As far as the funnies go, Storks doesn’t have the consistency and sheer breathlessness of something like The Lego Movie (what does?), but it gets the laughs in thanks to a delightfully weird streak – all wrapped up in a pleasantly banal animated style. The birds have a simple design that doesn’t wander too far into the uncanny valley, and the only time Storks really lets loose visually is with the Rube Goldberg machinery of the stork warehouse and the baby factory – and an admittedly hilarious ‘silent fight scene’.
There’s not a lot to say on the voice front. Andy Samberg gives a solid vocal performance, full of the verve and charm he brings to every role, while elsewhere the film tries too hard to sell Stephen Kramer Glickman’s irritating little pigeon. The highlight is certainly the first proper reunion of Key and Peele since Keanu – in what seems ripped straight from an episode of their sketch show, the two voice snarling wolves leading an impressively coordinated wolfpack; you won’t see their transformers-style antics in any nature docs. Noice.
While Storks definitely puts an inventive, and family friendly, spin on the baby making process, it’s a shame that the actual characters feel so by the book. This stretches beyond the cliched band of birds that make up the major players here – it would have been nice to see Warner Bros push the envelope and centre the story around a less traditional family.
A saccharinely sweet ending montage only goes to show just how vanilla the rest of Storks is, and swerves dangerously close to a token gesture. Overall, Storks is more bark than bite – or whatever the bird equivalent of that metaphor is. More squawk than snap?
CAST: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston
DIRECTORS: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
WRITER: Nicholas Stoller
SYNOPSIS: 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.