Arts movie review

In the beginning, storks delivered babies

Warner Bros. presents a fun, family-friendly film

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(L-R) Tulip voiced by KATIE CROWN and Junior voiced by ANDY SAMBERG in the new animated adventure "STORKS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.



Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland

Starring Andy Samberg and Katie Crown

Rated PG

Storks presents a new twist on the classic notion of “storks delivering babies.” After a human girl named Tulip (voiced by Katie Crown) is orphaned in a stork-related disaster, storks give up their high-pressure gig and now deliver for an online store reminiscent of Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg), is up for promotion, but in order to get the job, he has to fire Tulip, working at the warehouse due to a lack of a human home, who doesn’t fit in with the storks — after all, “birds of a feather flock together.”

But Junior can’t go through with the firing, and instead, he relegates Tulip to a mundane job intended to get her out of the way. This backfires and leads to a series of accidents that might cost Junior his promotion. With his career hanging in the balance, Junior has to journey with Tulip to search for the right family. Hijinks include a high-stakes chase from wolves and a confrontation with the stork who orphaned Tulip many years ago. Unfortunately, the trade-off in the action sequences is depth: there is no emotional resonance to these scenes, and hence, they’re simply physical obstacles in between Point A and Point B.

While the colorful animation is fun and eye-catching, the true emotional heft of the story appears in the theme of family that ties the movie together. All Tulip has wanted for 18 years was to find her place. She doesn’t belong with the storks; thus, she doesn’t belong anywhere at all. This longing propels her on an adventure to find the family she should’ve been delivered to, 18 years ago.

However, the character development in Storks leaves the reader with too many questions. We are not given enough motivation for why Junior wants his promotion — in fact, when prompted by Tulip, he admits he doesn’t even know why himself. Perhaps this is a commentary on the instinctive drive to ascend the ladder in a hierarchical world. Viewers are never given the chance to see any of Junior’s backstory, and thus, he remains an enigma.

Overall, Storks is an action-packed animation that will be enjoyable for an hour and a half, but unlikely to leave much emotional impact on viewers.