As it comes to the end of its cinematic run, I took the family to see Storks, Warner Bros. latest animated movie. Here are my thoughts.
Storks deliver babies, or at least they used to. Now, they work for a global retail giant and deliver parcels with the utmost efficiency. Top Stork Junior (Andy Samberg) is about become the boss, when he is tasked with firing Tulip (Katie Crown), a human who was never delivered as a baby. He can’t bring himself to do it, instead he sticks her in the now defunct letters room. Meanwhile, Nate is feeling neglected by his busy parents, he wants a baby brother, so writes a letter to the Storks. When the letter reaches Tulip, she excitedly processes it and makes a baby. Now, she and Junior must deliver the child before his boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) finds out and fires Junior.
Well, to say that this is a mess wouldn’t quite do it justice. It’s sweet in its own way and is charming enough, but the main problem is that there are so many ideas in there that none of them really knit together and the film ends up making no sense at all (Babies come from Storks and by conventional methods? Eh?). There are some great moments in there, in particular featuring a wolf pack (the leaders voiced by the brilliant Key and Peele) who can transform into anything from a bridge to a submarine (you need to see it) but overall it just feels like a total mishmash, almost like a collection a sketches that don’t really fit together.
Storks is co-directed and written by Nicholas Stoller who is responsible for Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the Bad Neighbours films. This goes along way to explaining another of the films oddities, the dialogue seems improvised, which is strange for an animated film. It works sometimes, Andy Samberg is a natural, but grates in others with Katie Crown (from Bob’s Burgers) walking the line between sweet and irritating and falling on the wrong side a bit too often, although the scene where she keeps herself company in the mail room is delightful.
The voice cast on the whole is fine, I am a huge fan of Andy Samberg and he shines here. Kelsey Grammer is suitably grouchy as the villainous Hunter, Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston bring some heart to their small roles as the human parents and Stephen Kramer Glickman gets few laughs as a demented pigeon, but for me the highlight was hearing Danny Trejo as Jasper, an exiled Stork who failed to deliver Tulip.
For all of its faults, it is very hard to dislike this come the end credits. It did jump around a lot and made no real sense at all, but it’s heart is in the right place and after a very sweet ending, even the harshest cynic would struggle to hide a smile. While it is mostly forgettable, it is also a little funny and slightly adorable.
Thanks for reading. Hope you folks enjoyed yourselves, catch ya later on down the trail.