy, spectacular animation and a cleverly original story, Storks delivers a bundle of fun for all ages. 4/5