“Where do babies come from?” For decades kids ask this question to parents and in a state of desperation creative answers, (aka lies) are cooked up. One popular story wielded by parents is the concept of the stork delivering babies to doorsteps. This weekend, the creative geniuses over in La La land have managed to craft an animated film all about the miracle of these white winged wonders. Yes, today I’m reviewing Storks starring Andy Samberg and Katie Crown.
We all know there is really no original story anymore, but animated films usually put a creative twist on things. Storks breaks the mold of princesses and dogs by switching to birds with the fabled job of bringing life…literally…to people’s doors. I enjoyed the poke at our online consumerism by making the storks trade babies for technology, which isn’t the iconic adventure setting. Along the way, the orphaned Tulip (Crown) accidentally creates a baby through a giant magic wielding device that leads to a simplistic adventure to return her home. It’s a fun twist on the tale of creatures uniting to accomplish a goal (Ice Age anyone), topped with a few unique kicks to sweeten the deal, including Lego versions of wolves.
Stupid as all this may sound, Storks main attraction is the cuteness bundled in the 100 minute run time. I don’t just mean the baby, although the magenta haired munchkin will certainly melt many aspiring/current parents’ hearts. Much of my audience awed at some of the sweet moments our first time “foster” parents experience, many of which will bring nostalgic memories of your child’s firsts rushing back. But if the main story isn’t up your alley, the side tale of a family struggling to spend quality time might be the ticket for you, especially with that song track they play.
Perhaps the biggest bang of Storks though, is the emotion the team have placed throughout the journey. A simple opening starts to soften the heart as the intentions of Tulip are shared, which no surprise is the preachy, noble, and justice filled goals all protagonists have. It’s just an opening I promise. As they travel through the world, various themes of parenting and letting go fill the screen that again will start to knock the walls down further. Yet the ending is where the true punch is. Without ruining anything, Storks ending has a powerful, well animated, montage, complete with orchestrated sappy music, to open the flood gate of tears of most parents in the audience. Not me of course, I’m pretty much a robot, but there were loads of sniffles at the heartfelt moment portrayed. Sigh, such a nice wrap up of the movie, despite the predictability.
- Misdirected Comedy
- Annoying at times
No surprise, Storks has a predictable plot that most animated movies have and I’m being a stickler. I know this isn’t a shock so it’s why I’m saying it is a minor weakness. Despite the unique twist on the story, Storks originality does not extend much past that and falls into the time tested pattern once again. Oh sure, I was wrong on one prediction, but the trailers have given much of the little surprise away. Such a shame with the promise they made, but hey we at least got laughs out of it right? Right?
Wrong! You might go into Storks thinking or hoping for kiddy laughs with a few clever puns thrown in the mix. This was not the case. Surprisingly, this movie’s jokes are geared towards a more adult audience in terms of delivery, content, and comprehension. I don’t mean sex jokes (this isn’t Sausage Party), but much of Storks gears towards parenting humor and themes of abandonment that might be a little over your little ones’ heads. Yes, there is some slapstick comedy, bodily harm, and a pigeon with a goofy voice named Pigeon Toady (Danny Trejo) that will make them laugh. Aside from that, most of the comedy is a shot at entertaining parents, which I’m sorry to say failed for the most part in the laugh department.
In fact, much of the comedy was actually annoying to me. First off they rely on constant banter for much of their dialogue. It was kind of entertaining at first, but they ran too far with it and by the fifth round of arguing… it had gotten old and rather stupid. The wolves that seemed to be so funny in the trailers were indeed entertaining…in the beginning. However, their comedic ploy also got annoying, particularly in the way they spoke in a very direct, robotic like manner. And as for Pigeon Toady, there were times I laughed hard, but this character gets old quickly, especially his gigolo like attitude that seemed like a diluted SNL character. I could go on, but I think three strikes is enough to make my point.
If you found Storks’ trailers cute, then the movie will only amplify that factor as you watch it. This simplistic film is fun for kids, but ironically seems to be geared towards parents for the true emotional kick. Unfortunately, the comedic aspect failed to take flight and stumbled into the stormy skies of annoyance and stupidity. Can’t say it’s the best animated feature to grace the silver screen, it is a decent distraction for a rainy day. My recommendation is to wait for a Redbox rent, except for parents wanting to recapture baby magic.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0