It is a truth universally acknowledged by children everywhere that babies are dropped down the chimney by storks. At least that’s the premise of director Nicholas Stoller's new family film, in which storks have moved on from delivering babies to delivering packages.
All the pieces of a good children's film are there; a mean-spirited boss voiced to perfection by Kelsey Grammer, an orphaned young girl working tirelessly to find her place in the world, a boy who needs a friend (and orders one without his parents' knowledge) and a baby girl who will have the whole family squirming with the undeniable cute factor. You’ll be forgiven for seeing the similarities between this film and Pixar’s much loved Monsters Inc, as the top stork battles between his desire for professional glory and his growing love of the littl’un.
The film itself has the same frenetic energy of the story’s two main characters, Junior and Tulip (voiced by Andy Samberg and Katie Crown) as the stork and teenage orphan trying frantically to deliver a bouncing baby bundle to its rightful family. Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell make for wryly funny parents, coming to terms with the realisation that their little one will soon be big.
The main problem with Storks is that it relies too much on the volume and speed at which its characters speak and act to make the magic. At times, there’s a sense of ‘what just happened?’ about the film (we were baffled by a shape-shifting wolf pack). Kids may laugh at the slapstick nature of the comedy, but they probably won’t feel the same affinity to the main two characters as they perhaps did in The Secret Life of Pets or other recent animations with rather more huggable main characters.
The motto of the storks’ business is Always Deliver, and what it does deliver is a hectic yet well-meaning message about the importance of treasuring family time. Sure, it’s a bit messy and takes a whole lot of imagination to make the plot work, but it’s sweet enough.
What can be said for certain, is that you’ll have to prepare your answer to ‘where do babies come from’ sooner rather than later.
|What||Storks, Children's Film Review 2016|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
14 Oct 16 – 31 Dec 16, Film times vary
|Website||Click here for more information from IMDb|