By Juliana DiVito
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★
The famous myth of babies being delivered by storks is back on the big screen! The new 3-D animated film, Storks, is sure to have both parents and children bursting with laughter. The new movie entertains with humor that reaches all ages, while delivering a touching story highlighting the importance of family.
Although the storks are no longer delivering babies, the factory is still very busy, bringing many packages from the heights of the clouds to front doors. Junior (Andy Samberg) is the leading stork of deliveries, and his determination for power and the title of “boss” has him in many moral dilemmas. Junior is convinced his feathers are prickly enough to take control, but he quickly faces his first battle of emotions when forced to deliver bad news to the only human in the clouds, Tulip (Katie Crown).
Tulip quickly steals your heart with her bright-green eyes, freckles, and crooked smile. Her carefree spirit and filter-free mouth instantly clash with Junior’s uptight demeanor. Tulip, the orphaned baby from a failed delivery, continuously tries to prove her place amongst the storks, but her reckless behavior and overwhelming passion always get her in a pickle. After a mishap with the “Baby Making Machine,” Junior and Tulip find themselves on an adventure to deliver a baby to the eccentric Gardner family.
Junior and Tulip’s turbulent journey shares the screen with the complex dynamic taking place in the Gardner home. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner are addicted to their work, which has their very witty son feeling lonely. His unwavering determination for a sibling rattles the structured environment that once took place in the Gardner home.
The 3-D animation was impressive, allowing the audience to feel present, but not on a rollercoaster ride. And the flying scenes provided enough visual stimulation to grasp the attention of even the antsiest of children in the theater. The voices were all captivating, especially Mr. Gardener (Ty Burrell) and Mrs. Gardner (Jennifer Aniston). A little adult irony was added to the film by making Mr. Gardner a real estate agent, which also happens to be the career of Ty Burrell’s character on the TV show Modern Family. He has the perfect voice for the quirky and awkward Mr. Gardner.
Although Storks masks the struggles and diversities of family dynamics with sarcasm and hilarity, the plot’s message is still very apparent. The animation highlights a variety of family structures and outlines the adversity that many families face. Children will leave the theater relieved that they’re not the only ones with a “strange” family, while parents will have to decide if the tears running down their faces are from laughing or crying.
The Good: Storks’ humor brings a new level of family comedy to the big screen.
The Bad: Some scenes may surpass the average child’s attention span.
Final Word: Don’t have any plans this weekend? Now you do. Whether you’re five or fifty, Storks is a must see.
Starring Andy Samberg, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Kelsey Grammer. Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland.
Running Time: 89 minutes
Rated PG for mild action and some thematic elements.