100 min. | PG
What a cute confection Storks is, an animated tale from the studio behind The Lego Movie that has plenty for adults and will keep kids smiling. There’s nothing special, yet everything is enjoyable.
For years, storks delivered babies to humans. They had their own factory to make babies and everything. It was good business. But technology evolved, and about 20 years ago they left the baby business. Now they deliver packages for Amazon… err, cornerstore.com, and business is booming.
As the boss (Kelsey Grammer) is about to retire, top delivery bird Junior (Andy Samberg) is asked to take over. All he has to do is fire Tulip (Kate Crown), a human girl living with the storks because her delivery tracker was broken.
Junior can’t bring himself to fire her, so he sticks her in the desolate mailroom, which just happens to be the defunct baby factory. When a resourceful boy named Nate asks the storks for a baby brother and Tulip makes one, Junior and Tulip have no choice but to deliver the baby. Misdirection, rivals, wolves and more get in the way.
It’s a surprise to learn Storks was written and co-directed by Nicholas Stoller, the director of crass comedies such as Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It turns out the sequences in Neighbors in which Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne struggle to care for their baby were inspired by Stoller’s own experiences. And sure enough, the difficulty of caring for a baby are on full display in Storks, too.
Stoller’s story hones in on the precious cuteness of infants, cherished with “ooohs” and “awwws.” If you love babies, this is irresistible. If you’re not a baby person, the movie is still full of funny one-liners and consistent humor. The wolf pack gets big laughs for its endless resourcefulness, and credit Stephen Kramer Glickman for providing an annoying yet endearing voice to Junior’s rival, a pigeon named Toady.
Kids will enjoy the crisp animation, imagination and innocence of the story, and parents will relate on two levels: Nate’s workaholic parents come around to the joys of quality time with their son; and Junior and Tulip’s struggles to care for the baby they’re transporting. We’re usually lucky if animated films connect with adults at all. To have it happen several ways makes Storks a real treat.