Storks: Sweet and Cutesy, But a Little Too Much So
Andy SambergJennifer Aniston...
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The latest animated efforts from the Warner Animation Group – the studio behind last year’s The Lego Movie – is somewhat of a mixed bag. Cute but a little confused on the story it wants to tell, Storks – written and directed by Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Nicholas Stoller – has good intentions and is colourful and zany enough to score big with kids, but holds little for adult audiences.
The story is – yes you’ve guessed it – centred on storks who live in a far-away land known as Stork Land. Once seen as the ones responsible for the creation and distribution of babies around the globe, they are now working as a Corner Store – an Amazon-like business used to deliver goods and packages– and are overseen by Hunter (Grammer).
One of Corner Store’s best employees is Junior (Samberg), whose performance at the factory has already attracted the attention of his superiors and is now being considered for a promotion. However, the only thing left to do to secure his new position is to fire the helplessly useless human, Tulip (Crown) which of course he can’t bring himself to do and decides to send her to the now nonoperational letter room instead. Meanwhile, young boy named Nate (Starkman) is not happy with his life at home and, after coming across a Stork brochure, decides to write a letter to request a baby brother. The one to receive the letter is Tulip who, despite Junior’s protests, accidentally creates a baby. Now, it’s up to them to find a way to deliver the newborn to his new home before anyone finds out what they did.
The story is best described as an odd-buddy road trip comedy which follows Tulip and Junior as they try to deliver their latest human-baby creation – a.k.a Diamond Destiny –to her new home before ever allowing the opportunity for the boss-man to find out. Their journey – which finds them encountering various obstacles and dangers along the way including a pack of wolves – is executed with plenty of vibrancy and colour with their mismatched pairing and entertaining dynamics offering plenty of laughs throughout.
What manages to dampen the entire experience, however, is the script’s lack of focus which doesn’t always keep things tight and effective. Logic doesn’t play a big role in Storks which only works as the sum of its parts. If you isolate any of said parts individually, though, the film falls down. Some of the gags are either borrowed or repetitive and whilst the voice-work is solid – both Samberg and Crown managed to sell their arcs pretty well – the story never reaches the heights of any of the animated classics. It’s entertaining enough, but almost certainly doesn’t stand-up to second viewing.