‘Storks’ Deliver A Silly Baby Story (Movie Review)

storks thumbSometimes it is hard to be in check on how closely one is really supposed to examine a film. Storks is an animated comedy that presents a world where the use of Storks to deliver babies was a common understanding with humans. The very idea of this makes me overthink things to a ridiculous degree. Am I supposed to dial this down, given the nature of the film? Because it’s a goofy comedy made for families, should I not explore this setup? It helps that the film provides its share of laughs, but to what degree should a story be looked over, when there are so many questions?


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As stated, the Storks universe is a place where storks and other birds were dedicate to delivering babies. This changed when a large mishap occurred and now the storks deliver packages, much like Amazon. Andy Samberg voices Junior, the top deliver stork, who is being teased with the possibility of becoming the new boss by CEO Hunter (Kelsey Grammer, who is everywhere these days). To do so though, it means Junior will have to deal with Tulip (Katie Crown), an orphan girl who lives/works with the storks and is the reason they do not deliver babies anymore.

From here, the film turns into a buddy movie of sorts, as it turns out Junior and Tulip will have to team up in an effort to deliver a baby, due to various circumstances. There is a side story as well, involving young Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman) and his parents (Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston), which is why this baby needs to be delivered. And in the form of villains, you have a wolf pack lead by Alpha and Beta (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele).

Co-directed by comedy filmmaker Nicholas Stoller and animated Doug Sweetland, Storks is a bizarre comedy, given how slapped together the premise feels in an attempt to mine comedy out of the fantastical idea of where babies come from. However, when not trying to delve into the logic of a world where humans actually live in a place where their children come from birds in the sky, the film has a lot of zany fun with itself. Much like how Illumination Entertainment seems committed to a Looney Tunes sense of mayhem when it comes to their comedy, Storks relies on comedic chaos to get its best reactions.

Battling against my straining to understand this world (can you tell this concept was bothersome to me?), I was rather happy to be relieved by the level of fun that came from scenes involving the wolves, the Samberg/Crown dynamic and the story involving the young boy and his parents.  The wolf scenes in particular deserve a special shout out, as there is a reoccurring joke involving these characters that genuinely made me laugh quite heavily.

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To the credit of the actors, while Samberg delivers what he has been typically capable of, when going fully broad, this film appears to be a calling card for Crown. Known better for voiceover work than anything else, she gets a full range of comedy and emotion to explore and the film does its best to deal with its silly story by keeping her and Samberg as a focus. Proving better, however, is the minor story involving the human family.

Storks is not a film built around emotional payoffs, but this minor storyline is just enough to allow for a decent through line to enjoy for a variety of reasons. It is not much, but the film has little to offer, outside of a lot of goofy humor anyway. Emotional resonance is certainly not something to expect from this movie, but it doesn’t hurt to see at least a minimal chance taken to have some complexity.

With a silly framework and characters that largely work in the moment, Storks is forgettable, but will likely satisfy a young audience. The adult jokes will work, depending on the viewer’s mood, but the film is not exactly reinventing anything. It’s a decent watch that seemed to make me think too much.

[Note: An animated LEGO short opens the film and it is quite enjoyable]

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