"An original concept that gets a bit lost in the delivery"
Following on the heals of The Secret Life of Pets and Pete's Dragon, it is exciting to see families having so many options to choose. Storks provides a fresh concept and a great cast to make it a contender and the potential celluloid champion this season. It does have the potential to give birth to a new franchise, but will storks, babies and friendly wolves be enough to bring parents out to the cinemas? Yes, they will be flocking to the cinemas for this one.
On Stork Mountain, the role of the legendary birds has changed from being the leading baby delivery services in the world to one of the most efficient package delivery services. At Cornerstore.com, Junior (Andy Samberg) has become the most celebrated delivery stork and they are ready to promote him to the head stork. The only catch is for him to fire Orphan Tulip (Katie Crown), the only human resident of the fowl delivery organization. In Junior’s poor attempt at management skills, he ends up putting the whole organization in jeopardy by accidentally activating the Baby Making Machine and fulfilling a little boy’s request for a new sibling. He and Tulip become an odd couple that needs to figure out how to deliver the new bundle of joy without the head boss catching on. On their journey through a multitude of obstacles to bring the baby to its family, they gain a life lesson and re-discover the purpose of storks.
Writer/director Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) has brought about a fresh concept in this his new animated adventure, Storks. In the same vein as Shrek and Monsters Inc, he has dispatched a story that has something for children and their parents. The humor for the first half connects with the adults in the audience, while the slapstick and convoluted nature of the second half resonates with the younger set. The laughs are prolific and they stay on course for the quest to deliver the baby and to regain the purpose of the storks. Samberg and the rest of the cast seem to relish their roles and the rapid fire dialogue was fun, but does eventually becomes a bit tiresome. It does lose altitude through the duration of the film, because it suffers from the same syndrome of The Secret Life of Pets of trying to do too much in one film. What begins as an original approach, eventually falters in the final delivery.
Thankfully Stoller and company provide a story that centres on the sanctity of laugh and the importance of family. The side story of the Gardner family was one of the best depictions of the need for families to spend time together. Hats off to the screenwriting team for showing the importance of both parents in the life of their children. The team does eventually buckle to a subtle statement of political correctness at the end, but it does not derail the positive message of the film. Storks is an enjoyable family adventure that will need some time for discussion with children afterwards about where babies really come from... have fun, Mum and Dad.