Today I got to see the new animated film Storks, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by it. Going into I was honestly confused by the trailers as to the tone and even who the lead character is going to be. I’m not sure how they could have better marketed the film but I can definitely say the movie is better than any of the trailers.
Storks is practically a one-man show with director Nicholas Stoller also writing and producing. His background is in live action comedies like Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The only family fare he has written is The Muppets. You can see this live action mature background in the humor of Storks but it is not tawdry or adult in a negative way. In some ways it felt like a Simpsons episode with dry, sarcastic kind of humor mixed with physical slapstick.
The setup is storks have stopped delivering babies to deliver packages instead. But one day a stow-away human named Tulip accidentally creates a baby which she and a stork named Junior must than deliver to its parents.
The family of said baby is also featured with a workaholic Mom and Dad and their son named Nathan. One thing I loved is that the movie has these parents learn their lesson early. The Dad agrees to play with Nathan and he ends up having a blast. Then the Mom joins in. I thought that was kind of creative rather than the tired busy parent learns to love their kids moral at the end of the movie.
The jokes come often with the same joke getting milked repeatedly which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. I’d say about 80% of the jokes land and I was amused by the film. A particular favorite joke involves the wolves linking arms to form a car, plane and even suspension bridge.
There is also a really nice heart to the movie with a message of alternative and different families and everyone gathering together to raise children. Also it was nice to see the end message is that nothing is really greater than raising a family.
The babies are also completely adorable and I also loved Tulip’s hair. I had major hair envy!
The colors in the film are bright and vibrant. The animation looks good but there is nothing in this film that I will remember in 10 years. Something about it feels a little slight and forgettable.
That said, I still enjoyed it and think it is better than The Secret Life of Pets. I personally would put it beneath Finding Dory and Kung fu Panda 3 because I think both had stronger animation and sold their messages better, but I still enjoyed Storks very much.
Aside from a few boring scenes, my other major criticism is all the male characters sounded the same to me. Particularly in scenes with the wolves I thought it was all the same voice actor and it seemed like they were all trying to copy Lego Batman. They needed to pick more distinct vocal talent.
Also a little of the Pigeon Toady goes a long way. Sometimes he worked and other times I found him pretty annoying.
Other than that, I had fun with it. I think most families will go and have a good time.
Overall Grade- B
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