“Where do babies come from?” said the boy to his mother. “Well, from the storks of course” she replied with an evident blush filling her cheeks. “Really? Even me?” the boy asked with a raised eyebrow, unconvinced by his mother’s response. “Yes dear, all babies are delivered by them!”
Every parent may have to face this daunting question one day, but thanks to the age-old stork mythology they have been spared having to explain the truth to their children for centuries. However, in Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Imageworks’ new animated feature Storks, this classic fable is given a modern makeover – exploring things from the storks’ perspective.
Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland, the film revolves around the character Junior (voiced by Andy Samberg), Cornerstore’s top delivery stork who has been offered the position of Boss by executive CEO Hunter (Kelsey Grammer). However, before he can start his new position he must first fire Tulip (Katie Crown) – a human employee who was left on Stork Mountain (where Cornerstore is based) as a baby due to a delivery that went wrong. 18 years ago the storks used to deliver babies, but Hunter saw that there was more profit to be made in package delivery so he shut down the baby factory – ending the baby delivery service. Back in present time human world, Nate Gardner really wants a baby brother (preferably with ninja skills) and sends a letter to the storks. Back at Cornerstore, Junior doesn’t have the heart to fire Tulip so he transfers her to the mail room where she can’t cause any problems. Unfortunately for Junior, Tulip receives Nate’s letter and accidentally posts it into a slot which boots up the baby factory – creating a baby girl who Tulip names Diamond Destiny. Tulip wants to do the right thing and deliver the baby to Nate. Junior, with his promotion at stake reluctantly agrees to secretly deliver the baby – and the two of them set of on a hilarious yet perilous adventure.
Interestingly, Storks isn’t really a kid’s film at all; most of the comedy is for an adult audience – centered around workplace politics, juggling work with family life and exploring the struggles of parenthood. In the scenes where Junior is meeting with Hunter, there are the occasional witty remarks about running a business – and Junior wants nothing more in the world than to climb the corporate ladder. Likewise, there is a car scene where Nate is trying to convince his parents to spend some time with him. However, they are both completely oblivious; chatting away to their clients on their Bluetooth headsets. Nate tells his parents “You blink and I’ll be in college”, a line clearly aimed at an adult audience. There is also the amusing fight scene where penguins are trying to take Diamond Destiny away from Tulip and Junior without waking her. Of course, there’s comedy throughout that young children and teens will enjoy, but Storks certainly plays on clichés and stereotypes that adults (and certainly parents) will immediately relate to.