Storks hit mark in ri­otous ride

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reviews -

Storks (U) Let’s face it, most of us were told the story of storks de­liv­er­ing ba­bies by awk­ward, nervy par­ents when our cu­rios­ity got the bet­ter of us in be­tween play­ing with toys and watch­ing car­toons on TV.

The Warner An­i­ma­tion Group fol­lows up its crit­i­cally ac­claimed Lego Movie with a neat twist on storks’ ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties as the long-necked birds tran­si­tion from ba­bies to turn­ing up on doorsteps with parcels.

Like the stu­dio’s first big screen out­ing, Storks has two di­rec­tors, with pro­lific com­edy helmer Ni­cholas Stoller (the Bad Neigh­bours flicks, For­get­ting Sarah Mar­shall) team­ing up with de­but di­rec­tor Doug Sweet­land.

Stoller also wrote the script and his pen­chant for rat­tling the fun­ny­bone shines through in what is one of the fun­ni­est an­i­ma­tions to hit cin­e­mas in years.

Co-leads Andy Sam­berg ( Ju­nior) – a stork – and Katie Crown – voic­ing teenage hu­man Tulip – trade barbs like the genre’s best dou­ble acts; the grouchy for­mer sound­ing a lot like The Lego Movie’s Bat­man, Will Ar­nett, and the lat­ter an ever-imag­i­na­tive and en­er­getic pres­ence.

Kelsey Gram­mer (Hunter) has his best role in years lend­ing his dis­tinc­tive tones to Ju­nior’s high-pow­ered boss; a loath­some fig­ure who only sets up base in a glass of­fice to watch obliv­i­ous birds fly into the win­dows and uses smaller winged min­ions as golf and stress balls.

Far­ing less well is Cana­dian comic Stephen Kramer Glick­man (Pi­geon Toady) as his vo­cal de­liv­ery grates, hin­der­ing the often good ma­te­rial granted to his med­dle­some pi­geon.

The creative, quick-fired vi­su­als found through­out The Lego Movie resur­face here with the mul­ti­ple-skilled wolf­pack and a quiet face-off with pen­guins among the in­ge­nious con­cep­tions.

Stoller and his an­i­ma­tion team have a ball com­ing up with imag­i­na­tive sights and sounds, in­clud­ing the de­struc­tion of the planet vi­sion Ju­nior has when he finds out he’s in line for a pro­mo­tion, a lit­eral con­veyor belt of ba­bies and eye-catch­ing point-of-view and wide-an­gle ar­ial cam­era shots.

The open­ing se­quence sees an­cient hi­ero­glyph­ics used to present the storks’ history be­fore tran­si­tion­ing into a Mon­sters Inc-style fac­tory floor bustling with par­cel pack­ag­ing.

It’s not all plain sail­ing for Stoller and Sweet­land, though, as par­ents Sarah and Henry Gard­ner’s (voiced by Jen­nifer Anis­ton and Mod­ern Fam­ily’s Ty Bur­rell) switch from ca­reer-ob­sessed duo to build­ing crazy ex­ten­sions to their home felt too sud­den.

And as en­dear­ing and in­ven­tive as Stoller and Sweet­land’s film is, it lacks the pathos and depth of an­i­ma­tion’s finest; al­though the fi­nal scene does tickle the tear ducts.

It’s no in­stant clas­sic like The Lego Movie ei­ther, but Storks is never dull, al­ways fre­netic and pro­vokes more laugh­ter than most of this year’s Hol­ly­wood come­dies com­bined.

De­liv­er­ing hi­jinks Ju­nior and Tulip are on the case

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.