After two weeks of Real Events Drama, something goofy and animated was just what the doctor ordered. I’d heard nothing about this film except the trailer and I did not have high hopes. After all, the last animated bird movie I saw was horrible. Storks is brought to us by Warner Animation Group, the same folks who made The Lego Movie and the feel is about the same. It’s a heart-warming, family friendly quirky animated funny film.
Man was this show funny. I laughed so hard. A lot. Sure, not all of the jokes were funny, some tried too hard, some running jokes called back too often, not everything made sense. There were moments when it was clear they couldn’t land a joke properly so there was a weird non-sequitur instead. But overall, this might have been the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. It’s no Sausage Party, but that was different. You can take your family to Storks and they can find it funny.
The voice acting on this was amazing. And it wasn’t all big name recognisable names the way most animated movies are doing it nowadays. I didn’t recognise Andy Samberg and I definitely should have recognised Kelsey Grammer, but they blended so seamlessly into their characters that I didn’t think of who they were. That’s a good thing. Katie Crown was fantastic as Orphan Tulip (a name that hurts her soul) and Stephen Kramer Glickman’s performance as Pigeon Toady was worth the price of admission.
With something so well written and well executed, it’s actually pretty hard to find fault with it. To be honest there weren’t many. Sure not all of the jokes landed, as I mentioned, but other than it’s pretty solid. But I don’t find myself quoting bits of the movie the next day like I do for really good movies. Black Phillip, for example, still comes up in conversation; so does triple dent gum and that car from Vacation. Storks was not so much. I have a theory – it’s the Theme (aka The Message) The main ‘message’ of Storks was to Be True to Yourself, to Find Your Calling And Follow It, to Not Get Consumed By Work and Spend More Time With Your Kids. Well we know all that already. The Theme was good and it applied emotional context to the action but it wasn’t exactly news. I also didn’t really resonate with the idea of storks delivering babies, but that could just be me.
Storks is a lesson in good fundamentals. The writing was solid, its pacing was exact and each character had an external goal and an internal wish (which didn’t always mesh). It was good character design too, each character would be recognisable in silhouette and their colors were easy on the eye. You might be tempted to think this made the movie predictable but it did not. Good fundamentals can raise a movie from being a half-assed straight to DVD flick (I’m looking at YOU, Norm of the North) and made it something actually worth watching.
And is Storks worth watching? Yes definitely. It may even be better the second time around though no promises there. For a genre that’s as forgiving as Family Film, it’s nice to see a film that goes above and beyond what it needs to.
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