Storks deliver babies, or at least they used to. Now, they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant. Junior (Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, lands in hot water when the Baby Factory produces an adorable but wholly unauthorized girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble, Junior and his friend Tulip (Katie Crown), the only human on Stork Mountain, race against time to make their first baby drop before the boss (Kelsey Grammer) finds out.
Maybe it was because of my upbringing but I was never introduced to storks and the idea that they delivered babies. I’m surprised that nobody has ever thought to do a movie, animated or not, about them (as far as I know). What got me interested was the first trailer, this one had me, especially with the cast featuring the likes of Samberg, Grammer (who could say just about anything), Keegan Michael-Key, and Jordan Peele just to name a few.
Continuing the trend of animated shorts before animated films, this one was a 5-minute short featuring lego characters entitled The Master. This one was about a kung-fu master named Master Wu (Jackie Chan) getting into a conflict with Chicken (Abbi Jacobson). Wu is so obsessed about maintaining order but when the chicken won’t stop interrupting him, chaos ensues. This was kind of funny the first few times but it just tried to do the same joke over and over again, getting old fairly quickly.
These storks don’t deliver babies anymore and now focus on delivering packages. Junior (Samberg) is the company’s best delivery stork, putting him in the good graces of his boss named Hunter (Grammer) and on his way to becoming the new boss. But when a baby girl is accidentally created, it is up to Junior and his human friend Tulip (Crown) to deliver the adorable, little baby before his boss notices and jeopardizes his position within the company.
Being the only human on stork mountain has made Tulip an outcast on stork mountain. She always tries her best to help but she always seemed to make things worse. This has left her at odds with the other storks. The problem for Junior was that in order to become the new boss, he would have to fire Tulip but he could not bring himself to do it. As they must go out and deliver the baby, this feeling lingers below the surface. Because of her apparent incompetence, Junior doesn’t quite trust Tulip but of course this gets better as they grew closer together. This led to some fun exchanges between the two and the baby who was admittedly cute.
Along their journey, the two faced many challenges. The first being a wolfpack led by the alpha wolf (Key) and the beta wolf (Peele). A lot of their best material was in the trailers but was still kind of funny here. Without giving too much away, the problem with them was that they stretched out the wolf characters way longer than was probably necessary which made them get old very fast and stopped being fun by the second or third time (there were plenty of more times).
Also they had to face a tiny pigeon named Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman). He catches on to Junior and Tulip and follows them and relays back to Hunter. The problem with Toady was that he was a very annoying character with cringe-worthy dialogue. This all connected to the main antagonist which was Hunter. It just didn’t make sense why the storks, more specifically Hunter, would be so opposed to the baby in the first place.
Rounding out the plot was a boy named Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman). He was lonely since he was a single child to two constantly busy real-estate agents named Sarah (Jennifer Aniston) and Henry (Ty Burrell). They are so busy that they keep ignoring Nate so he decides to try and get a new baby brother, setting the wheels of the plot in motion. Of course their relationship goes exactly how one would expect.
The animation here was well done. It was full of color and detail in the characters and environments, even in 3D which helped bring out scenes within the stork factory. The story itself is original in that it deals with storks and babies but its plot and underlying themes were not. Kids films are usually highly and predictable and this was no exception. The humor didn’t always work either with it hitting more often than missing as it repeatedly felt forced and was repetitive. Despite the cheesy dialogue, the voice acting was able to overcome it, most notably Samberg and Grammar.
Overall, this was a decent, hit or miss animated film with a familiar story and decent performances.