After one of his storks, Jasper ("Danny Trejo") kept a baby, Hunter (voice of Kelsey Grammer), the CEO of Stork Mountain, shut down their Baby Factory in favor of the more profitable delivery contract for Cornerstore.com. Junior's (voice of Andy Samberg) being groomed to take over his job, asked to prove himself by firing that baby, the now 18 year-old klutz Tulip (voice of Katie Crown). He caves, reassigning her to the now defunct baby letter department. But a little boy, Nate (voice of Anton Starkman), writes in looking for a baby brother and Tulip reactivates the old factory, which produces a baby girl. Desperate to hide the mistake, Junior, whose wing was injured trying to shut the factory down, takes Tulip on a mission to deliver the baby girl in "Storks."
Directors Nicholas Stoller ("Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising), who also wrote the screenplay, and Doug Sweetland (Pixar's "Presto") have taken an idea full of possibilities and turned it into a noisy, manic adventure bereft of wit. Cute babies in every color of the rainbow and a couple of funny wolves (voiced by Key and Peele) whose primal instincts are overcome by maternal ones are about all "Storks" has going for it.
Junior's head almost explodes when Hunter tells him he's about to be made 'boss,' yet, while Tulip frequently asks him why he wants the job, the idea's left on the vine. Hunter explains why he had his office made of glass, which birds cannot see, only to set up a nonsensical gag later in the film (at least it's capped with a classic visual joke). Most disappointingly, there is no attempt to explain just how the human race progressed after storks stopped delivering babies, an embarrassed chuckle between Nate's parents (voiced by Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell) notwithstanding. (The film's ending presents an even more curious conundrum.)
Office politics at Stork Mountain are distilled into Pigeon Toady (voice of Stephen Kramer Glickman), who discovers Junior's gaffe and tries to take advantage of it. The Gardner family are comprised of the cliched work-obsessed parents with no time for their child. The wolves which comprise Junior and Tulip's chief obstacle have the ability to configure themselves into a bridge, boat and submarine, amusingly visualized but a weird bit of illogic that animation has seen before. We learn nothing of how Tulip was raised by birds, nor how someone so incompetent became an inventor (she's built a flying machine which she and Junior must use after he's grounded by that wing injury).
The computer generated animation is pretty standard, with big eyed plasticine people and anthropomorphic animals. There's been some effort to give personality to the features of the adult Gardners and Toady's feather iridescence is striking. The 3D format adds little.
"Storks" may be fine for young children, but adults can count their blessings at a chuckle or two.
Robin did not see this film.
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