Storks Review

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Ever since The LEGO Movie, the Warner Animation Group is starting to establish themselves as a potential force in the crowded theatrical animation department. Its next film, Storks, is the studio’s last original animated until Smallfoot in 2018. Does Storks continue the streak that started with The LEGO Movie or is Storks a steep decline for the rising studio?

Fortunately, Storks is a step forward albeit a small step forward for the studio. Storks isn’t the generic family comedy that you expect but a high-concept, hilarious, and outrageous film that should please your family.

Storks is set in a world where storks at one time delivered babies to families around the world. Now, the storks deliver packages instead of babies. Junior, on the verge of becoming the boss of Cornerstone.com, is tasked with firing the only human on stork mountain, Orphan Tulip. However, a series of events bring together these two unlikely allies to deliver a baby to a family.

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While Storks doesn’t seem like the animated film to feature complex characters, writer/director Nicolas Stoller made sure that Storks delivered on the laughs as well as the sentimental moments. Storks isn’t just able to appeal to children but parents too. In this day and age where people are deciding not to have kids, Storks defends the idea of having a family in a resolute and heartfelt manner.

Unfortunately, to hammer this idea home, Stoller fills Storks with an excess of storylines. By my count, there are at least 5 storylines that play out during the 87-minute runtime. That’s not a lot of time for a film with this many storylines. Much like the film’s pacing, the jokes come in at a frenzied pace with the Looney Tunian gags hitting more often than not. But this frenetic pace, combined with the overstuffed storylines, result in some disjointed editing.

The animation isn’t as realistic as Disney/Pixar or as outrageous as Illumination Entertainment but Storks is just as good as the top-tier animation studios out there. The candy-colored palette allows the filmmakers to create this nonsensical world where the rules of physics don’t really apply (see: the wolf pack).

Yet the best and most important aspect to Storks is its all-star comedic voice talent. Essentially there are four sets of actors that are grouped together and the chemistry between each set is palpable. Chief among them is Andy Samberg and Katie Crown who both carry the film together. The comedic timing between Samberg and Crown are fantastic, with each actor playing off each other with high energy.

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Andy Samberg still sounds like Andy Samberg in the film, but this seems to fit so well with his character. It’s very reminiscent of his Jake Peralta role on “Brooklyn 99.” Samberg may get top billing, but Crown steals the show with her many years of voice acting. She’s able to use her voice to create multiple characters and be charismatic enough for audiences to get attached to her.

Ty Burrell, Jennifer Aniston, and Anton Starkman definitely have a family vibe going. But the big standout is Starkman who hilariously is able to guilt trip his parents into helping him rebuild the house to make it “stork friendly.” In their parental roles, Burrell and Aniston do well working with Starkman despite their limited time on screen. The biggest highlights in the film come from the Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s wolf pack. Although most of the laughs come from the ridiculousness of the wolf pack, Key and Peele revel at the ridiculousness of it all. Trust me when I say that the line: “Wolfpack! Form of [insert vehicle here]” will be the one thing you’ll remember the most out of this film.

Unfortunately, the villain set is a bit lacking and a bit obnoxious. Kelsey Grammer uses his iconic voice to bring a villainous gravitas to the role. Yet as menacing as Grammer sounds, he’s still left with a one-dimensional role. Stephen Kramer Glickman’s Pigeon Toady is an odd choice as a character because he feels out of place compared to the rest of the film. His bro personality and weird workplace banter don’t play well for the audiences that Storks is aimed at. Not only that but Toady’s scenes are also weirdly placed and dragged on more than it should.

Overall, Storks is a good addition to Warner Animation Group’s ever growing list of theatrical films. Despite the several missteps, there’s enough wit, warmth, and fun here to have you excited for the future of the house that Bugs and Daffy built.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms
NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

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