Who knew that less than 20 years ago, babies were actually delivered by storks? Well, at least in the wacky world of Storks, they were. After a crazed stork named Jasper notoriously tried to kidnap his baby, and in the process lost the address to her parents, the stork community vowed to stop delivering babies forever. Now the long-beaked birds have become the avian UPS known as Cornerstore, delivering only packages of the non-human variety.
Directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Doug Sweetland (Presto), Storks follows Junior (Andy Samberg), a stork on the rise who is soon to be bossssss after current Cornerstone CEO Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) gets promoted to chairman of the board. But Junior’s first task is to fire lone non-bird “Orphan Tulip” (newcomer Katie Crown), the very same human that Jasper stranded 18 years prior. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the stomach to “liberate” her, and tries to hide her in the now-defunct letter receiving section of the building. Bad idea, Junior.
Far away, a lonely little boy named Nate (other newcomer Anton Starkman), whose workaholic parents (Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston) ignore him, finds an old pamphlet on a stork baby delivery system. Discovering that all it takes to get a baby brother is to write a letter to the storks, he’s at the mailbox within minutes. And of course, Tulip receives this letter and, reneging on her promise to STAY IN THE MAIL DELIVERY ROOM, she goes to insert the letter in the baby-making machine. Worse idea, Tulip.
Realizing his massive mistake, Junior attempts to stop the unauthorized baby before he or she is assembled, but he’s too late. Out pops an adorable, pink-haired little girl. Now it’s up to him and Tulip to deliver her to her parents before Hunter finds out.
It feels as if Stoller, Sweetland, and the whole gang at Warner Animation Group went a little nuts when they developed this one. (This is meant in the best way possible). Storks is colorful, wild, and completely silly.
A good example of this craziness are the characters Pigeon Toady (voiced by Stephen Kramer Glickman) and Jasper (voiced by Danny Trejo, of all people), the dorkiest tiny green bird and the looniest-looking stork you’ll ever meet. These two are probably the best representatives of the hodgepodge that was this movie: Pigeon Toady is a completely useless character, but by the end of it, you’ve been worn down by the sheer ridiculousness of his existence; and every time Jasper so much as appears in a scene, you can’t help but chuckle. He looks more like a pill-popping seagull linebacker than a stork, but I digress.
The most legitimately funny parts, however, came when Junior and Poppy get captured by the wolves (led by always-hilarious duo of Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key). Apparently newborn babies turn otherwise menacing wolves into a pack of tongue-wagging, bumbling fools.
Speaking of bumbling nitwits, Tulip is a character, who at first or second (or third) glance, is an exhausting, hyperactive mess whose only role seems to be to screw things up. But by the latter half of the film, you start to see a really beautiful dynamic between her and Junior. Although their adventure takes a couple questionable turns, their playful rapport more than made up for it, particularly by the end, which was wholly heartwarming.
Storks is a very cute movie with good intentions and very talented people behind it. It doesn’t necessarily have any discernible deeper meaning like, say, Inside Out or Zootopia, but it’s a feel good flick that’ll definitely put a smile on your face. ~Shelby Morton
Blu-ray/DVD Extras include a hilarious outtake reel (Yes, they do make outtakes for animated movies), as well as a very informative animated short titled Storks: Guide to Your New Baby, in which the highly competent Pigeon Toady teaches you how to properly raise “baby’s (sic).” Other extras include The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short, the music video for Jason Derulo’s hit song, “Kiss the Sky,” and deleted scenes!
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