The next film in a year chock full of primo animated features is the Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland co-directed feature, Storks. A clever take on the fairy tale of storks delivering babies, this film is set in a world where storks have ceased work in that business and now focus on shipping parcels. When Junior (Andy Samberg), the best delivery stork, is given a promotion, his first task is to fire a human, Tulip (Katie Crown), that was accidentally left in the care of the storks and who has since cause trouble wherever she goes. He fails to fire her and soon she receives a mail order requesting a baby. After screwing things up, Tulip accidentally creates a baby and it is up to Junior to try and deliver the baby before anyone else find’s out and he loses his job but, unfortunately for him, he needs Tulip’s help.
Animated or not, from a storytelling perspective, Storks leaves little to the imagination. This is a road trip comedy with a mismatched pair, similar to films like Due Date and Tommy Boy. One character has to do something and reluctantly needs to be accompanied by a good natured idiot who generally screws things up. As a result, it’s your typical situational comedy that tries a bit too hard at times to earn laughs from the audience.
The most surprising thing about Storks was that, in addition to being a writer, Nicholas Stoller was one of two directors of the film. This is surprising because he’s known for directing very raunchy films like Neighbors and Get Him to the Greek and, after seeing Storks, I think he should probably stick to those instead. Having to craft jokes that are whole heartedly funny and clean is not an easy task and it’s probably why many of the gags in the film fell flat. Also, some of the character voices were terrible and the direction they took certain characters was very questionable, specifically Pigeon Toady.
As is the case with many animated films, one of my favorite aspects is the attention to detail in the world building and character development. One prime example was how the storks can’t see windows and is an aspect that comes into play a couple of times resulting in some funny moments.
The best and funniest part of the film has to do with the interaction with the wolves. Wolves run in packs but the main wolf characters were the alpha wolf and beta wolf, voice by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The wolves were hilarious because not only did they want to keep the baby for themselves once they stole it, to try and keep the baby the pack would transform into different shapes, resulting in the craziest chase you’ll see on screen this year.
Storks is a nice animated film with great visuals and pretty colors but, for adults, that’s about it. It should be fun for little kids but it’ll be remembered as a B-rated animated feature in a sea of incredibly high quality family flicks being produced this day and age. I can’t expect that kids would want to see this on repeat either; it doesn’t leave any lasting impression the way a film like Zootopia or even The Secret Life of Pets did.