'Storks' review: Andy Samberg animated comedy mostly gets off the ground
- Starring: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Stephen Kramer Glickman, Danny Trejo
- Directed by: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
- Written by: Nicholas Stoller
- Duration: 89 minutes
The “Where do babies come from?” conceit is one that never gets old.
Right now, we have Bridget Jones wondering who her baby daddy is and the animated Storks, which opens today and positions the whole child-making fable in a family-friendly light.
But Storks adds a twist to the old tale of birds delivering babies to the busybodies on planet Earth. It seems these storks have quit the baby business to focus on delivering parcels. Who needs babies, when you can deliver computers, cellphones, books and more? The profit potential is endless.
This is where we find Junior (Andy Samberg), who is trying to climb the corporate ladder at Cornerstore.com. He’s just trying to please the big boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer), but his promised promotion is jeopardized when the lone human in the bunch, Tulip (Toronto’s Katie Crown), accidently restarts the baby-making machine. Suddenly Junior has to deliver a toddler for a young boy (Anton Starkman) and his overworked parents (Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell).
So Junior, Tulip and the newborn head out on a road trip to make their “special delivery.”
Along the way, the trio encounter a pack of baby-loving wolves (led by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) and the reclusive stork (Danny Trejo) who failed to deliver Tulip many years ago.
It’s a sentimental story that may weigh on parents a little too heavily (“Before you know it, I’ll be in college,” the young boy admonishingly says to his parents). But the chemistry between Samberg and Crown will provide some needed smiles. Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman), a suck-up who is devoted to Hunter, will likely resonate with the adults in the crowd who have to deal with annoying co-workers.
Likewise, the wolf pack, which pursues Junior and Tulip, is also fun to watch as they transform their group into a bridge, minivan, submarine and boat. Their scenes generated the biggest response from the kids in the audience.
Directed by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Pixar vet Doug Sweetland, Storks has lofty storytelling ambitions – about staying true to yourself and the importance of family – and it gets its message off the ground. But at 90 minutes, the hijinks involved in delivering someone’s bundle of joy will stretch the patience of both parents and kids.