Quick Hit: A completely average film that would drop completely off the map if not for a few sequences of incredible funny animation and voice acting.
It’s unfortunate to me that so many animation films are so frequently average and boring. The ability of big studios to draw voice talent to some of these films is tremendous. For example, Storks, which stars the voice talents of Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammar, Jennifer Anniston, Ty Burrell, Key & Peele, and a few other names you would probably recognize. That’s a lot of comedic talent, so it’s unfortunate when you find that the final product is just a shrug away from being an incompetent mess.
To those of you that haven’t heard of the film, Storks essentially takes the old myth of storks delivering babies and turns it into a corporate metaphor, with the storks out of the baby business and essentially being a poorly disguised Amazon. This changes when Orphan Tulip (yes, that’s her name, and she is played by Katie Crown) grows up and mistakenly takes a letter for a baby. This then involves Samberg’s character Junior, and the pair eventually attempt to deliver the baby without the knowledge of their boss.
This summary serves a purpose – there is a lot going on in this movie. Some of it works, some of it really doesn’t, but everything gets thrown at the screen at a frantic, rapid pace. At times, as stated in the quick hit, it works really well. There’s one particular scene where Tulip is left alone in a warehouse where she has multiple conversations with herself just by changing her boisterous hair around. It’s incredibly quick and funny, and all the credit goes to the animators and Katie Crown. But it often doesn’t work well – the ending scene is so climatic that all humor goes out the window and it becomes just another ending. All of this also lessens the emotional impact of the film. There are two “families” that are presented, and the goal is for us to feel something. But after the rustle and bustle of the entire movie, there’s just not much you feel.
That’s disappointing, because there are some really terrific ideas. I thought the allegory with Amazon was clever. There’s two wolves played by Key and Peele that have a wolf pack that transforms almost like… well, a Transfomer. As crazy as it sounds though, the voice acting makes it work. But very every incredible scene like that, there’s one that contains a character like Pidgeon Toady. At first, I thought it was just supposed to be “Bro” humor, which can be funny at times. But it grew into a whole new beast entirely, and I found myself dreading his return to the screen each time.
So despite everything throughout the movie, I think the overall rating is that it is really average. There are scenes you will laugh, but nothing is so terrific that you have to own this film. I will say, it led me into a conversation about where babies come from with my three year old, which was a little uncomfortable. Maybe wait a few more years til you let your kids watch this.
I’m going to give it a “C-“. Coming to a $5 DVD bin near you!
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"