What feels like a pretty thin premise ends up being the setting for some very welcome character comedy in this animated lark with more laughs than you might expect.
Already being a fan of Andy Samberg isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying the film, but it would definitely help as Junior, the character he voices, is a pretty pure animated evocation of the actor’s unique comedy stylings – he even says “cool beans” at one point.
Kelsey Grammer demonstrates that he’s an underutilised voice actor as he easily distinguishes his character here from Sideshow Bob, hilariously channelling legendary character actor Rip Torn as Junior’s boss at the Amazon-like facility from which the storks deliver all their packages. Which are actual packages now, not babies, just in case you were wondering.
Despite little prior clarification of what this is actually about, the inclusive message of the film is clear – families are where you find them. Writer/co-director Nicholas Stoller, better known for live action films like Bad Neighbours and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, is able to forward this potentially cloying message with knowing wit and a lot of what feels like heavily improvised humour. Which doesn’t always translate to animation all that well, but shines here.
Two elements threaten to steal the film entirely: a character named ‘Pigeon Toadie’, a literal stool pigeon who sounds like a sinister version of Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, voiced to hilarious perfection by Stephen Kramer Glickman. And a pack of incredibly nimble wolves.
Storks is a far cry from the best the medium has to offer, but there are more proper laughs than usual here, and you may just emerge from the theatre with a little mist in your eye.
‘Storks’ Movie Times | 3D Movie Times