Sunday, September 25, 2016

Movie Review #494: "Storks" (2016)

Movie"Storks"
Director: Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
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18 years ago, storks stopped delivering babies and switched to package delivery. Junior (Andy Samberg) is the best delivery stork in the whole company. He has just received an offer for a promotion if he can fire the orphan Tulip (Katie Crown), who has just turned 18. When he feels bad and can't fire her, Junior puts Tulip in the now-empty mail room and tells her not to leave. When she answers a letter request for a baby, Junior and Tulip scramble to deliver the infant before the boss finds out and he loses his promotion.

"Storks" is written by Nicholas Stoller, who has written films like "The Muppets" and "Muppets Most Wanted." He has also directed several films such as the "Neighbors" series. He also directed this family-friendly animated feature along with Doug Sweetland, who worked in the animation department on many Pixar films. "Storks" is developed by Warner Bros. Animation group, who brought us 2014's incredibly fun "The Lego Movie." This movie exists in a world where the legend of storks delivering babies is true, although it readily admits there are other ways of getting babies, too, without going into too much detail. After an incident 18 years back when a stork went crazy and tried to keep a baby he was supposed to deliver, the storks gave up the practice altogether and switched to the much safer package delivery industry. Junior, voiced by Andy Samberg, is the best delivery stork in the company where all the storks work, CornerStore.com, and has just been offered a promotion by his boss Hunter, voiced by Kelsey Grammer. All Junior has to do is fire Tulip, voiced by Katie Crown, the aforementioned orphan child the stork failed to deliver 18 years ago. Tulip tends to cause chaos in her efforts to help, but she is kind and has a good heart. Junior can't bring himself to fire her and sticks her away in the mail room, which never gets letters anymore. When she receives a letter from a child requesting a baby brother, Tulip goes to deliver it despite being told to never leave the room. Then, she inadvertently activates the baby machine and makes a baby. Now, Junior has to deliver the baby before anyone finds out about it or face losing his promotion.

We weren't exactly looking forward to "Storks." We weren't blown away by any of the trailers and the whole idea for the movie seemed kind of silly. This just goes to show you can't always judge a movie before seeing it because this film is actually quite funny and is super cute. We are surprised how much we enjoyed it. Andy Samberg's Junior and Katie Crown's Tulip have great chemistry together as they struggle to deliver this unexpected baby. They bicker, they quip, they make up, and they get into all sorts of wild situations along their journey. Meanwhile, a congruent subplot also plays out involving the little boy who requested a sibling from the storks. This little boy is named Nate, voiced by Anton Starkman, who has been neglected by his parents Sarah and Henry, voiced by Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell, because they are so focused on their careers that they don't have much time to spend with their son. They come to the realization that their child won't be little forever and eventually, they start spending more time with him on his terms. They help him build a landing platform for the arrival of their new baby, tearing up their house in the process. They pretend all this baby madness is real for the sake of their son and don't have the heart to tell him no baby will ever come because storks stopped delivering them. Boy, we're they wrong!

There is a good message in "Storks" about being there for your kids while you can (and while they are still young), as well as remembering the importance family even when life gets crazy busy. Towards the end of the film, it also sets itself apart by painting the picture that families are comprised of more than just the nuclear type, including many diverse groups of families to show that they don't always have to feature a husband, a wife, and a child. We appreciate the effort put forth by those who made this movie to show these difference.

Sure, like most films, not all of the jokes in "Storks" land, mostly those involving The Pigeon Toady, voiced by Stephen Kramer Glickman, though kids make like his odd personality, goofy look, and weird voice. We found him grinding the film to a screeching halt each time he flapped his beak. Mostly, there is a lot of wit and humor in the dialogue and delivery of it, making "Storks" a surprisingly enjoyable film for both adults and kids. We are blown away by how fast paced, fun, and beautifully animated it is, so if you have kids, be sure to take them to this funny, heartwarming film!

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 63%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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