Free Press Journal

Storks: Sweet tale of family & love


Film: Storks

CAST (voices): Jennifer Aniston, Andy Samberg, Ty Burrell, Kelsey Grammer, Katie Crown, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Anton Starkman, Danny Trejo, Stephen Kramer Glickman

Directors: Nicholas Stoller & Doug Sweetland

Where do babies come from? As legend has it, storks ferry babies from Heaven to their parents on earth. Or at least they used to once upon a distant time. The reader might like to know a conception method called ‘The Stork’ is available to Australian couples who want to conceive naturally and not through IVF.

God and bio-ethics are nowhere in this silly toon comedy, where the titular birds courier goods for a internet retail giant. There, on the verge of a well-deserved promotion, nerdy delivery stork Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg of Hotel Transylvania fame), inadvertently activates a Baby Making Machine via a letter ordering an infant, to produce an adorable baby girl.

Desperate to deliver the baby to the letter writer (a certain Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman) who wants a baby brother) before big Boss Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) gets to know, Junior and his clumsy flame-haired friend Tulip (Katie Crown), the solitary human who grew up on Stork Mountain instead of being delivered, must race against time to make their baby delivery a mission that will heal more than just the Gardner couple (Aniston, Burell).

See, the workaholic Gardners are content with Nate and don’t really want an addition to their hum do, hamare ek lifestyle. A subplot involves Junior and Tulip running into a shape-shifting wolf pack led by a crazy duo named Alpha and Beta (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) who want to foster a human baby. Just like some same sex couples. Junior and Tulip also have to contend with the malicious Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kame Glickman).

Visually, the babies are super cute. And all of the characters, especially the sharp-beaked white symbols of fertility are voiced in expressive tones. Written for the screen by Nicholas Stoller (BAFTA nominee for ‘Muppets Most Wanted’) who shares the directing credits with Doug Sweetland (Oscar-nominated director of the animated short ‘Presto’), Storks meanders a bit, before it soars and drives home the message that family is foremost and life is rendered meaningful through service.