The animation genre is being increasingly delved into, and it’s proving to be a monetary and creative goldmine. Many studios have created new branches solely focused on animation. Universal was successful with its Illumination branch that brought us the Despicable Me franchise and the summer hit The Secret Life of Pets. Warner Brothers’ Warner Animation Group, has only two films to its name, the critical and commercial hit The Lego Movie, and most recently Storks.
Storks is an incredibly original story about the myth of storks delivering newborns to parents. In the world of today, storks have moved on from delivering babies, and are focused on an Amazon-like package delivering service. Junior (Andy Sandberg) is a workaholic stork who is vying to get promoted by his boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer). However, the one clumsy human in the stork business – an orphan named Tulip (Katie Crown) – accidentally sets off the baby-making machine again. Junior manages to shut the machine down, and only one baby is produced. In fear that Hunter will find out and pass him over on the promotion, Junior and Tulip go on a road trip to deliver the baby to its family.
The film’s concept is incredibly original, and the same kind of humor as was seen in The Lego Movie is prevalent here. There was a recurring joke made with a wolf pack that forms different vehicles when pursuing the protagonists that had everyone spewing laughs in their seats. In fact, each individual scene in the movie is worth a few good laughs, and its only if you step back and look at the bigger picture that you start to see some forced narrative choices. But then again, this being pitched as a kid’s film, it would be cruel to set it against more rigid standards.
The film’s message, which in my opinion is the most important aspect if it’s a children’s film, is focused on family and the values and challenges of keeping one together. It was particularly moving when towards the end of the film we get a snapshot of many different families and their children, and I was very pleased to see that multi-racial, homosexual, and even single parents were represented. I was very proud that the film took the time to insert those subtle details for kids; for them to know that families may look very different from one another, but they all share the same core values.
So Storks is another hit film for Warner Animation Group. The original story and good humor, do more than entertain adults, and even if there are some misgivings for the more nitpicking audience, overall it was a very good time.