Storks

Year: 2016
Director(s): Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland 
Starring: Kelsey Grammar, Ty Burrell, Jennifer Aniston, Andy Samberg
Written by Andrew Garrison

I walked into ‘Storks’ with low expectations. I saw plenty of great animated films this year, including ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’, ‘Zootropolis’, ‘Finding Dory’, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’, and ‘Moana’, but I was not looking forward to this film.  Not that it was terrible, but I was simply lacking excitement or interest towards it; I ended up seeing this movie because I was really bored and wanted to get out of my house for a couple of hours!  It didn’t hurt that Kelsey Grammar, Ty Burrell, Jennifer Aniston, Danny Trejo, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele all lend their voices to the cast.  I went in expecting little less than mediocre, but came out pleasantly surprised.   

‘Storks’ is all about the fabled birds who once delivered babies to waiting parents.  After a long history of this, these storks rebranded and become a successful total package delivery company that shipped just about everything you can think of except babies.  When an unusual order for a baby comes in and one appears, the unlikely duo of the orphan human Tulip, and Junior, the best delivery Stork in the business, team up to get this last baby to its rightful home.

The movie is geared towards the younger audience which is to be expected with it being an animated comedy. However, this film sometimes goes to the lowest bar for humor, and really spoon-feeds it to the audience; I didn’t really care for that as a kid and I certainly am not a fan of it now. It was almost like the writers had a big fight about the kind of humor they were going to put into this movie and they compromised and added every kind you can imagine from slapstick to meta, and this doesn’t always work.

The movie lacks a little direction at times, it gets caught up in a variety of other stories coming together.  This fails because we don’t get to see the villain aspect as much as I would have liked. There is little conviction to that character, and as a result, the ending becomes muddled.

While the film has some flaws, it was also wildly entertaining.  While not all of the humor tends to hit its mark with older audiences, there is plenty that does. A film that caters not only to smallest of viewers, but also the adults; the best animated movies of today will do this and it was achieved here. Some of the jokes were very mature when discussing parenting and father and mother dynamics, and when they hit their mark, it was hilarious.

This is a very entertaining film. The backgrounds and characters are vibrant and engaging.   They may feel wooden at first, but as the story develops you see them fleshed out well.  The purpose of this film was to make people laugh and not try to be too heavy or morbid in any sense and it achieves this brilliantly. 

I really appreciated when the film does something unexpected. The director and writers could have mailed it in and followed a familiar path to finish the film in minimal effort. However, this movie chooses an alternative path and gains more heart and depth than I ever thought it could, and the ending adds some heart I didn’t expect from this film.

‘Storks’ is not the best animated film of this year, it has too many flaws for that, and it has been a very strong year for animation! However, it is fun, has plenty of humor and action with likeable characters.  If you have an eccentric sense of humor, love something absurd, or enjoy an animated movie that takes the road less travelled – all the while still finding a means to pull at your heartstrings – then ‘Storks’ is the film for you. 

Andrew’s rating: 7.1 out of 10
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