Once proud deliverers of babies to the world's expectant parents, storks have now changed their business to parcel delivery. Junior (Andy Samberg) is on the cusp of becoming the boss of that business, but his chances are potentially scuppered when a baby is accidentally ordered and created. He needs to get it to its parents before anyone notices the mishap.
Nicholas Stoller has made some very fun comedies – the Bad Neighbours films, Forgetting Sarah Marshall – and Doug Sweetland, a long-time Pixar animator, made the charming short Presto. But their animated team-up is a bird-brained oddity that starts with a whole load of ideas, but never works out how to knit them into a single story.
A bird-brained oddity that never works out how to knit its ideas into a single story.
Junior (Samberg) is a stork. Storks have given up on their ‘traditional’ industry of delivering babies and made the corporate shift to delivering parcels, becoming a sort of avian Amazon. Living among them is Tulip (Katie Crown), a grown woman who was supposed to be delivered to her real parents as a baby, but remained unsent due to a mishap. She is accident-prone and mistakenly creates a baby which was requested by a little boy who wants a playmate, but whose parents refuse (in the Storks universe, you can get a child by coitus or courier, which makes zero sense). The existence of this baby threatens Junior’s chances of promotion, so he and Tulip try to secretly deliver it before anyone notices. Are you still following this? Because if you are, well done. This movie is all over the place. And it’s not really worth following it to any of those places.
There are some fun asides, particularly a surrealist pack of wolves that can unite to make everything from bridges to boats, but it’s almost entirely made up of asides. Little skits happen where there should be plot. Peculiarly for animation, it has the quality of feeling almost entirely improvised, but not in the sense that it has a spark of invigorating spontaneity. Rather in the sense that it appears nobody has any real idea what should happen next.
Perhaps it’s fitting that this story about babies has the attention span and grasp of logic of a newborn.