Director: Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland
Summary: Storks have moved on from delivering babies to packages. But when an order for a baby appears, the best delivery stork must scramble to fix the error by delivering the baby.
There are two types of movies that are created for a younger audience; a kids movie that is looking to appeal to just the kids and a movie is looking to appeal to the entire family. A kids movie is going to keep a kid occupied for ninety minutes while the parents in the audience take a break. A family movie is going to be enjoyed by everyone. It doesn’t appear that Storks ever had the aspirations to be anything other than a kids movie but perhaps it could at least be a competently made one.
Storks is a mediocre kids movie in all the worst ways that no one is going to remember in a month.
The best kids movies accept that kids are not dumb but are simply smaller adults with their own unique way of looking at the world. However, a lot of adults don’t understand that and seem to think that enough slapstick humor and rollercoaster rides are going to be enough to keep a kid engaged. In this case Storks is very much one of those movies. A lot of the jokes rely on slapstick that just isn’t that funny to someone who isn’t five years old but even they can start to feel a little stale. There are a few good ones, the best involving a wolfpack that takes ‘working as a pack’ to a new level, but they are few and far between. It doesn’t assume that the kids in the audience are stupid but it doesn’t think them worthy of anything really interesting at all.
The moments where Storks tries to transcend being a bright ride are the moments where it stumbles the most. There is a family we very briefly follow where a young boy is neglected by his overworked parents. There are a lot of things here that kids could really relate to but the movie doesn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it. It’s much more interested in the various cappers that our stork hero Junior (Andy Samberg) and our token human Tulip (Katie Crown) get into. Tulip’s story isn’t even that explored and the implications of her are weird when you think about them too much.
This isn’t a movie that wants its audience to think about the world too much because the plot holes become big enough to fly a stork through. A kid won’t notice but the adults, when and if they decide to pay attention, will be left scratching their heads as they wonder about this world where babies are both delivered and born naturally. The ‘villain’ of the movie has weird motivations that don’t really make sense at the end. This isn’t a movie for the adults in the audience, though, and Storks shoots enough bright colors that the kids are mostly going to keep engaged. It just isn’t anything they are going to remember or care about in the end.
Storks is a mid-tier animated comedy in a year that has too many better alternatives to do well. There are better ways to entertain your kids than to spend the money on this one when a copy of Finding Dory on DVD is much cheaper. The good parts just aren’t good enough to justify the price of tickets and snacks for a family night out.