“Storks” stars Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Katie Crown, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele. Released on September 23, 2016, the film is about a delivery stork and his human companion who accidentally created a baby and must deliver it before their boss finds out.
The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller, who also directed films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement, and Neighbors, and former Pixar worker Doug Sweetland in his feature debut. Warner Brothers is no stranger to distributing animated films, especially with well-known films like The Iron Giant and Cats Don’t Dance. With the animation business going so well for Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks Animation, Illumination Entertainment, and even Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Brothers decided to revamp their animation game with their theatrical animation company known as Warner Animation Group (WAG for short). The film I’m reviewing is WAG’s second theatrical animated feature (The first being The Lego Movie), which marks as a true test to see if the animation company is worthy enough to compete with the successful animation companies that we have now. Does it manage to soar above the clouds?
The best way to describe this animated feature is that it takes the ever-lasting concept of storks delivering babies...and make the storks deliver packages instead. What’s interesting about this concept to me is that parents usually tell their little ones that the storks deliver babies to keep them from finding out the real truth until they’re older. The film offers a “what if” scenario in which they deliver something else. That does sound interesting, right? Well, technically, it doesn’t quite reach the high standards as the concepts from Disney or Pixar in terms of execution, but as its own, for trying to impress the families in their own way, it’s a pretty fun ride. Like WAG’s last feature, The Lego Movie, this film is fast-paced, crazy, and full of humor. I don’t really mind the pacing that much because it’s able to keep the young ones from falling asleep. There were times where the pacing soars a bit too quickly, but it manages to keep it steady in order to catch its breath. The story offers some nice messages, but I thought that it could’ve been told in a way that fully supports those messages instead of being just a typical buddy comedy. It’s pretty predictable, especially the main villain, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Some of the characters in the film are either insane or (coo-coo, coo-coo), most notably Tulip, voiced by Katie Crown. I do feel like at times, she tried a little too hard to be a character who is talkative, bothersome, and friendly, but I got used to her as the film went on. Nicholas Stoller is known for directing R-rated live-action comedies, so this is his first time directing an animated kids film and, in terms of the humor, it’s pretty darn hilarious. I was laughing my butt off at some parts, mostly the ones that are shown in the trailers, although I would say that it can get a bit over-the-top. However, if you’re a fan of that type of humor, then you’re going to have a fun time with this one. There were times where the over-the-top humor can get a bit overboard and might annoy some people, but it doesn’t get to the point where it slowly became obnoxious for everybody else. I would also say that the animation was quite good. The film is pretty colorful and packed with some cartoonish slapstick, almost like a Looney Tunes cartoon. I saw this film in 3D to see how it plays out in that format. Honestly, it’s a nice experience, but you’re better off seeing it in 2D.
Overall, “Storks” plays out like an hour-and-a-half long Looney Tunes cartoon with its colorful slapstick animation and some crazy characters, but it does have its heart in the right place. The film’s story and messages are likable and the humor is a little over-the-top, yet hilarious at the same time. It’s not a perfect animated film for everyone, but I would still recommend it to kids and their families who are looking for a fast-paced, hilarious adventure. After watching this film, I believe that Warner Animation Group is going to do just fine with their animation line-up, especially since they got a couple of Lego movies coming up soon. Is Lego Batman out yet?
PS: Before the movie, there is a five-minute short film that’s based on the Lego Ninjago toys titled “The Master”. It has the master facing off against a chicken. What more can I say about it? The short has some pretty cool animation and some clever humor. Not a great short, but an entertaining one at best.