Director(s): Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Cast: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer (VOICES)
Release Date: December 20, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for global internet retail giant Cornerstore.com. Junior (Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when the Baby Factory is accidentally activated on his watch, producing an adorable – and wholly unauthorized – baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop, in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.
The animation studio that brought you ‘The Lego Movie’ returns with an all new animated adventure for the entire family. In ‘Storks’ we are introduced to the world of the successful online package delivery empire that is now the key job for the storks who used to deliver babies prior to some unavoidable problems that resulted in the birds branching into new business areas. And now the company’s top delivery stork Junior is set to become the next boss bird; the only catch is that he must first fire a young human girl at the bequest of his current boss. On his way to handle the matter and secure his future boss status, Junior soon becomes swept up in a crazy adventure with the human redhead girl as he finds himself unable to give her the boot. The two soon set out on a wild adventure to deliver a baby after a random request letter and a few mishaps unavoidably set forbidden events in motion. Grab the entire family and get ready to fly high and soar far with some unlikely companions in this humorous and enjoyable animated adventure.
‘Storks’ is a sweet, clever and surprisingly hilarious animated adventure for the entire family that should easily keep the adults as entertained as the young ones with its fast pace and constant humorous antidotes that always manage to keep the film feeling refreshingly simple and active. While the constant activity and goofy fun certainly assist in keeping things consistently funny and grin inducing, it also results in what is likely the film’s biggest flaw; the sporadic and often jumpy storyline which occasionally causes the movie to jump all over the place in an unnatural manner. An element that could be a key problem if not for the way this animated adventure manages to embrace it and often use it to its advantage in order to keep things clever and somewhat unexpected, even if it still noticeably falters on occasion. The animation definitely isn’t on the level as such masters of the art as Pixar, but it still manages to hold up quite well and delivers a clean, sharp and altogether quite gorgeous animated experience that shouldn’t disappoint, and also hints that Warner Bros Animation may just find its way to being a contender in the animated feature department, particularly with the success of The Lego Movie which allowed the world a glimpse at the quality animated entertainment they are capable of delivering when done right. ‘Storks’ may not be nearly as magnificent as The Lego Movie, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable, funny and beautiful family adventure that’s only further complimented by a well selected voice cast that includes Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Anton Starkman, Danny Trejo, and more. I would highly recommend at least giving ‘Storks’ a shot if you or another in your home is a fan of family friendly animated films, especially the family households whose younger viewers should have quite a bit of fun with this one.
Overall, ‘Storks’ is a relatively clever, often hilarious and beautifully animated adventure that should provide ample fun for the whole family. The film does find itself jumping all over the place at times due to the overloaded plot, yet it still manages to deliver the goods for the most part and even the frenetic script can occasionally benefit the fun as it keeps things constantly active, enough so that even many of the little ones who might otherwise become easily distracted will likely remain securely glued to the screen for its duration. Filled with plenty of adventure, a healthy amount of humor and some enjoyable 3D effects, ‘Storks’ certainly isn’t an animated masterpiece but it is a pretty solid and effectively crafted family film that delivers a great deal of fun from start to finish. For family households and fellow fans of similar animated feature films, I would recommend giving ‘Storks’ a whirl when you have the chance, it’s definitely worth a watch.
The 3D Blu-ray release of ‘Storks’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a bright, colorful and detailed 3D experience from start to finish. The actual 3D effects are often somewhat tame on this one and there isn’t much in the way of memorable moments or noteworthy pop out effects, instead opting for providing a calmer and slightly less immersive experience. There is considerable depth and distinction between elements, with beaks and other elements appearing to expand beyond the confines of the screen and the presentation is consistently clean and absent of any noticeable faults. Overall, this is a more than competent and quite gorgeous 3D high definition video presentation that may not contribute too many in your face elements, but instead offers a more relaxed and detailed 3D experience that still looks pretty fantastic.
As is usually the case, also included with the Blu-ray 3D combo pack is a standard Blu-ray version of the film which features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation of the movie in 2D that also utilizes the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The standard high definition video presentation looks pretty solid as a whole from the bits I had the opportunity to scan through, although I didn’t have the time to view a great deal of the 2D disc’s feature film presentation.
The Blu-ray release (Both the 3D & 2D disc) features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack contributes plenty of additional fun to the overall viewing experience and delivers a crisp, clean and quite active audio presentation throughout. It frequently utilizes all seven available channels in order to send factory noise, along with crowd chatter, birds whipping throughout the various speakers and more, while always making certain that any dialogue that may be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a fantastic 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should provide plenty of fun and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Storks’ includes a few enjoyable extras, the entirety of which can be found on the 2D Blu-ray disc (no extras are present on the 3D disc). Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary track with Doug Sweetland, Nicholas Stoller, John Venzon and Matt Flynn’, in addition to a number of ‘Deleted Scenes with optional commentary’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length altogether) and ‘Outtakes’ (running approximately 2 minutes) from the film. We are also treated to a couple of fun animated shorts: ‘Storks: Guide to Your New Baby’ (running approximately 2 minutes) and ‘The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short’ (approximately 5 minutes). A ‘Storks: “Kiss the Sky” Music Video’ (approximately 4 minutes) is also included.