Following The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. Animation comes out with Storks – and of all the people whom I would have expected to be behind it, it was none other than Nicholas Stoller, the man responsible for Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and The Five-Year Engagement among many more (although knowing his background having written The Muppets, it does make some sense). What else I also would never have expected from Storks was that it would also be nearly half as cute and insane as it made itself out to be, and if Warner Bros. Animation continues off with this streak, then I can only see promise coming for them in the future.
Taking from the myth in regards to storks delivering babies, a different spin comes along with the premise of Storks. As opposed to delivering babies, storks no longer handle that and instead what they do is deliver packages for Cornerstore. Andy Samberg stars as Junior, the top delivery stork, who is now offered to be the boss of Cornerstore while the current CEO, is about to become the chairman of the board. However, as he is about to achieve the coveted position, he sets off an accident that turns on a part of Cornerstore’s history and a baby girl comes out as a result. Soon he is left with no choice but to go out together with an orphaned girl named Tulip, to deliver the baby and help Tulip find her family along the way.
From the sound of the premise, it’s not something terribly new at least by the standards of family films but what Nicholas Stoller tries to do with the basic idea is where everything turns more interesting. Though at least knowing how family movies can be, I told myself that the cliche-ridden issue cannot leave itself to be far too much of a bother, but where I couldn’t help myself was in admiring the creativity that is put into the world of the storks and what they do now. Whether it be from the reasons it came up with that drove the storks to stop delivering babies and instead deliver packages, something all the more admirable is to be found with how inventive it can be about the world it establishes. Though sometimes I’m wondering when this logic is always kept together because there’s another point to which it seems what has been established is suddenly forgotten out of convenience.
Within the film’s use of visual gags, something all the more delightful comes about. It never always lands but at its best it reminisces towards the sort of slapstick I enjoy watching, that sort being what was definitive of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, the pinnacle of Warner Bros.’s greatest achievements within animation during its golden age. Add that together with Storks‘s brisk pacing, and the hour and a half that one is to spend watching it will fly by quicker than one would ever expect, forming something all the more delightful in the end, especially when the gorgeous animation is present for one’s eyes to gaze at. It’s nonstop as to be expected, but when the best moments come, they outweigh many of the very worst ones that come along the adventure.
Voice performances also aid for an enjoyable experience, whether it be from Andy Samberg’s Junior or Kelsey Grammer’s Hunter. Junior’s pairing together with Katie Crown’s Tulip makes for many of the film’s best moments and the chemistry that they share also adds more to the many joys that come by. Key and Peele offer their talents as the leaders of a pack of wolves and add more to the film’s charm, but then you watch the way their characters go about and it adds more to the film’s inventiveness and willingness to be as silly as it pleases. It was already clear enough for myself with Stephen Kramer Glickman’s Pigeon character, and while he could easily have come out as a distraction on some ends, there are still a fair amount of laughs to be had whenever he shows up.
I can go on longer about Storks and the fun I had while it lasted, for every second of it brought a smile to my face. Whether it be from the stunning animation to the film’s brisk pacing and comedic timing, it all added more to the joys I had of watching Storks. It won’t work on everyone’s forte but what I’m seeing for the future of Warner Bros. Animation with The Lego Movie and now this, I can only see promise coming for their future. It’s silly, nonstop, and cute all in the way that I like: it just knows what level of each to put in, to create a good time. Storks is a cute little treat that turned out much more than what I initially would have thought firsthand.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Warner Bros.
Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Douglas Sweetland
Screenplay by Nicholas Stoller
Produced by Brad Lewis, Nicholas Stoller
Starring Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Danny Trejo, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Stephen Kramer Glickman
Release Year: 2016
Running Time: 90 minutes