Directors: Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland
Starring: Adam Samberg, Katie Crown, Kesley Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Anton Starkman, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele
Written by Nicholas Stoller
Running Time: 87 mins
Release date: 14th October 2016
Let’s get this out there right now. Storks is bonkers! And to appreciate it, you have to be high on sugar. The reason I say this is that this is a film that is relentless in the pursuit of pleasure, done at such a pace that you feel like you brain is about to explode at any moment. At the same time, it is utterly undisciplined and with a plot that is so confusing and complicated, I am not sure that it’s target audience is every going to follow it.
Storks once held the job of delivering babies but now they deliver parcels instead. Junior is in line to take over the business but only if he fires the one human who works at the delivery depot, Tulip, one of the last babies who was left behind. Finding it hard to fire her, Junior decides to hide her in the postal room, where she discovers a letter that soon triggers off the baby making machine one more time and only Junior and Tulip can take this new child to its rightful owner.
Trust me when I say this. That was the hardest synopsis I’ve ever had to write because that’s just a small portion of the storyline, as there are so many strands and subplots, all bombarded at you with a ferocious energy that it becomes almost a blur among the bright colours and the dialogue that is fired at an almost inhuman rate.
Does it work, though? Sporadically, yes. This has more invention and ideas than an animated feature has any right to have and in the hands of The Muppets director, Nicholas Stoller, you can understand why. It has plenty of slapstick, plenty of unusual characters and plenty of quick-fire gags to keep the most undemanding youngster happy and a few that the adults will appreciate too. The trouble is that they are thrown up so fast and furiously, you feel like you cannot take it all in and fully enjoy it.
Some of the stuff is spot-on. The sequence where wolves want to eat the baby, yet cannot bring themselves due to going gooey-eyed is hilarious, A silent fight between Junior, tulip and some penguins also hits the laughter factor high, yet others just fly by you due to the sheer pace. If Stoller had slowed things down then this could have been a real blast.
The voice talent is perfectly fine, with Adam Samberg (sounding just a little like Greg Kinnear) and Katie Crown (known for voicing other surreal animated TV shows like Adventure Time) suit the characters nicely. Kesley Grammer gets to use his rich, deep tones as the boss, while Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell play the busy, business couple who don’t have time to concentrate on their young son, thus he dreams of having a brother.
Storks works in spurts. It has enough bizarre comic moments to make you laugh but this is a film that could have done with having some reins put on it and told to calm down. Will it manage to stay with you long after you have seen it? Probably not but while it’s on, it’s distracting enough. Just don’t try too hard to work out what is going on.