Directors:Doug Sweetland, Nicholas Stoller
Voices of: Adam Samberg, Katie Crown
2 (out of 5) Globes
“Storks,” a very loud children’s movie, concerns corporate corruption and the nebulous nature of the nuclear family. Former Pixar animator Doug Sweetland and Nicholas Stoller share directorial duties, with the latter handling the voice actors. Stoller helmed “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” a very funny R-rated comedy in which Jason Segal flops his penis around, as well as this year’s “Neighbors 2,” a movie about nefarious sorority girls and a shirtless Zac Efron. You get the feeling that he may not have a very good grasp of children’s entertainment.
In “Storks,” the birds have abandoned the baby business and now deliver packages. Andy Samberg, doing an ersatz Jim Carrey, plays Junior, a stork smitten with the idea of becoming boss (or, as his boss, voiced by Kelsey Grammer, says it, “BOSSSSSSSS”). When Junior can’t bring himself to fire the inept human worker Tulip (Katie Crown) who routinely ruins their profit margin, he ends up on an adventure to deliver a pink-haired human baby to Ty Burrell and Jennifer Aniston.
The idea of “Storks” is sort of fun, in theory, but the animation is generic and the tone confused. For every dumbed-down, diluted adult joke about gentrification or father-son bonding, the movie gives us some gratuitous slapstick, because kids love violence. It also has an irritating habit of setting up a decent visual gag, then explaining that a gag just happened, in case we didn’t get it. Hearing Kelsey Grammer bellow, “Destroy the baby factory! Goodbye, baby-making machine!” is pretty amusing, though.
Like an old man writing a think piece on the perils of millennials, “Storks” feels painfully out of touch. Its vague platitudes on families and capitalism won’t make sense to kids and are too blunt for adults. The most annoying of the many annoying characters, voiced by Stephen Kramer Glickman, says “brah” a lot. As in, “Is ‘Storks’ good? Nah, brah.”
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